comment about – E.P.A. Struggles to Regulate Natural Gas Industry – NY Times.com

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E.P.A. Struggles to Regulate Natural Gas Industry – NYTimes.com.

When Congress considered whether to regulate more closely the handling of wastes from oil and gas drilling in the 1980s, it turned to the Environmental Protection Agency to research the matter. E.P.A. researchers concluded that some of the drillers’ waste was hazardous and should be tightly controlled.

But that is not what Congress heard. Some of the recommendations concerning oil and gas waste were eliminated in the final report handed to lawmakers in 1987.

E.P.A. officials told her, she said, that her findings were altered because of pressure from the Office of Legal Counsel of the White House under Ronald Reagan. A spokesman for the E.P.A. declined to comment.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/04/us/04gas.html

“It was shameful,” Weston Wilson, the E.P.A. whistleblower, said in a recent interview about the study. He explained that five of the seven members of that study’s peer review panel were current or former employees of the oil and gas industry.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/04/us/04gas.html?pagewanted=2

Politics Seen to Limit E.P.A. in Regulation of Natural Gas

Published: March 3, 2011 (NY Times)

For example, the agency had planned to call last year for a moratorium on the gas-drilling technique known as hydrofracking in the New York City watershed, according to internal documents, but the advice was removed from the publicly released letter sent to New York.

(from the first page of the article above)

***

My Note –

I watched Dick Morris last night on O’Reilly over on the FoxNews broadcast repeat, “No Compromise,” “No Compromise,” when they were talking about the current Republican efforts and plans in Wisconsin and in Washington and elsewhere. (generally – it would be worth going back to find the exact moments when he said it because the facial expressions and interaction with O’Reilly along with Dick’s body language say a lot.)

He was also there promoting his book which Mr. Morris claims is the plan to be taken for the Republicans to win in 2012 and in every state where these barely won elections have given them a place to push their agenda to specifically gut all the programs in place now.

As I was reading some of the things about hydrofracking the other day, (which was an thoroughly extensive article, I’ll go get the link) and thinking that they’ve known these things the whole time, why wasn’t something created to fix this. And, then found this article today which explains a lot. A program that is forced to alter scientific and researched results cannot possibly define what the problems are that must be addressed and “fixed”.

When the EPA and other scientists were not allowed to report their findings compelling action based on the science and the actual facts of the situation, it left problems unaddressed, unsolved and unfunded for the solutions to be developed.

At any time, our universities could have researched solutions for these waste products from hydrofracking, it could very easily be solved with an addition of a system, process or neutralizing effort to reclaim those contaminants from the water. Our business leaders could have encouraged the finding of those solutions to be added to what is being used by the natural gas drillers that are using hydrofracking processes. Right now, each one spends something around $2 million dollars a year to have the waste water dumped into the rivers or water treatment systems which are not capable of handling it. For $2 million dollars, surely there are systems which could be defined, created and added which would reclaim the radioactive and other toxic chemical products from the water before adding it to the existing water systems and rivers.

In fact, it probably wouldn’t cost $2 million dollars and it would provide excess revenue streams to collect and sell these other “elements” to industries who are desperate to have them. It isn’t good thinking, nor good business to create the problems, pretend the problems don’t exist, pressure Congress and the EPA to hinder the facts about these problems being reported or studied and defined, nor to ignore these problems in need of solutions.

It says that the intentions of the Republican Party members now planning to further their previous agendas with the same heavy hand as always with an insistence on “No Compromise” – will end with no loss for profit-makers, no requirements for change to how profit-makers are doing things now and no regulations to force them to take into account the science and safety and pollution of what they are doing in order to do it a different way or add solutions to accommodate fixing those problems (issues).

That has already been a costly way to do things. And, what I don’t think the Republicans understand whose power plays are now creating chaos, distraction and waste of Congressional and state resources in time and decision-making, is that we are all on the same team. We all want natural gas prices and production costs to be kept low to have it available to us at the most reasonable price possible. But, we don’t want to pollute the bed where we all most sleep and thoroughly contaminate the only water we have to drink.

The Republicans have cut the super fund cleanup funding for many, many years. And, they forced certain research, studies and science about these chemicals involved in the need for superfund cleanup to be “edited” in their content. The only thing that has done is to leave the problems to us now, including the health disasters that have been created. There is no escape from it.

If the rules of this war the Republicans have declared on America are “no compromise” as we have seen for the last two years with their complete “no” to everything that needed to be done for regulating the financial system gamers, for food safety inspections, for consumer safety commission working for the safety of American citizens rather than for the industries they are supposed to watchdog, etc., etc., etc., – then “no compromise” for our safety needs to be what America’s citizens and communities demand too.

No more compromise on wastes being sent into our water systems that have any harmful, toxic chemicals in them. The industries who are doing that can simply stop doing it right now. No compromise.

Mayor Bloomberg is very staunch about non-smoking in his city because of his concerns about the cancer it can cause. He was on the show about the Tobacco Wars on cnbc broadcast yesterday, describing how important to stop this because of cancer. So, why is there a petroleum cesspool in Brooklyn that hasn’t been cleaned up for over fifty years? He’s so concerned. Everyone that has lived in those areas that have been exposed to it have either died of cancer or get cancer or watch their children die from cancer – there are birth defects that are known to be higher in that area, cancers higher in that area and he is worried about the people smoking?

It doesn’t make any sense. And, there are places in the New York City area which will be affected by the hydrofracking wastes that are going into the water table, going into the rivers untreated to take out the radioactive and chemical wastes that are dumped by hundreds of millions of gallons into it, and sure to make its way into the drinking water available to every single member of Mayor Bloomberg’s New York City.

Surely he would find that an abomination. Any Republican that would sit in Washington and decide to fight against the EPA having power to do something about it also wouldn’t want their own children to drink that water downstream from these dumping sites and then watch the results over the course of their lives. They certainly wouldn’t want to drink that water everyday, cook with it, wash their collards with it, wash themselves in it and feed it to those they love.

See, this could be fixed. It just needs to be shown for what it is, the problems defined, funded and fixed. The business owners need to be reasonable and seek solutions that work better and more cheaply than what they are doing already which is known to be polluting (and is expensive, as well.) Funding for solutions can be offered when the problems are defined by the science unfettered, unedited and unhindered. The goals are the same. We all want a better, safer place to live to raise our families and we want cheap natural gas as a fuel and heating source. Can’t we do both?

Aren’t we smart enough to do both?

– cricketdiane

***

Also mentioned in the New York Times article –

“I am confident this study, if truly focused on hydraulic fracturing,” wrote Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, last April to the E.P.A. administrator, Lisa P. Jackson, “will prove the process indisputably safe and acceptable.”

Last September, Senator James M. Inhofe, also a Republican from Oklahoma, wrote to agency officials to offer his guidance about who should be allowed to review the research.

“We caution against potential panelists who have been longtime critics of hydraulic fracturing,” he wrote in a letter.

Over their careers, the two lawmakers from Oklahoma, a major drilling state, have been among the Senate’s top 20 recipients of oil and gas campaign contributions, according to federal data.

(and)

These topics were cut from the current study plan, even though E.P.A. officials have acknowledged that sewage treatment plants are not able to treat drilling waste fully before it is discharged into rivers, sometimes just miles upstream from drinking water intake plants. While the current study plan clearly indicates that the agency plans to research various types of radioactivity concerns related to natural gas drilling, this river modeling, which E.P.A. scientists say is important, has been removed.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/04/us/04gas.html?pagewanted=1

From the earlier article –

The risks are particularly severe in Pennsylvania, which has seen a sharp increase in drilling, with roughly 71,000 active gas wells, up from about 36,000 in 2000. The level of radioactivity in the wastewater has sometimes been hundreds or even thousands of times the maximum allowed by the federal standard for drinking water.

The Times also found never-reported studies by the E.P.A. and a confidential study by the drilling industry that all concluded that radioactivity in drilling waste cannot be fully diluted in rivers and other waterways.But the relatively new drilling method — known as high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking — carries significant environmental risks. It involves injecting huge amounts of water, mixed with sand and chemicals, at high pressures to break up rock formations and release the gas.

With hydrofracking, a well can produce over a million gallons of wastewater that is often laced with highly corrosive salts, carcinogens like benzene and radioactive elements like radium, all of which can occur naturally thousands of feet underground. Other carcinogenic materials can be added to the wastewater by the chemicals used in the hydrofracking itself.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/27/us/27gas.html?ref=drillingdown

Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers

***

¶More than 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater was produced by Pennsylvania wells over the past three years, far more than has been previously disclosed. Most of this water — enough to cover Manhattan in three inches — was sent to treatment plants not equipped to remove many of the toxic materials in drilling waste.

¶At least 12 sewage treatment plants in three states accepted gas industry wastewater and discharged waste that was only partly treated into rivers, lakes and streams.

¶Of more than 179 wells producing wastewater with high levels of radiation, at least 116 reported levels of radium or other radioactive materials 100 times as high as the levels set by federal drinking-water standards. At least 15 wells produced wastewater carrying more than 1,000 times the amount of radioactive elements considered acceptable.

(from page three of the above article)

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/27/us/27gas.html?pagewanted=3&ref=drillingdown

Mr. McCurdy, whose plant discharges into the Clarion River, which flows into the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, said his plant was taking about 20,000 gallons of drilling waste per day.

Like most of the sewage treatment plant operators interviewed, Mr. McCurdy said his plant was not equipped to remove radioactive material and was not required to test for it.

Documents filed by drillers with the state, though, show that in 2009 his facility was sent water from wells whose wastewater was laced with radium at 275 times the drinking-water standard and with other types of radiation at more than 780 times the standard.

***

I really want anyone interested in this and in their quality of life to go read this entire article above and the one from the New York Times at the beginning of this post. Do not take these few excerpts by my interest in it as the only important parts of these articles. They are well written, well- researched and hold a lot of critical information that the public (everyone in the public) needs to know. I’m using these for a specific line of thought that I have right now, which is that the creation of solutions to treat this wastewater need to be developed right now which will reclaim the toxic and radioactive elements from it before being sent into our water systems. It looks like a pressing need, the politics involved with what our Republican leaders backed by the oil and gas industry are trying not to get done with it make this very dangerous to the public throughout the country, and I think it can be fixed because I want to believe that. I don’t want my family dealing with the results of doing nothing but what they are doing already. Enough is enough.

– cricketdiane

***

And I noticed this the other day which is very important – (from the EU_)

Use of hazardous chemicals to be made safer

Published: 06 January 2011

In a drive to improve worker safety and consumer protection, the EU’s chemicals watchdog is set to publish in the coming months an inventory of over 20,000 chemicals declared hazardous by manufacturers and importers.

The inventory “will significantly improve safety by providing up-to-date information on all the hazardous substances that are on the EU market today,” said Geert Dancet, executive director of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

(etc.)

An EU regulation on the classification, labelling and packaging of chemical substances and mixtures (CLP) requires companies to classify, label and package appropriately hazardous chemicals before placing them on the market.

It aims to protect workers, consumers and the environment by means of labelling which reflects the potential hazardous effects of dangerous substances.

The regulation will implement at EU level the United Nations’ Globally Harmonised System (GHS) for classification and labelling of chemical substances and mixtures.

http://www.euractiv.com/en/food/use-hazardous-chemicals-be-made-safer-news-501007

***

European agency calls for limiting use of eight chemicals

20 December 2010, 17:11 CET

“These substances are in wide dispersive use, which means that not only are they used everywhere, but there is also a risk of exposure to humans and the environment,” the head of ECHA’s risk management unit Remi Lefevre told AFP.

The agency is calling for the chemicals, which are either cancer-causing or harmful to reproduction, to be used only with express permission from the European Commission.

All but one of the chemicals are used in large volumes in Europe, including chemicals found in various pigments and plasticisers, and one substance used in explosives.

http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/finland-chemical.7r1

***

Chemicals/REACH: six dangerous substances to be phased out by the EU

EU News – 18 Feb 2011 08:22

Six substances of very high concern will be banned within the next three to five years unless an authorisation has been granted to individual companies for their use.

These substances are carcinogenic, toxic for reproduction or persist in the environment and accumulate in living organisms.

European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, responsible for industry and entrepreneurship said: “Today’s decision is an example of the successful implementation of REACH and of how sustainability can be combined with competitiveness. It will encourage industry to develop alternatives and foster innovation.”

http://www.wired-gov.net/wg/wg-news-1.nsf/lfi/DNWA-8E7BU5

The following 6 chemicals are the first entrants in the Annex XIV:

5-ter-butyl-2,4,6-trinito-m-xylene (musk xylene),

4,4′-diaminodiphenylmethane (MDA),

hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD),

bis(2-ethylexyl) phthalate (DEHP),

benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) and

dibutyl phthalate (DBP).

***

Big oil’s big cleanup in Brooklyn (or lack thereof, my note) –

October 20, 2010|By Allan Chernoff, CNN Senior Correspondent

Beneath the Brooklyn neighborhood of Greenpoint, New York, is a giant oil spill that BP, ExxonMobil and Chevron are slowly cleaning up.

The oil companies have been at it for three decades, putting into perspective BP’s pledge to residents of the Gulf states that its cleanup of the Deepwater Horizon spill will go on for “as long as it takes” to “make this right.”

This spill is different though. The oil is trapped in the ground, sitting on top of the water table, across more than 50 acres of residential and industrial blocks. In some areas it’s 3 feet under; at other points it’s as much as 50 feet underground. And some of the oil has been sitting there for 150 years.

(and)

But to neighborhood residents who complain of health effects, the cleanup is far too slow.

“This is Patrick McManis and he had stomach cancer. And this is my mother. My mother had the cervix cancer,” said Theresa Breznak shuffling through rosary cards of family and friends on Diamond Street who have been stricken with cancer.

“A lot of breast cancer. This is one of my best friends, she had breast cancer. And now her sister has it.” Breznak counts 40 people on the block who have either battled or died from cancer. (etc.)

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-10-18/us/new.york.oil.cleanup_1_breast-cancer-deepwater-horizon-petroleum?_s=PM:US

The environmental mess goes back to the 1860s when oil refineries dotted the landscape along Newtown Creek (which the Environmental Protection Agency recently declared a Superfund site.) For a century, oil companies operated in the neighborhood, allowing petroleum to seep into the ground and spill into the water.

(also)

“It’s emissions that are coming out of the ground. Some of them have been known to be benzene fumes, which is a known carcinogen,” complains Tommy Stagg, another life-long resident of Diamond Street.In all, the energy companies have extracted more than 11 million gallons of petroleum since the early ’80s. But, last year New York state estimated there was still about 14 million gallons of oil remaining below the ground here.

The companies are extracting oil at a rate of about 900,000 gallons a year by injecting water into the ground at various sites around the neighborhood, then pumping out petroleum. At that rate, it’ll be well over a decade before the neighborhood is cleaned up.

My Note –

Okay, the New York City residents and leaders do understand that ground water doesn’t stay in the boroughs  where they’ve made lines on a map between them, right? I mean – they understand that water, air, underground water, streams, water table resources and anything contaminating them – migrates wherever, right?

– cricketdiane

***

I am adding the category “Democracy” to this post because when people cannot safely live where they live – there isn’t any democracy, liberty or freedom being insured to these American citizens. Whether it is the love canal mess, or the disaster in the making all this time in Brooklyn and now from these wastewater disposal disasters as by-products of hydrofracking, the sicknesses and ill health generally takes away all the freedoms, liberty, democracy and opportunities guaranteed to individual citizens of America, as well as destroying personal potentials to a great life or accomplishment or enjoyment or the pursuit of happiness and any of a vast number of other things.

my note

***

from wikipedia –

Deleted National Priorities List (NPL) Sites – by State

( 347 Sites as of March 02, 2011 )

http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/query/queryhtm/npldel.htm#DC

(scroll down the page under the map for sites with why they have been removed from the superfund cleanup lists either through actual remediation or political pressure)

***

(They’ve been finding these WWI munitions, arsenic, lewisite and other chemical weapons components on Washington, D.C.’s American University campus and the surrounding neighborhood since 1993, including some Lewisite and buried lab contents recently in September and October of 2009. The area is still filled with arsenic from the WWI chemical weapons lab and test firing compound that were originally in the area. – my note)

Washington D.C. Chemical Munitions

EPA ID# DCD983971136

NPL Status: Not on NPL

50th and Massachusettes
Washington, DC 20015
District of Columbia
Contacts

Remedial Project Manager
Steven Hirsh
215-814-3352
hirsh.steven@epa.gov

Community Involvement Coordinator
William Hudson
215-814-5532
hudson.william@epa.gov

Region 3 | Mid-Atlantic Cleanup | Mid-Atlantic Superfund |EPA Home | EPA Superfund Homepage

http://www.epa.gov/reg3hwmd/super/sites/DCD983971136/index.htm

Washington, D.C. Army Chemical Munitions (Spring Valley)
Current Site Information
EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)
Delaware
New Castle County
2 miles southwest of the City of New Castle
EPA ID# DCD983971136

1st Congressional District

Last Update: January 2009
Other Names
Spring Valley
Current Site Status

( . . . )

The USACE (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) completed excavation of a a munitions pit on a residential property adjacent to, and owned by the American University. USACE is completing test trenching and arsenic contaminated soil removal at this and the adjoining property. All work at these two properties is expected to be complete in the fall of 2009. USACE is planning for destruction of recovered chemical and conventional munitions.

The USACE has sampled approximately 1,500 for arsenic to date. Twenty seven additional properties were added to the site in 2006 based on a review of real estate records. Sampling of these properties and land owned by the District within the site is complete. EPA and the District Department of Environment are issuing comfort letters to property owners where sampling and any required remediation has been completed. USACE is attempting to gain access to all properties not previously sampled (approximately 10), and 5 properties where sampling revealed arsenic above 20ppm, the site cleanup goal.

In September of 2005 ATSDR issued a Health Consultation for the Spring Valley Site. ATSDR recommended additional sampling of soil, groundwater and air in specific locations within the Spring Valley Site. The DC Council approved funding for a health study and a contract was awarded to Johns Hopkins for that study, and a report was released in 2007. The report concludes that the health of Spring Valley residents is good; better than National averages and consistent with a reference community with similar demographics. Additional DC funding may be allocated for follow-on work in FY’2010.

In late 2003 perchlorate was discovered in groundwater at the site. A groundwater study is underway. Thirty nine monitoring wells have been installed near the Dalecarlia reservoir, adjacent to waste and munition disposal sites in the Spring Valley neighborhood and in other selected locations. Groundwater sampling data collected between 2005 and 2007 has identified two locations in the site where groundwater is contaminated with perchlorate, and one location where groundwater is contaminated with arsenic at elevated levels. The groundwater study continues in 2009 and 2010 with installation of additional monitoring wells including four deep wells and another round of well and surface water sampling.

RAB meetings over the past year have focused the arsenic clean-up; disposal of recovered munitions, chemical sampling other than arsenic, completing site work and pursuit of additional funding to accelerate the cleanup. For more detailed information and updates on RAB issues, public meetings, and background, please access USACE’s web site by clicking on the Spring Valley internet site below:

The Army maintains a Spring Valley internet site.
Site Description

Spring Valley is located in the Northwest section of the District of Columbia, including the American University. During WWI this area was known as the American University Experimental Station and Camp Leach, a 660-acre facility used as a research and test center for chemical weapons. The experimental station and chemical laboratories were located on American University property.
In January, 1993 a contractor who was digging a utility trench unearthed World War I munitions in the Spring Valley area of the District of Columbia. During further investigations, munitions were discovered in pits located on the Korean Ambassador property, adjacent to American University and additional pits were also found on the adjacent residential property. The pit excavation and other work at the Korean property has been completed. An additional pit on the adjacent residence found numerous additional munitions and the work has not been completed yet. That work began in 2007 and was completed in 2009.

Arsenic-contaminated soil has been removed from the Child Development Center play area on American University. Soil removal actions have been completed on several American University Lots and at approximately 90 residential properties. Approximately 50 residential properties still require soil removal. All soil removal at residential properties should be complete in 2009. Soil remediation at Federal and District owned property is scheduled for 2010.

The site-wide soil cleanup standard for arsenic has been finalized at 20 ppm by EPA, the Army Corps of Engineers and the DC Health Department. The Mayor’s Science Advisory Panel has approved this standard. The arsenic contamination is the result of chemical warfare research carried out at the American University Experimental Station during WWI.

The Army Corps of Engineers budget for this site is approximately $11 million dollars per year. Site work is expected to continue thru 2011.

The USACE has completed excavation of lab waste and debris in an area near the boundary of the American University known as Lot 18. Numerous empty (scrap) munition and several intact bottles were removed from the site. One of the bottles was found to contain a small amount of Lewisite, a blister agent used at the site; a second bottle was found to contain mustard gas. Other chemical agent degradation products have been found in sealed containers. The USACE began excavation of additional lab debris in an adjacent area of the American University in 2008 and will complete the action in 2009.

Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.

http://www.epa.gov/reg3hwmd/npl/DCD983971136.htm

***

The toxic environment in Washington DC
May 21, 2010 10:50 AM

Hundreds of munitions and beakers with vintage chemical weapons, including “butter of arsenic” and lewisite, the “dew of death,” are being dug up in Washington DC — less than five miles from the White House (around American University).

The chemicals date to WWI, during which chemical weapons resulted in a million casualties and about 26,000 deaths. This area, Spring Valley, is home to Diane Feinstein and AG Eric Holder. Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and George HW Bush all lived there before entering the White House.

posted by msalt (32 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

The yard that causes the most concern is between the official residence of South Korea’s ambassador, Han Duk-soo, and the white-columned house of American University’s president, Cornelius Kerwin. Previous digs unearthed more than 300 munitions and chemical weapons debris on the South Korean property and toxic chemicals beside the AU house. (and the playground where children were playing and soccer had been practiced for years by University students, my note – and homes in the area where the toxic stuff was eeking up into their homes.)

(etc.)

http://www.metafilter.com/92152/The-toxic-environment-in-Washington-DC

***

A little more about the Washington, D.C. / Spring Valley toxic site –

Norton (D-D.C.) was given a status report by the corps, which has been directing the $170 million, 16-year cleanup of the munitions that are buried in scattered sites in the District’s Spring Valley neighborhood.

This month, workers were surprised when they found a flask containing residue of the blistering agent mustard buried in the yard of a vacant house in the 4800 block of Glenbrook Road NW. Officials said they had thought cleanup at that site was almost finished.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/19/AR2009081902423.html?sid=ST2009100203435

***

Washington, D.C. superfund site – Spring Valley –

Spring Valley is an affluent neighborhood in northwest Washington, D.C., known for its large homes and tree-lined streets.

Spring Valley’s residents include notable media personalities (e.g., Ann Compton, Jim Vance), lawyers (e.g., United States Attorney General Eric Holder, Brendan Sullivan), politicians, corporate officers, and elite Washington society (e.g., Washington Nationals principal owners Ed and Debra Cohen). Richard Nixon lived in Spring Valley before becoming President; his immediate predecessor, Lyndon B. Johnson, after becoming Vice President under John F. Kennedy, purchased a three-story mansion named Les Ormes (The Elms) in Spring Valley that had previously been the home of socialite and ambassador Perle Mesta[1]. George H.W. Bush also lived in the neighborhood prior to his White House years.

During World War I Spring Valley was an undeveloped area that the army used for testing chemical weapons. During excavations for new construction workers found unexploded ordnance, and scientists have found high levels of arsenic in the soil. The Army Corps of Engineers has undergone extensive testing and clean-up efforts in select parts of Spring Valley, a process that has been going on for years.

Several embassy residences are located in the neighborhood, such as the ambassador’s houses of South Korea, Bahrain, Qatar, and Yemen. Spring Valley’s median home sale price in 2007 was US$2.725 and in 2008 $3.022 million.[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_Valley,_Washington,_D.C.

***

Federal Facilities Superfund Sites

[ All Sites | District of Columbia | Delaware | Federal Facilities | Maryland | Pennsylvania | Virginia | West Virginia ]
Site Name EPA ID NPL Status City County Zip State

http://www.epa.gov/reg3hwmd/super/ff.htm

***

A little more about some of the superfund sites with toxic chemicals in New York City –

The Gowanus Canal, also known as the Gowanus Creek Canal, is a canal in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, geographically on the westernmost portion of Long Island. Connected to Gowanus Bay in Upper New York Bay, the canal borders the neighborhoods of Red Hook and South Brooklyn to the west and Park Slope to the east; likewise, Gowanus Bay borders the neighborhoods of Red Hook to the north and Sunset Park to its south. There are five east-west bridge crossings over the canal, located at Union Street, Carroll Street (a landmark), Third Street, Ninth Street, and Hamilton Avenue. The Gowanus Expressway (Interstate 278) and the IND Culver Line of the New York City Subway, the only above-ground section of the original Independent Subway System, pass overhead.

Once a busy cargo transportation hub, the canal’s fate has mirrored the decline of domestic shipping via water. A legacy of serious environmental problems has troubled the area from the time the canal was first built out of the local tidal wetlands and fresh water streams. In recent years, there has been a call once again for environmental cleanup. In addition, development pressures have brought speculation that the wetlands of the Gowanus should serve waterfront economic development needs which may not be compatible with environmental restoration.

With much fanfare the US Army Corps of Engineers completed their last dredging of the canal in 1955 and soon afterward abandoned its regular dredging schedule, deeming it to be no longer cost effective. Brooklyn’s fuel trade was already converting from coal and artificial gas to petroleum, which was served by the wider and deeper Newtown Creek, and natural gas, which arrived by pipeline. With the early 1960s growth of containerisation, New York’s loss of industrial waterfront jobs during this period was evident on the canal and, with the failure of the city sewage and pump station infrastructure along the canal, Gowanus was used as a derelict dumping place. Remaining barge traffic mostly carried fuel oil, sand, gravel and scrap metal. At this point, the issue of revitalizing of the Gowanus area was raised.

In 1975 the City of New York established a Gowanus Industrial Renewal Plan for the area, which remains in effect until the year 2011. Since 1975, the surrounding community has been calling for the city, state, and federal governments to bring the full power of the Clean Water Act to bear on the environmental conditions left behind in this once thriving urban/industrial waterway.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gowanus_Canal

It also says –

The opaqueness of the Gowanus water obstructs sunlight to one third of the six feet needed for aquatic plant growth. Rising gas bubbles betray the decomposition of sewage sludge that on a ripe, warm day produces the canal’s notable stench. The murky depths of the canal conceal the remnants of its industrial past: cement, oil, mercury, lead, PCBs, coal tar, and other contaminants. In 1951, with the opening of the elevated Gowanus Expressway over the waterway, easy access for trucks and cars catalyzed industry slightly, but with 150 thousand vehicles passing overhead each day the expressway also deposits tons of toxic emissions into the air and water beneath.[6]

( . . . )

In 2002, the United States Army Corps of Engineers entered into a cost-sharing agreement with the DEP to collaborate on a $5 million Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study of the Gowanus Canal area to be completed in 2005, studying possible alternatives for ecosystem restoration such as dredging, and wetland and habitat restoration. Discussions turned to breaking down the hard edges of the canal in order to restore some of the natural processes to improve the overall environment of the Gowanus wetlands area. The DEP also initiated the Gowanus Canal Use and Standards Attainment project, to meet the City’s obligations under the Clean Water Act. As of the summer 2009, the joint NYC/Army Corps Feasibility study has not been completed.[1]

In February 2009, the city of New York granted a zoning change to the developer, Toll Brothers Inc., allowing for a 480-unit, twelve-story, super-block residential project, the first permitted along the waterway.

In April 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed that the canal be listed as a Superfund cleanup site.[14] This action was supported by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which had requested help from EPA to address the canal’s environmental problems. In May 2009, the city stepped forward to oppose the Superfund listing and offered, for the first time, to produce a Gowanus cleanup plan that would match the work of a Superfund cleanup, but with a promise to accomplish it faster. The city stated that it could now achieve a faster cleanup than EPA because the city would fund the cleanup through taxpayer dollars from the state and city levels, while the EPA would seek its funding from the polluters.[15] On March 4, 2010, the EPA announced that it had placed the Gowanus Canal on its Superfund National Priorities List. [16][17]

***

NRDC: Study Finds Safety of Drinking Water in U.S. Cities at Risk 

Jun 10, 2003 NRDC: NRDC reports on the drinking water systems of 19
http://www.nrdc.org › … › Water Main PageAll Water Documents

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http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16397-top-11-compounds-in-us-drinking-water.html

Top 11 compounds in US drinking water

15:38 12 January 2009 by Rowan Hooper

A comprehensive survey of the drinking water for more than 28 million Americans has detected the widespread but low-level presence of pharmaceuticals and hormonally active chemicals.

Little was known about people’s exposure to such compounds from drinking water, so Shane Snyder and colleagues at the Southern Nevada Water Authority in Las Vegas screened tap water from 19 US water utilities for 51 different compounds. The surveys were carried out between 2006 and 2007.

The 11 most frequently detected compounds – all found at extremely low concentrations – were:

Atenolol, a beta-blocker used to treat cardiovascular disease

Atrazine, an organic herbicide banned in the European Union, but still used in the US, which has been implicated in the decline of fish stocks and in changes in animal behaviour

Carbamazepine, a mood-stabilising drug used to treat bipolar disorder, amongst other things

Estrone, an oestrogen hormone secreted by the ovaries and blamed for causing gender-bending changes in fish

Gemfibrozil, an anti-cholesterol drug

Meprobamate, a tranquiliser widely used in psychiatric treatment

Naproxen, a painkiller and anti-inflammatory linked to increases in asthma incidence

Phenytoin, an anticonvulsant that has been used to treat epilepsy

Sulfamethoxazole, an antibiotic used against the Streptococcus bacteria, which is responsible for tonsillitis and other diseases

TCEP, a reducing agent used in molecular biology

Trimethoprim, another antibiotic

Christian Daughton of the EPA’s National Exposure Research Laboratory says that neither this nor other recent water assessments give cause for health concern. “But several point to the potential for risk – especially for the fetus and those with severely compromised health.”

Daughton says the contamination surveys help people realise how they are intimately and inseparably connected with their environment. “The occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the environment also serves to make us acutely aware of the chemical sea that surrounds us,” he says.

(etc.)

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16397-top-11-compounds-in-us-drinking-water.html

(2009)

***

My Note –

About the above chemicals and pharmaceuticals found in water and the idea that it really makes no difference – the words to apply are “cumulative effects.” No one is drinking just one drop of water like that which they analyzed. The amount of water consumed in a day isn’t even accurate because of how many things were cooked in water, grown with water from public water sources, how many water sources permeated the skin each day, how many days, months and years these things were continuously consumed or a part of everyday living and the manner in which these chemicals and pharmaceuticals interact with the existing body chemistry and cell metabolism. It isn’t just a problem for those with compromised health, babies and children – it is affecting everyone negatively.

And, since that isn’t the only thing in the ground water being used to water our fields, nor is it the only toxic chemistry in our drinking water and the water sources where our drinking water is derived – the chemical questions it raises are phenomenal. And, they are phenomenal in very bad health consequences for nearly all of our population, all of our children, all of our wildlife, and all of our future generations in the United States. This might need to get fixed right now instead of waiting another thirty years to do it.

– cricketdiane

***

2 Pa. water companies to test supplies over drilling


Philadelphia Inquirer – Andrew Maykuth – 13 hours ago

Drinking water with elevated levels of radium and uranium – which are found in and water – may cause cancer after several years,” the US Environmental

Casey calls for more inspections of Pa. water

– Wilkes Barre Times-Leader

Pittsburgh City Council backs tests for radioactivity

– Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Natural gas production in Pennsylvania’s portion of the Marcellus

– Lexology (registration)

all 35 news articles »

***

Drinking water system on test in U.S.


UPI.com – 1 day ago

BELLINGHAM, Wash., March 1 (UPI) — Scientists say a pioneering system providing safe drinking water for millions of people in Asia is now being tested in

Chemical-free arsenic removal system being tested in Washington State

– Water Technology Online

Technology used in India to remove arsenic from groundwater heads

– Sify

Aresenic removal technology helps create safer drinking water in US

– Water World

all 26 news articles »

***

Drinking Chrome – New Studies Expose Threats to Tap Water

Posted on February 8, 2011

http://www.ombwatch.org/node/11486

A new health study found drinking water in 31 out of 35 U.S. cities contaminated by a dangerous form of chromium known as hexavalent chromium.

The recent studies by environmental and public health groups shed new light on the extent of drinking water contamination in America and the potential sources of that contamination. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) commissioned water sampling and testing for hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6. The results, published in the report Chromium-6 in U.S. Tap Water, found that more than 26 million people are serviced by the water utilities in the 31 cities where chromium-6 was detected. However, the report represents a one-time “snapshot” of the water quality in 35 cities, and without regular monitoring, the full threat to public health is unknown.

Chromium is found in many forms, and the two most prevalent forms are trivalent chromium (chromium-3) and chromium-6. In small amounts, chromium-3 is a vital nutrient needed for healthy human metabolism, but chromium-6 is a known carcinogen and dangerous even in small amounts. Chromium-6 was the toxin contaminating the drinking water of Hinkley, CA, the case made famous by the 2000 film Erin Brockovich. California is currently the only state that requires water utilities to test for hexavalent chromium.

California environmental officials recently revised a proposed “public health goal” for chromium-6 in drinking water. The state’s environmental agency originally proposed a goal of 0.06 parts per billion (ppb) of hexavalent chromium in tap water. That figure was lowered to 0.02 ppb to better protect vulnerable populations such as children. However, the EWG report states that California’s water testing methods cannot detect levels of hexavalent chromium in amounts below 1 ppb, 16 times higher than what the state considers the maximum safe level. (etc.)

The report, EPA’s Blind Spot: Hexavalent Chromium in Coal Ash, draws on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports and other studies to identify 28 coal ash dump sites in 17 states that have contaminated groundwater with chromium at levels far above the public health goal proposed by the state of California. According to the report’s authors, the contaminated coal ash dump sites “are likely the tip of the iceberg,” and EPA regulators are operating with a “blind spot” that misses this significant source of water contamination.

The report also uncovered a study by an electric utility industry group, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), that found that 97 to 100 percent of the chromium leaching from coal ash impoundments is the deadly chromium-6. This industry study tested water at 29 coal ash landfills and ponds, finding chromium-6 at 15 coal ash dump sites at levels hundreds of times greater than the proposed California goal. However, the locations of these dumps are unknown, identified only by a number.

http://www.ombwatch.org/node/11486

My Note –

The other gross source of Hexavalant Chromium is in the mixing facilities for cement and concrete, especially the high white variety and through the processes in use today in nearly every community – these sources become easily airborne. These could be fixed easily, but in more communities they are allowed to become airborne and fill the air and homes in the surrounding neighborhoods, (and schools, and businesses, and anywhere the citizens might be breathing or ingesting things that have been coated with it when the dust settles from the air.)

– cricketdiane

***

Also – from recent budget hearings for the EPA opening comments by Barbara Boxer (D, Calif.) –

In stark contrast to the President’s support for EPA’s essential work to protect our children and families, the recently passed House Continuing Resolution would cut EPA’s overall budget — and the critical public health protections EPA provides — by 30 percent this year. This represents the largest cut to any Federal agency.

It would cut an astounding $2 billion from EPA’s water infrastructure and water quality protection programs. These cuts mean that our drinking water has a far greater chance of contamination. These cuts also mean thousands of jobs lost – jobs that relate to clean water infrastructure.

The CR would cut funds to clean up and redevelop brownfields by 30 percent from 2010 enacted levels – threatening the 5,000 jobs that EPA estimates this program supports.

The House budget would slash 45 percent from the 2010 enacted level for federal aid to state, local and tribal governments to protect our communities from dangerous pollution.

It also includes backdoor efforts to undermine EPA authorities that protect the air we breathe and the water we drink.

These attempts to undercut landmark public health protections comes as EPA just released a new report showing that the Clean Air Act provides $30 in benefits for every $1 invested. This report also shows that the Clean Air Act prevented 160,000 cases of premature mortality, 130,000 heart attacks, 13 million lost work days and 1.7 million asthma attacks in the year 2010 alone.

We are facing tough economic times, but tough times call for intelligent decision-making and wisdom, not reckless cuts that will do more harm than good – cuts that will lead to illness and premature death.

We must protect the health of our children, while also building clean technology industries that can fuel the nation’s economy in the coming decades.

We have seen that protecting the health of our families and economic growth go hand in hand. Since the year Congress enacted the Clean Air Act, US GDP has risen by 207 percent.

The United States is also the world’s largest producer and consumer of environmental technology goods and services. This industry has approximately 119,000 firms. It supports almost 1.7 million jobs and generates $300 billion in revenues — including $43.8 billion in exports. Why take an axe to these industries?

http://www.waterworld.com/index/display/news_display/1370233184.html

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR BARBARA BOXER FULL COMMITTEE HEARING: “HEARING ON THE PRESIDENT’S PROPOSED EPA BUDGET FOR FY 2012”

States News Service
March 2, 2011

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The characteristic greenish-gray to brown color of ordinary Portland cement derives from a number of transitional elements in its chemical composition. These are, in descending order of coloring effect, chromium, manganese, iron, copper, vanadium, nickel and titanium. The amount of these in white cement is minimized as far as possible. Cr2O3 is kept below 0.003%, Mn2O3 is kept below 0.03%, and Fe2O3 is kept below 0.35% in the clinker. The other elements are usually not a significant problem. Portland cement is usually made from cheap, quarried raw materials, and these usually contain substantial amounts of Cr, Mn and Fe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Portland_cement

***

In Scandinavia, France and the UK, the level of chromium(VI), which is considered to be toxic and a major skin irritant, may not exceed 2 ppm (parts per million).

“The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality was informed this week that the Arizona Portland Cement Co. failed a second round of testing for emissions of hazardous air pollutants at the company’s Rillito plant near Tucson. The latest round of testing, performed in January 2003 by the company, is designed to ensure that the facility complies with federal standards governing the emissions of dioxins and furans, which are byproducts of the manufacturing process.” [14] Cement Reviews’ “Environmental News” web page details case after case of environmental problems with cement manufacturing.[15]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portland_cement

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CEMEX (BMV: CEMEX / NYSECX) is the world’s largest building materials supplier and third largest cement producer.[1] Founded in Mexico in 1906, the company is based in Monterrey, Mexico. CEMEX has operations extending around the world, with production facilities in 50 countries in North America, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

As of late 2003, CEMEX had annual cement production capability of 82 million tons and over 25,000 employees. Lorenzo Zambrano is the current chairman and chief executive officer. About one-third of the company’s sales come from its Mexico operations, a quarter from its plants in the U.S., 15% from Spain, and smaller percentages from its plants around the world.[citation needed]

CEMEX currently operates on four continents, with 66 cement plants, 2,000 ready-mix-concrete facilities, 400 quarries, 260 distribution centers and 80 marine terminals.[2] The company’s world headquarters are in San Pedro Garza García, a city that is part of the Monterrey metropolitan area in the northeastern Mexican state of Nuevo León. [3][4][5][6][7]

CEMEX has been accused of violating environmental laws in the United States. Environmental watchdog groups and the United States Environmental Protection Agency are threatening to file suit claiming the company has committed numerous violations of the Clean Air Act in Lyons, Colorado.[19] The United States Environmental Protection Agency has also filed suit against CEMEX in Victorville, California, claiming the company failed to install modern air pollution controls, despite spending millions in renovations.[20]

In the United Kingdom, CEMEX was originally fined £400,000 on October 2006 after hazardous dust was deposited up to three miles (5 km) away from its Rugby works. The fine was the highest ever given under the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control regulations, and was also the highest for an Environment Agency prosecution for six years.[21]. The fine was however judged excessive by the Court of Appeal and so reduced to £50,000.[22].

During tests conducted from June 10 to August 5, 2008, the Monterey Bay (California) Unified Air Pollution Control District reported high levels of Chromium VI, also known as Hexavalent Chromium, a cancer causing chemical agent, at an elementary school and fire department in Davenport, California. Chromium VI is the contaminant that inspired the movie, “Erin Brockovich“. The toxic substance apparently originated from dust emitted by the Cemex Cement plant in Davenport, as the levels of Chromium VI measured eight times the air district’s acceptable level at Pacific Elementary School and 10 times at the Davenport Fire Department. Both are located less than a half-mile from CEMEX.[23] Chromium VI may have been unwittingly produced at the CEMEX plant in Davenport for the last seven years. According to Ed Kendig, the executive director of the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District, it’s “highly possible” that Chromium VI continues to be produced across the country as an accidental, previously unknown byproduct of the cement-making process.[24]

In 2007, the EPA filed a complaint against CEMEX for violating federal air regulations at its Victorville, CA plant, and in 2006, CEMEX was cited for violations at plants in Santa Barbara and Michigan. [24]

In April 2007, CEMEX announced that it had installed a £6.5 million dust abatement system at the same works in Rugby, which had cut particulate emissions by 80%. The site comes under the auspices of the EU Waste Incineration Directive as it burns waste tyres for fuel. There are concerns over the impact on both the environment and human health from this practice, although it is common practice in many cement works.[25].

***

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cemex

Fly ash is one of the residues generated in combustion, and comprises the fine particles that rise with the flue gases. Ash which does not rise is termed bottom ash. In an industrial context, fly ash usually refers to ash produced during combustion of coal. Fly ash is generally captured by electrostatic precipitators or other particle filtration equipments before the flue gases reach the chimneys of coal-fired power plants, and together with bottom ash removed from the bottom of the furnace is in this case jointly known as coal ash. Depending upon the source and makeup of the coal being burned, the components of fly ash vary considerably, but all fly ash includes substantial amounts of silicon dioxide (SiO2) (both amorphous and crystalline) and calcium oxide (CaO), both being endemic ingredients in many coal-bearing rock strata.

Toxic constituents depend upon the specific coal bed makeup, but may include one or more of the following elements or substances in quantities from trace amounts to several percent: arsenic, beryllium, boron, cadmium, chromium, chromium VI, cobalt, lead, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, selenium, strontium, thallium, and vanadium, along with dioxins and PAH compounds.[1][2]

In the past, fly ash was generally released into the atmosphere, but pollution control equipment mandated in recent decades now require that it be captured prior to release. In the US, fly ash is generally stored at coal power plants or placed in landfills. About 43 percent is recycled,[3] often used to supplement Portland cement in concrete production. Some have expressed health concerns about this.[4]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fly_ash

***

  1. Fly ash – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

    Ash used as a cement replacement must meet strict construction standards, ….. amounts of chromium(VI) contaminated leather sludges in Alcanena, Portugal.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fly_ashCachedSimilar

  2. Cemex – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

    In 1995 CEMEX acquired a cement company in the Dominican Republic, and with
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CemexCachedSimilar
  3. Portland cementWikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

    This is achieved in a cement mill. The grinding process is controlled to
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portland_cementCachedSimilar
  4. Chromium VI in cement: new COSHH Regulations 

    Dec 5, 2008 New restrictions on the amount of chromium VI in cement come into tile layers, and workers laying concrete floors are likely to be at
    http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2005/e05006.htmCachedSimilar
  5. Cement and Chromium VI 

    Chromium VI Directive. The Chromium (VI) Directive (2003/53/EC) applies to cement and products containing cement marketed in the EU from 17th January 2005.
    http://www.whd.co.uk/Concrete/cementandchromiu.htmlCachedSimilar
  6. Preventing Skin Problems from Working with Portland Cement 

    By the time an employee becomes aware of a cement burn, much damage has …. Adding ferrous sulfate to portland cement may lower the Cr(VI) content of the
    http://www.osha.gov/dsg/guidance/cement-guidance.htmlCachedSimilar
  7. Cement Industry 

    43 Grade cement is used for pre-cast concrete production and sleeper manufacture In Scandinavia, France and the UK, the level of chromium(VI), which is thought to be toxic and a major skin Resourse :- http://en.wikipedia.org
    cementindustry.blogspot.com/CachedSimilar
  8. Dictionary – Definition of fly ash 

    Ash used as a cement replacement must meet strict construction standards, but no standard …. This process was used to stabilize large amounts of chromium(VI) Source: adapted by the editor from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia;
    http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definition/fly+ashCached
  9. coal combustion products : definition of coal combustion products  

    anagrams crosswords example wikipedia Ebay catalog translations Many asphaltic concrete pavements contain fly ash. a raw feed for manufacturing portland cement clinker, as well as for skid control on icy roads. boron, cadmium, chromium, chromium VI, cobalt, lead, manganese, mercury, molybdenum,selenium,
    dictionary.sensagent.com/coal+combustion+products/en-en/Cached
  10. Fly Ash 

    Fly Ash Resource Center- splash page. Wikipedia Reference from Wikipedia boron, cadmium, chromium, chromium VI, cobalt, lead, manganese, mercury, ….. Promotes the use of fly ash as an additive in concrete and cement products.
    http://www.kosmix.com/topic/fly_ashCached

Cement and Chromium VI

Chromium VI Directive. The Chromium (VI) Directive (2003/53/EC) applies to cement and products containing cement marketed in the EU from 17th January 2005.
http://www.whd.co.uk/Concrete/cementandchromiu.htmlCachedSimilar
**
and – Perchlorate – (look it up sometime)

Perchlorate in Drinking Water

Last Update: January 7, 2011

Perchlorate is a regulated drinking water contaminant in California, with a maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 6 micrograms per liter (µg/L).  The MCL became effective October 2007.   For information provided to public water systems by the CDPH Drinking Water Program about the implementation of the MCL and the scheduling of monitoring, see links at the bottom of this page.

Perchlorate and its salts are used in solid propellant for rockets, missiles, and fireworks, and elsewhere (e.g., production of matches, flares, pyrotechnics, ordnance, and explosives).  Their use can lead to releases of perchlorate into the environment.  Perchlorate’s interference with iodide uptake by the thyroid gland can decrease production of thyroid hormones, which are needed for prenatal and postnatal growth and development, as well as for normal metabolism and mental function in the adult.   Its effects on the thyroid gland are the basis of the 6-µg/L public health goal (PHG) established in 2004 by Cal/EPA’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. (PHGs contribute to the development of MCLs, as described here.)  In January 2011, OEHHA released a draft technical support document for a 1-µg/L PHG for perchlorate.

Monitoring, first in 1997 by the Drinking Water Program and then by public water systems, showed perchlorate to be a widespread drinking water contaminant, occurring in several hundred wells, mostly in southern California (see early findings).  Perchlorate was also found in the Colorado River, an important source of water for drinking and irrigation, where its presence resulted from contamination from ammonium perchlorate manufacturing facilities in Nevada.

http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/drinkingwater/pages/Perchlorate.aspx

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Final Regulatory Determination for Perchlorate in Drinking Water

EPA has decided to regulate perchlorate under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The science that has lead to this decision has been peer reviewed by independent scientists and public health experts including the National Academy of Sciences. This decision reverses a 2008 preliminary determination, and considers input from almost 39,000 public commenters on multiple public notices (May 2007, October 2008, and August 2009) related to perchlorate. This action notifies interested parties of EPA’s decision to regulate perchlorate, but does not in itself impose any requirements on public water systems (PWSs). However, this action initiates a process to develop and establish a national primary drinking water regulation (NPDWR). Once the NPDWR is finalized, certain PWSs will be required to take action to comply with the regulation in accordance with the schedule specified in the regulation.

http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/unregulated/perchlorate.cfm

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EPA is replacing the existing preliminary remediation goal of 24.5 ppb with the interim health advisory value of 15 ppb. This goal will be used as a consideration when establishing cleanup levels for perchlorate at Superfund sites.

http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d985312f6895893b852574ac005f1e40/467d05245cbb049d8525753800644b1e!OpenDocument

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I also just found something really nifty – (which is – well, I’m just putting it here) – it has potential –

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thaumasite

Thaumasite is a silicate mineral with chemical formula Ca3Si(OH)6(CO3)(SO4)·12H2O. It occurs as colorless to white prismatic hexagonal crystals, typically as acicular radiating groups. It also occurs as fibrous masses. Its Mohs hardness is 3.5 and it has a specific gravity of 1.88 to 1.90. Optically it is uniaxial negative with indices of refraction of nω = 1.507 and nε = 1.468.

 

Group of thaumasite prisms from the Kuruman, Kalahari manganese fields, Northern Cape Province, South Africa (size: 4.2 x 3.1 x 1.2 cm)

It occurs as a hydrothermal alteration mineral in sulfide ore deposits and geothermal alteration of basalt and tuff. It occurs with zeolites, apophyllite, analcime, calcite, gypsum and pyrite.[1]

Thaumasite can also be formed along with other calcium-silicate hydrates (CSH) during cement alteration, especially when sulfate attack develops.

It was first described in 1878 in Sweden and named from the Greek, “thaumazein”, to be surprised, in reference to its unusual composition with carbonate, sulfate and hydroxysilicate anions.[3]

Another quite surprising feature of thaumasite is the presence of non-tetrahedral silicon in its crystal lattice.[4][5][citation needed] Indeed, an atypic octahedral configuration is observed for Si present in thaumasite in the form of hexahydroxysilicate: [Si(OH)6]2−, a species exhibiting a geometry similar to that of the hexafluorosilicate [SiF6]2−.

Isn’t that the best?


Thaumasite (white) with prehnite (green) from Fairfax Quarry, Virginia

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Very interesting . . .

– cricketdiane

***

Here is more about the hydrofracking waste water discussions –

Senator Wants More Inspections Of Pa. Natural Gas Drilling Operations


5 hours ago

The contaminants still remaining, including radioactive materials, could find their way into drinking water and aquatic species that may be used for food. …

WGAL Lancaster36 related articles

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Investigation Finds Radiation in Texas Drinking Water

TCEQ was lowballing radiation levels

Published on: Thursday, November 11, 2010

It’s important to note that the radiation levels in the drinking water are extremely low, on the order of parts per trillion. However, as KHOU reports, the tendency among environmental health experts and the EPA, is to regard any level as potentially dangerous to human health.

He said drinking water with any amount of alpha particles, even when consumed in amounts below federal legal limits, raises your risk to develop health problems or, in rare cases, cancer. Examples of alpha particles found in the Gulf Coast region are those from uranium, radium and other minerals.

Ozonoff describes alpha particles as a type of radiation that would not typically harm you unless inhaled or ingested.  He warns, once you take it inside your body, your health risks immediately begin to rise.

“It can’t penetrate very far, but when it hits something it does a ferocious amount of damage,” he said. “If I were to drink it, then many parts of your body are within knife-wielding distance of an alpha particle.”

Part II aired last night and it reveals what appears to be scientific malpractice on the part of Texas Commission on Environmental Quality scientists. One expert in the KHOU story called it a “cover-up.”

For more than 20 years, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality under-reported the amount of radiation found in drinking water provided by communities all across Texas. As a result, health risks to people consuming the water have been underestimated in many water systems where radioactive contaminants are present.

Here’s what happened in a nutshell, according to KHOU: An independent lab would test the water for radioactive contaminants and submit the data, as is standard, with a margin of error built-in. Rather than report the full results to the EPA, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality would always pick the lower end of the margin of error in an apparent attempt to keep water utilities from exceeding federal radiation limits.

And it gets worse. In 2000, the EPA explicitly told TCEQ to stop playing games with the margin of error. But for nine more years, TCEQ continued the practice, until a 2009 EPA audit finally put a stop to it. Is this what Rick Perry means when he talks about standing up to the feds?

http://www.texasobserver.org/forrestforthetrees/investigation-finds-radiation-in-texas-drinking-water

***

And here is the game for the minds of people being conducted by the oil and natural gas industry through media sources –

Gasland : True or False?

3 hours ago 

We examine three of the film’s claims: Claim 1: Fracking is polluting underground sources of drinking water. The film highlights the risk but overstates it
BusinessWeek36 related articles
***
And here is more information that pertains to why this is critical to be fixed right now – (and has been known to need a solution for far too long to not be solved already) –

Certain rock types naturally contain radioactive elements referred to as NORM (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials). When a source of drinking water comes in contact with NORM-bearing rocks, radionuclides may accumulate in the water to levels of concern. The predominant radionuclides found in water include:

As water is treated to remove impurities, radionuclides may collect and eventually build up in filters, tanks, and pipes at treatment plants. The small amounts of NORM present in the source water may concentrate in sediment or sludges. Because the NORM is concentrated due to human activity, it is classified as TENORM (Technologically Enhanced Radioactive Material). Most of this waste is disposed in landfills and lagoons, or is applied to agricultural fields.

On down the page, it says –

Land Spreading/Soil Conditioning

About 20 percent of sludge is disposed of by land application to improve soil conditions or to fertilize the soil. The sludge is plowed directly into the soil to limit water runoff and for sanitary reasons. Recently proposed rules may prohibit this practice on agriculture land.

Deep-Well Injection

Deep-well injection involves the pumping of sludge into a stable geologic formation. Deep-well injection is not commonly used and is specifically prohibited in the states of Wisconsin and Illinois. Because of its potential adverse impact on groundwater aquifers, EPA uses its authority under the Safe Drinking Water Act to control and also discourage this practice.

Landfills

Approximately 30 percent of generated sludge is disposed of in landfills. Contaminated materials are typically covered and compacted on a daily basis. Features such as clay layers are emplaced above and below the buried waste to prevent radon emissions and radionuclides from leaching into the groundwater.

Lagoons

Approximately 42 percent of sludge is disposed of in lagoons. Any radium present in the sludge will settle in bottom sediments which may have to be periodically dredged and properly disposed of.

Ion-Exchange and Activated Charcoal

Ion-exchange resins are used on smaller water supply systems to soften water by replacing Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions with Na+ ions. In the process, about 95 percent of the radium is also removed . However, the resins are usually back washed for reuse rather than being disposed. The backwash water, which contains radium, is typically discharged to storm sewers, underground injection wells or septic tanks, or is back washed to another ion-exchange column for the selective removal of radium. Radionuclide content eventually builds up in the resin after prolonged usage.

http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/tenorm/drinking-water.html(it has a lot more information – But, my note is that the quantity of wastewater and its radioactive contents from the hydrofracking process in over 71,000 natural gas wells in Pennsylvania alone are massively greater quantities than any system could clean or decontaminate.)

***

Scientists want to help regulators decide safety of chemicals

Groups representing 40,000 researchers and clinicians are urging federal agencies responsible for the safety of chemicals to examine the subtle impact a chemical might have on the human body rather than simply ask whether it is toxic.

A well-known example would be bisphenol A, a chemical widely used in plastic goods for decades, Hunt said. The chemical can leach from products into food and drink, and federal health officials say it is found in the urine of more than 90 percent of Americans.

The government has long said that BPA is safe, based on studies that show levels of BPA used in commercial products are not toxic – meaning they would not kill – humans.

But a growing body of research by endocrinologists, molecular biologists, reproductive specialists and others over the past 15 years has shown that low levels of BPA can cause changes in activity at the cellular level that cause health effects over time in laboratory animals. (etc.)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/03/AR2011030303864.html

Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 3, 2011; 3:57 PM

***

My Note –

In the 1960’s and 1970’s efforts were made to start fixing these things and for over 42 years they have not been fixed. Only a very small percentage of the persistent pollution has been tackled. In fact, with the amount of money that industries and businesses have spent on attorneys, public relations firms, lobbyists, lobbyists on top of lobbyists, US Chamber of Commerce and other business lobbyists, PACs, special interest groups to persuade the public through the media, fighting regulations in every single state and across the world, and fighting legislation and regulations in the Federal government, fighting the EPA, putting off making changes, changing their operations to other countries in some cases where they could continue polluting – and buying Republican Party candidates to serve their interests – they could’ve just put the damn filters on the smokestacks and rendered the wastewater into a neutralized safe contaminant free resource and made the same profits or even greater at the same time.

But no.

Oh yeah – and the amount of money they’ve spent on decrying scientific studies, hindering them, legislating against them, legislating against their findings, lobbying and applying political pressure against those findings, undermining the credibility of those findings, etc., ad nauseum – they could’ve afforded to have designed systems that would never have polluted in the first place. That is some ridiculous sums of money that have spent over the last forty years and certainly been spent across multiple industries, through a multitude of corporations and industry / trade associations, through business associations, and think tanks and public relations consultants, and political donations and on and on and on – they could’ve just solved the damn problems for less than a quarter of one tenth of one percent of what they’ve spent fighting against doing anything about it.

And, worst of all –

The families of these business leaders have been just as subjected to these pollutants as the rest of us whether they know it or not. And, some of those decision-makers who refused to be told what to do with their business and refused to stop doing their business in ways that polluted everybody and everything – are dead now as a direct result of the pollutants they unleashed on America. Why don’t they know that?

It is just stupid.

– cricketdiane

***

Do they really think that it can’t get them if they are rich enough to go skiing in the Alps and go vacation in the beautiful coasts of the world and live in their elegant protected homes? What planet is their food coming from? What air do they think they are breathing?

Oh wait, the Republicans up there in Washington that are gutting the budgets to the EPA and serving the business interests that paid for their campaigns don’t believe that mankind has had any negative effects on nature. And, they don’t believe that water with radioactive contaminants in it which were dumped upstream nearly on top of where the drinking water is taken could even remotely have anything to do with them or their families. Yeah – right. And if they don’t believe it will hurt anything then it won’t.

That’s what they’ve been doing for the entire course of my adult lifetime and now I can honestly say, that my childhood was subjected to it, my children’s lifetimes have been subjected to it and my grandchildren’s lives have been subjected to it. My cousins, grandparents and parents have been subjected to it and every single person that I have ever known. Some have died horribly from cancers although they never smoked a day in their lives. It wasn’t smoking that killed them nor caused the cancers they’ve endured. But, there is a very good chance that the horrendous chemicals consistently poured into the environment in every single state, every rural area, every suburb, every city and every water source for every moment of every day over the last fifty years and more – could very well have caused those cancers, nightmarish suffering and deaths prematurely.

Damn.

***

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Venezuela says Gaddafi accepts Chavez plan: report | Top News | Reuters

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However, news network Al Jazeera said in a broadcast that during the call Gaddafi had accepted the plan, which would involve a commission from Latin America, Europe and the Middle East trying to reach a negotiated outcome between the Libyan leader and rebel forces. (etc.)

via Venezuela says Gaddafi accepts Chavez plan: report | Top News | Reuters.

comment on – Arab League calls on Libya to halt violence

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Arab League calls on Libya to halt violence

(Xinhua)

On Feb. 22, the AL suspended Libya’s participation in the future meeting of (the Arab League) AL and its affiliated bodies after the bloody clashes swept the country since Feb. 16, until Libya authorities respond to people’s demands.

The Arab League (AL) on Wednesday called for an end to violence in Libya and considered further steps which included the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya.

A resolution issued after the meeting said the AL cannot stand aside while the Libyan people suffer bloodshed.

(etc._)

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/03/c_13758280.htm

English.news.cn 2011-03-03 06:48:33

***

This is amazing, maybe it will explain it to the Qaddafi regime in terms he and his sons can understand.

It is certainly good to hear that the members of the Arab League don’t want people being killed by this illegitimate dictator and murderer of the Libyan people.

– cricketdiane

***

A Warren Buffett thing on cnbc at 8.27 in the morning is just not right

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8.27 am Warren Buffett on cnbc is talking with reporters above a banner that screams “Breaking News” – that was this morning –

And, I’m not even half awake but I know something about this – he is demanding that we make those $61 billion in cuts now because the stimulus needs to be drawn back – drawn down now – he is saying to the cnbc anchors.

I appreciate his position – I really do, but wasn’t the stimulus only passed two years ago? Wasn’t it supposed to be effective 2010 – and some programs to come online in 2011? Wasn’t he the one who said we had to bail out the banks to the tune of $700 Billion and the AIG bunch for $185 Billion or whatever it ended up being – and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and wasn’t he the one who put money into Goldman Sachs to keep them from going under?

What year was that?

What year is it now?

How far into 2011 have we come now? Is it me, or isn’t this like March 2 – not July, not November but March 2, 2011 – and the stimulus was passed when? and when did it actually go into effect at the point it was finally passed into law and made available?

Wasn’t it the summer of 2008 with President Bush in office when the gas prices skyrocketed putting huge numbers of independent operators and trucking businesses and small shipping companies out of business?

Wasn’t it 2009 when the stimulus bill was actually put into action?

And, what is it now – March 2, 2011?

So why is Warren Buffett sounding off like a parrot of the Republican Party budget cutting hatchet group sitting on cnbc this morning insisting that these $61 billion in cuts must be made – which target every program to help American families to get on their feet through this financial debacle that they did not create?

Why is that?

Whose money is it Warren?

How many homes were foreclosed and communities shuttered across America? Which I still say is the damndest thing considering – the banks and financial companies who made the loans on those properties didn’t even own the loans any longer because they were paid when the loans were sold.

And, then the insurance paid off the loans to protect the interests of the lenders.

And, then the US government Treasury Department bought the loans back from the investors using our money.

And, then the banks foreclosed on the loans which they didn’t even own anymore and they were given the strong arm of our public resources to do it, even though they had actually already been paid twice on the full amount of the loan, both when they sold it and when the insurance paid it off.

Wasn’t that about what happened?

And, at the cost of the entire fabric of our communities and our little towns and our big cities and our suburban housing and business centers – which were absolutely decimated, isn’t that what happened?

Wasn’t that in 2008, 2009, 2011 and still going on today?

But, the programs that might help homeowners weren’t put into place until about this time in 2009 – two years ago?

Isn’t that right?

And, how many companies were bankrupted in America during the midst of all this? How many jobs lost – over 7 million in less than two years?

Isn’t that about right?

And, isn’t it about right that 8.30 in the morning is about the most stupid time to be telling people something that isn’t even half true.

Damn the crap you said Mr. Buffett, and damn the horse that brung you.

– cricketdiane

***

Wasn’t this the same Warren Buffett running around for the last three days saying he’s itching to buy something? Wasn’t he the one who said something about an elephant gun being loaded and ready to go?

And, here I thought he was talking about making some big deal happen of some great business magnitude – and he intended to blow a hole in America with his elephant gun scenario –

Well, maybe that’s not fair. Maybe he was shopping and came upon a big group of Republicans having breakfast and just stopped to talk to see if he could get some juicy gossip about something to buy – and they brainwashed him into thinking it is 2015 and gave him the same budget deficit crap – gotta make these $61 billion in cuts right this minute crap that they’ve been repeating everywhere at every opportunity and filled his head for two hours with it –

(and then he walked over to the cnbc on-air interview.)

Okay – maybe that is more fair.

***

What if – we just plainly agree on something.

It is March 2, 2011.

Can we agree on that?

***

Warren Buffett appeared live on CNBC’s Squawk Box this morning, March 2, 2011. (at 8.27 this morning.)

http://www.cnbc.com/id/41865528

Apparently this is the first half of his comments – more generally addressing the housing market and his businesses and bonds, etc. It doesn’t have the comments that I was fortunate enough to turn on the tele and discover on first waking up this morning – about the $61 billion in cuts. But, I’m sure that transcript will be online directly in just a little while.

Okay, so what did I know about this before getting pissed off hearing the cnbc broadcasting Mr. Buffet’s opinions?

What is Plan B if China dumps its U.S. debt?

Montreal Gazette – Emily Flitter – ‎4 hours ago‎

When borrowing money, it’s always good to have a Plan B in case a big creditor pulls the plug. That should be true whether the sum is a few thousand dollars or about a trillion, the size of the United

US owes China a third more than thought

Vancouver Sun – David Lawder – ‎5 hours ago‎
The US government owes nearly a third more money to China than previously thought, the Treasury Department said on Monday as it revised Beijing’s December holdings of US Treasury debt sharply higher to US$1.160  

China seen as risk as holdings surpass $1 trillion

Reuters – Karen Brettell – ‎16 hours ago‎
NEW YORK (Reuters) – China may have more potential than ever to influence US debt prices after data showed the country owns more than a $1 trillion in Treasuries, almost a third more than previously thought.

China’s Bigger Appetite For US Debt A Boon For Treasurys, Dollar

Wall Street Journal – Bradley Davis – ‎17 hours ago‎
NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–China is not, after all, dumping US debt, according to revised Treasury figures released late Monday, allaying some fears the US’s biggest creditor is souring on Uncle Sam.

China’s Treasury holdings ‘underestimated’

Financial Times – Michael Mackenzie – ‎18 hours ago‎
China’s holdings of US government bonds are even higher than this week’s dramatic upward revision by the Treasury Department, say strategists. On Monday, the Treasury released its annual revision of US Treasury  

China Owns a Lot More US Debt Than Previously Thought

Wall Street Journal (blog) – ‎Feb 28, 2011‎
A major upward revision of the US Treasury Department’s assessment of China’s holdings of US securities last year shows the US is far more indebted to the emerging power than originally thought. Treasury’s preliminary report of foreign holdings of

Latest Figures on US Government Debt

Campaign for Liberty (blog) – Tim Shoemaker – ‎15 hours ago‎
NPR has the latest numbers up from the Treasury Department’s latest data; overall, the amount of debt held by foreign nations is $4.4 trillion. Broken down, China holds around $1.2 trillion followed by Japan, holding nearly $900 billion,  

UpTIC in China’s treasury holdings? Sort of

FT Alphaville (blog) – Cardiff Garcia – ‎21 hours ago‎
The US treasury department has published the preliminary results of its annual revisions to foreign holdings of US securities. The US treasury department publishes monthly estimates of these numbers based on interviews with US financial institutions.

China’s holdings of US debt revised up to 1.16 trillion dollars

Xinhua – Mu Xuequan – ‎Feb 28, 2011‎
WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — China’s holdings of long-term US Treasury securities totaled 1.16 trillion US dollars at the end of December 2010, according to an annual revision report released by the US Treasury Department on Monday.

China holds $1.16 trillion of US debt

People’s Daily Online – ‎13 hours ago‎
China, the largest creditor of the United States, increased its holdings of US debt to a record $1.175 trillion in October, according to revised data issued by the Treasury. The Asian nation’s investment totaled $1.16 trillion at year-end, the Treasury

***

My Note –
And, there are at least a thousand more like that which have been cluttering the news for the past three days – well, actually I live at night, so three days ago starting in the middle of the night when the whistles started blowing –
– cricketdiane

***

And, what else do I know about this?

That this was Mr. Buffett on cnbc March 1, 2011 – yesterday –

Warren Buffett tells CNBC that when it comes to possible acquisitions, there aren’t many “elephants” out there and not all of them want to be in the Berkshire Hathaway “zoo.”That’s a reference to his letter to shareholders over the weekend, in which he said his “elephant gun” has been reloaded and he has an “itchy trigger finger” for a major acquisition.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/41855451

Published: Tuesday, 1 Mar 2011 | 4:46 PM ET
***

Well, Mr. Buffett – may I suggest that I know where a huge tender of US Treasuries are sitting right now – You could buy them from China and Japan – then you would own America instead of them . . . .

I’m sure they would give you a deal on them.

Oh wait, that’s right – he won’t buy something like that. He likes things of the InBev / Anheuser-Busch variety where he can run around the world fixing it up to happen. The almighty power of the deal with the schmoozing and figuring and meeting and persuading and talking and getting on the tele about it and signing off on the papers after robbing everybody blind. Ah – no wait, that’s not fair either. He didn’t rob those people blind – they weren’t blind when he was done.

– cricketdiane

***

Do I have contempt for shenanigans – Yes.

I hear the New York Stock Exchange is up for sale – but it probably suits everybody if European and international companies hold that mess.

NYSE Euronext, Tokyo Exchange in Talks to Link Trade Systems

Bloomberg – Jonathan Burgos, Takako Iwatani – ‎2 hours ago‎
NYSE Euronext, owner of the New York Stock Exchange, is the target of $9.5 billion takeover announced by Deutsche Boerse AG last month. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg Feb.

The big deal about the NYSE’s big deal: Derivatives

Fortune (blog) – Cyrus Sanati – ‎10 minutes ago‎

But the business of trading has changed dramatically since the NYSE’s heyday. In fact, the NYSEDeutsche Börse deal has less to do with equity trading than it does with other parts of the business the exchanges need to maintain a competitive advantage:

Thiel Sees Pressure for Exchange Tie-Ups Wall Street Journal

CME To Stay Focused On OTC Emii.com
all 2 news articles »
CMESAND

D.BoerseNYSE not seen U.S. security risk

Reuters – Rachelle Younglai, Sarah N. Lynch – ‎Feb 28, 2011‎

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A senior US Treasury official said he did not see any national security concerns with Deutsche Boerse’s (DB1Gn.DE) planned takeover of NYSE Euronext (NYX.N). “I don’t have any national

Washington Extra – Summit day Reuters Blogs (blog)
all 17 news articles »

NDAQLON:LSENYX

Analysis: NYSEDeutsche Dutch move highlights tax incentives

Reuters – Kim Dixon, Dena Aubin – ‎Feb 21, 2011‎

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext’s move to set up a Dutch holding company, despite few links to the Netherlands, highlight Holland’s attractive tax laws in the starkly variable international

NYSEDeutsche Boerse Merger: Any Impact on Equinix’s Financial Ecosystem? Seeking Alpha

NYSE Chief Surmounts Leak That Thwarted Earlier Merger Attempt Bloomberg

NYSE, Deutsche Set $339M Break-Up Fee Emii.com

CNNMoney
all 258 news articles »
ETR:DB1NYXLYB

Nasdaq Looking for a Partner

Wall Street Journal – Aaron Lucchetti, Gina Chon – ‎Feb 25, 2011‎

Tower of issues: Nasdaq has been wrestling with how to respond to the proposed NYSE Euronext-Deutsche Börse tie-up. Nasdaq has been wrestling with what to do in response to this month’s agreement by NYSE Euronext to be acquired by Deutsche Börse AG in

NYSE Arbitragers See Higher Bid Amid Record Options Bloomberg

Regulator says “to defend” Frankfurt in NYSE deal Reuters

Exchange Mergers: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda Forbes (blog)

FierceFinance
all 261 news articles »
FORNDAQNYX\

***

Here is an interesting look at things (in the “business” world) –

from 2005

Posted 1/10/2005 9:31 PM     Updated 1/10/2005 11:52 PM
Tax breaks let firms repatriate profit
By Elliot Blair Smith, USA TODAY

With about $420 billion in profit stockpiled offshore, U.S. companies are expected to bring a big chunk of that home this year under a temporary tax break contained in the American Jobs Creation Act.
To date, only a handful of blue-chip companies — Boston Scientific, Duke Energy and 3M — have pledged to return just $2.3 billion, according to recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Even so, a recent Morgan Stanley survey found none of the firm’s analysts believe that repatriated profit will be invested in hiring. Rather, 39% of them expect the windfall to be spent on stock buybacks and dividends. They also expect management to use some of the money to shore up depleted pension funds.

At Bristol-Myers alone, the difference between the standard corporate tax rate of 35% and the one-year discounted rate of 5.25% tallies a potential $2.7 billion tax savings. (etc.)

http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/2005-01-10-jobs-act_x.htm

***

(Lot’s of interesting information there. And, considering what it was supposed to do – we shouldn’t have lost over 7 million jobs in two years at all – but wait, what really happened?)

That was my note –

And here is a story about it from 2010 –

Dodging Repatriation Tax Lets U.S. Companies Bring Home Cash

By Jesse Drucker – Dec 29, 2010 5:01 AM GMT

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-29/dodging-repatriation-tax-lets-u-s-companies-bring-home-cash.html

At the White House on Dec. 15, business executives asked President Obama for a tax holiday that would help them tap more than $1 trillion of offshore earnings, much of it sitting in island tax havens.

‘Trivially Small Taxes’

“Sophisticated U.S. companies are routinely repatriating hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign earnings and paying trivially small U.S. taxes on those repatriations,” said Edward D. Kleinbard, a law professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. “They devote enormous resources first to moving income to tax havens, and then to bringing those profits back to the U.S. at the lowest possible tax cost.”

It says also –

U.S. companies overall use various repatriation strategies to avoid about $25 billion a year in federal income taxes, he said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-29/dodging-repatriation-tax-lets-u-s-companies-bring-home-cash.html

***
Let me repeat that part –
It is a vast underestimate –

U.S. companies overall use various repatriation strategies to avoid about $25 billion a year in federal income taxes, he said.
(from the article above)

(***

 


Budget priorities askew – using this much money along with all the PACs money – we could’ve powered the entire world with fusion power, solar power, electricity, hydro-electric power and hydrogen cell powered or electric powered vehicles

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US Economic and Military Assistance to the World - from the GreenBook US Overseas Loans and GrantsUS Economic and Military Assistance to the World – from the GreenBook US Overseas Loans and Grants

(from)

http://gbk.eads.usaidallnet.gov/

As the chart above shows – over $50 billion dollars going to military and non-military aid, may or may not be completely inclusive of all grants, all loans – the money we send to multilateral development banks and grants outside the 150 Account that covers most USAID funding.

The wikipedia entry about US foreign military aid also includes this note –

United States Congress created the Economic Support Fund (ESF) to promote economic and political stability in strategic regions where the United States has special interests. The funds are provided on a grant basis and are available for a variety of economic purposes, like infrastructure and development projects. Although not intended for military expenditure, these grants allow the recipient government to free up its own money for military programs.[5]

Indirect military aid also amounts to a significant source of aid. Some countries receive International Military Education and Training grants to pay for training on U.S. weapons systems, and military management in general.

(and)

* Military aid is given predominantly to Middle Eastern countries, particularly Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Saudi-Arabia neither of which is a developing country.

* Corruption is a major problem – funds often go directly to leaders who may not share the aid with citizens.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_aid

***

* In 2004, the Bush Administration created the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) as a new foreign aid agency to provide financial assistance to a limited number of countries selected for good performance in socioeconomic development.[13] The MCC also finances some USAID-administered development assistance projects.To support U.S. geopolitical interests, USAID is often called upon to administer exceptional financial grants to allies. Also, when U.S. troops are in the field, USAID can supplement the “Civil Affairs” programs that the U.S. military conducts to win the friendship of local populations and thus to undermine insurgent support. In these circumstances, USAID may be directed by specially appointed diplomatic officials of the State Department, as in Afghanistan and Pakistan at present. USAID can also be called upon to support projects of U.S. constituents that have exceptional interest.

Financial assistance supplies cash to developing country organizations to supplement their budgets. USAID also provides financial assistance to local and international NGOs who in turn give technical assistance in developing countries.

In recent years, the USG has increased its emphasis on financial assistance in place of technical assistance. In 2004, the Bush Administration created the Millennium Challenge Corporation as a new foreign aid agency that is mainly restricted to providing financial assistance. In 2009, the Obama Administration initiated a major realignment of USAID’s own programs to emphasize financial assistance, referring to it as “government-to-government” or “G2G” assistance.

The U.S. Government’s 150 Account funds the budgets of all International Affairs programs and operations for civilian agencies, including USAID.

In FY 2009, the Bush Administration’s request for the International Affairs Budget for the Department of State, USAID, and other foreign affairs agencies totaled approximately $39.5 billion, including $26.1 billion for Foreign Operations and Related Agencies, $11.2 billion for Department of State, and $2.2 billion for Other International Affairs.

(from)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USAID

***

The National Endowment for Democracy, or NED, is a U.S. non-profit organization that was founded in 1983 to promote US-friendly democracy by providing cash grants funded primarily through an annual allocation from the U.S. Congress.[1] Although administered as a private organization, its funding comes almost entirely from a governmental appropriation by Congress and it was created by an act of Congress.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Endowment_for_Democracy

**

In 2001 Freedom House had income of around $11m, increasing to over $26m in 2006.[14] Much of the increase was due to an increase between 2004 and 2005 in US government federal funding, from $12m to $20m.[14]

On June 25, 2005, freelance journalist F. William Engdahl asserted on the GlobalResearch.ca website that Freedom House was “created in the late 1940’s to back the creation of NATO” and criticized the group for being headed by former CIA director James Woolsey at the time of his article’s publication.[13]

The board is currently chaired by William H. Taft IV. Taft assumed chairmanship of the board in January 2009, replacing previous chair Peter Ackerman. Other current notable board members include Kenneth Adelman, Farooq Kathwari, Azar Nafisi, Mark Palmer, P. J. O’Rourke, and Lawrence Lessig,[15] while past notable board members have included Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Samuel Huntington, Mara Liasson, Otto Reich, Donald Rumsfeld, Whitney North Seymour, Paul Wolfowitz, Steve Forbes, and Bayard Rustin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_House

***

McCain, however, said the U.S. remained concerned about Libya’s record on human rights and political reform.

“As we move ahead with the many ways in which the United States and Libya can work together as partners, there remain areas where real work needs to be done,” McCain said. “The status of human rights and political reform in Libya will remain a chief element of concern.”

The U.S. State Department’s 2008 human rights report on Libya says problems include reported disappearances, torture, arbitrary arrests and the detention of political prisoners. The report also cites a lack of civil liberties, restrictions on freedom of religion and discrimination against women and ethnic minorities.

Still, McCain said, “ties between the United States and Libya have taken a remarkable and positive turn in recent years.” The American delegation also included Sens.Joseph Lieberman, Susan Collins and Lindsay Graham, (and John McCain.)

via U.S. senators discuss military equipment for Libya – USATODAY.com

***

Cretz wrote that Layas “said that the LIA has an office in London and preferred doing business there rather than in the United States, due to the ‘ease of doing business’ in the UK and relatively ‘uncomplicated tax system.’ He noted that the LIA’s primary investments are in London, in banking and residential and commercial real estate.”

The LIA’s best-publicized investment was in a Canadian oil company, Verenex. Libya paid $316 million for the company in 2009.

“Layas asserted that the LIA has USD 32 billion in liquidity, and noted that several American banks are each managing USD 300-500 million of the LIA’s funds,” according to the cable.

Layas said the LIA has extensive investments in the United Kingdom.

Mohamed Layas, the head of the LIA, Libya’s sovereign wealth fund. Sovereign wealth funds are the vehicles used by Middle East and other governments to invest oil wealth. The LIA, according to U.S. intelligence, is controlled by Gadhafi’s regime.

(from)

http://openchannel.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/02/23/6115987-gadhafi-controls-32-billion-turned-down-madoff-diplomat-wrote

New Libyan constitution retains Gaddafi as ‘big father’

Metro – ‎37 minutes ago‎
Defiant Muammar Gaddafi’s son has been drawing up a new constitution for crisis torn Libya. Saadi Gaddafi said the new legislation being drawn up by his brother Saif would allow his father to stay on as the ‘big father’ to advise any new regime in
***

From BBC report about the Qaddafi wealth – included in a timeline of the events –

1933 The BBC’s Mark Gregory has been looking into the Gaddafi regime’s wealth: “Libyan cash abroad is held by an organisation called the Libyan Investment Authority – a fund set up about five years ago to manage the country’s oil wealth. It’s believed to have around $70bn of assets, including – bizarrely – a stake in the company that owns the British business publication the Financial Times. The fund’s investments are thought to focus mainly on Italy, where they include a shareholding in a major bank and in Juventus football team.”

(from)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/9405325.stm

***

Though the Qaddafi children are described as jockeying for position as their father ages — three sons fought to profit from a new Coca-Cola franchise — they have been well taken care of, cables say. “All of the Qaddafi children and favorites are supposed to have income streams from the National Oil Company and oil service subsidiaries,” one cable from 2006 says.

(etc.)

Andrew W. Lehren contributed reporting from New York.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/world/africa/23cables.html

My Note –

It isn’t Moammar Quaddafi – It is his sons that are running these horrific brutalities currently being suffered by the people of Libya as they are the ones in the specific positions of power where the decisions are being made. The sons are “international” playboy big spenders and desire that practical participation in a larger economic world which would provide the necessary leverage to get them to change their minds about what they are doing to Libya’s people if they thought there would be no international friends for them after this. And, once they understand they will be held accountable in the International Criminal Courts for crimes against humanity, corruption, enforcing bribery from the world’s corporations, perpetrating cruelties and barbarianism against their citizens over many, many years, committing fraud in the world’s United Nations council rooms by saying their were attending to the needs and human rights of their people when they weren’t, among other things.

There was a report earlier today on CNN by someone who had been in Libya which said they are now going house to house killing people (the security forces, in Libya) – it was a very brief note and likely true. There was also a note on the news about the Libyan forces taking people’s cellphones and SIM cards to confiscate any evidence of video they might contain which could prove the human rights abuses that are occurring. If they are smart enough to figure out that could be a problem, then they are smart enough to understand when the international communities of business leaders, rich partiers and national leaders say, “no.” These sons of Qaddafi can certainly understand that their decisions as heads of the security, secret police, paramilitary forces and others will be held as the accountable ones for international courts to pursue. They are educated. They know what that means. – No Coca-Cola franchises and no oil money as theirs to spend . . .

– cricketdiane

***

How The Mubarak Family Made Its Billions

First Posted: 02/11/11 09:16 AM Updated: 02/14/11 07:36 AM

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/11/how-the-mubarak-family-made-its-billions_n_821757.html

***

Hosni Mubarak used the 18 days it took for protesters to topple him to shift his vast wealth into untraceable accounts overseas, Western intelligence sources have said.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/8320912/Egypt-Hosni-Mubarak-used-last-18-days-in-power-to-secure-his-fortune.html

***

February 19, 2011, 1:53 am

House rejects massive budget cuts for Pentagon

By Josiah Ryan

A proposal to roll back Department of Defense spending to 2008 levels, offered in an amendment to Republicans’ 2011 budget by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) failed in a bipartisan vote of 76-334 early Saturday morning.

***

About Morton Blackwell – director of the American Conservative Union and force behind the Jerry Falwell Moral Majority – still running things behind the scenes – (my note)

“Morton Blackwell works with Plinio de Correa de Olivier’s Tradition, Family & Property and endorsed Olivier’s book, Nobility & Analagous Traditional Elites, on the necessity of restoring traditional Nobility & Elites to rule the world.

In the Forward Blackwell wrote: ‘One does not have to accept Papal infallibility to appreciate a case persuasively made, using theological, moral, and prudential arguments. This book will convince many readers, whatever their faith, that good elites are legitimate, desirable and, yes, necessary.’

The Secret Story of a Cult Apologist features a picture of Paul Weyrich and Morton Blackwell with the American head of TFP, which is the parent organization of CESNUR, the cult apology network for cults such as Scientology.”

“With Paul M. Weyrich and Richard Viguerie, Blackwell met with Jerry Falwell to found the Moral Majority.

Morton C. Blackwell has served (circa 2000) as Treasurer of the Free Congress Foundation.

According to one biographical sketch of Blackwell,

Blackwell is “Executive director, Council for National Policy; founder and president, the Morton Blackwell Leadership Institute, a foundation which trains young people for youth leadership; founder and chairman, Conservative Leadership PAC; Republican National Committeeman from Virginia; treasurer, Reagan Mumni Association; youngest delegate to Barry Goldwater RNC in 1964; alternative delegate for Reagan in 1968 and 1976 and a delegate in 1980; former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan on the White House staff; former staff member, Senate Republican Policy Committee; serves on the Republican National Convention‘s Standing Committee on Rules; former policy director, U.S. Senator Gordon J. Humphrey; overseer, 1980 Youth for Reagan effort; former editor, The NewRight Report; former contributing editor, Conservative Digest. Formerly with The Viguerie Company. Spouse: Helen R. Blackwell, Virginia state chairman, Eagle Forum; chairman, Voting Integrity Project; former member, State Central Committee, Republican Party of Virginia.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Morton_Blackwell

***

And from Rolling Stone Today – in an article entitled –

Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?

Nobody goes to jail. This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era, one that saw virtually every major bank and financial company on Wall Street embroiled in obscene criminal scandals that impoverished millions and collectively destroyed hundreds of billions, in fact, trillions of dollars of the world’s wealth — and nobody went to jail. Nobody, that is, except Bernie Madoff, a flamboyant and pathological celebrity con artist, whose victims happened to be other rich and famous people.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/why-isnt-wall-street-in-jail-20110216

***

My Note –

These conservatives that have run this nation for the last thirty years, and the Republicans backed by them were financed by Wall Street and other big mega-too-big-to-fail businesses and banks, oil companies, investment firms and pharmaceuticals companies, chemical companies, and foreign interests.

And nothing, absolutely nothing can be done by any American citizen nor group of citizens about it. The Republicans and conservatives and Tea Party conservatives have all the money, their political action committees have all the money, their pundits have all the power and money, their will is law, their pockets are literally stuffed with money while we pay for them to feed at the trough of overflowing trillions of dollars they are using every day. There is nothing that can be done about it.

Wall Street firms meet with our state Treasurers and tell them how to “invest” our treasury funds and every time a “trade” is made – they make a fee from our state tax moneys that exceeds the amount it would take to provide all the school lunches for one school for an entire year. It is our money they are using that way. But nobody and I do mean, nobody can stop them.

And, now they want more – look what the House conservative Republicans did to cut programs for Americans and increased funding to foreign governments, to the Pentagon, to the federal judges, to themselves, to the increased subsidies to industries and businesses that paid to put them into office through financial donations, campaign financing, and PACs.

– cricketdiane

(etc.)

https://cricketdiane.wordpress.com/2011/02/19/republicans-and-conservatives-backed-by-tea-party-money-and-support-are-increasing-funds-to-wall-street-and-the-oil-companies-but-gutting-border-security-and-programs-for-education/

***

Big Oil Ambassadors:

Since 2007, the Big Oil Ambassadors on the ANWR trip have been handsomely rewarded for their loyalty to President Bush’s Big Oil agenda receiving over $250,000 from the Oil and Gas Industry.  [opensecrets.org, accessed 7/17/08]:

John Boehner (OH-08) $35,000
Michele Bachmann (MN-06) $13,500
Gus Bilirakis (FL-09) $17,100
Mary Fallin (OK-05) $78,950
Dean Heller (NV-02) $15,000
Jim Jordan (OH-04) $11,000
Bob Latta (OH-05) $27,250
Doug Lamborn (CO-05) $24,000
Kevin McCarthy (CA-22) $16,000
Steve Scalise (LA-01) $10,800
Adrian Smith (NE-03) $4,250
Total $252,850

(from)

http://dccc.org/newsroom/entry/white_house_funds_big_oil_ambassadors_junket_to_anwr/

***

So, on board a jet at taxpayers’ expense, eating foods payed for by taxpayers’ money, drinking wine and liquor from the finest brands at taxpayer’s expense and staying while there in rooms paid for by taxpayers’ money, feasting on tax money provided best of everything (as they do for every trip they make) – these and their Republican buddies don’t want school lunch programs, WIC programs to provide milk and cheese and fruit juices for children and babies, don’t want programs that help the homeless, the poor, the elderly, the disabled in our communities.

But they are the ones spending millions a day on themselves. They are making over $174,000 a year each plus perks and each of their staff members are making $165,000 plus perks (some staffs number 40 – 60 members each).

(That junket noted above was from 2008 when a Republican administration was in the White House – these same kinds of junkets go on all the time. And, the deficit was increased at their demand when the tax cuts for the wealthy were extended by their insistence – $587 billion dollars here or there – to go to only 29,000 Americans who are wealthy already – didn’t bother them at all. The corporate tax rates aren’t paid – the only things that are being paid are by American citizens, American families, American property owners, American renters of property, American communities, and everyone pays taxes and fees required in every community whether on gasoline or food or goods.)

But they can wine and dine themselves feasting on our money, give our funds away to other countries like Bahrain, which is getting $3.5 million a day, and Egypt, which is getting $3.5 million a day, Israel which is getting $7 million a day, and every other nation (just in military aid – there are other funds from our taxes that support their businesses, their industries, their food programs, their education programs, their social and medical programs and infrastructures.) – It is obscene that Republicans in this budget “cutting” process have increased expenditures to all those things and to Federal judges who are already being paid a fortune in salaries, perks and health care and very substantial pensions paid for by us.

And, they continue to subsidize the stupidest, most expensive billions of dollars worth of corporate and industry subsidies to no good purpose whatsoever – while cutting every job, taxpayer funding and already working programs that would help Americans and American families get on their feet in this decimated economy. The workers and unions didn’t decimate this economy. Poor people didn’t decimate this economy.

The banks and Wall Street firms decimated this economy and every state and local budget. The big corporations who are taking their profits made in the United States and made because of the infrastructure we’ve paid for and subsidies we’ve been paying for in the United States to support them – they are taking those profits out of the United States and not re-investing them here. And, they’ve been doing that for thirty years or more – every single year, in order to evade taxes and putting their fair share back into the system that they are benefiting from and using, including the money from our own pockets that backed it.

– cricketdiane

(from – Feb. 19, 2011 post)

***

Political activities

(Robert) Rowling is a conservative Republican and a major donor to the party.[3] He is also one of four billionaire backers of the conservative political action group American Crossroads, a self-described “grassroots” 527 organization that nonetheless has received 97 percent of its funding from the four billionaires and was founded by Karl Rove, former President George W. Bush‘s political strategist and Ed Gillespie, former Republican National Committee chairman.[4][5][6]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Rowling

***

The Tea Party’s most noted national figures include Republican politicians such as Dick Armey and Sarah Palin.

As of 2010, the Tea Party movement is not a national political party, but has endorsed Republican candidates.[15] A Gallup poll shows almost 80% of Tea Partiers consider themselves to be Republicans.[16][17]

Commentators, including Gallup Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport, have suggested that the movement is not a new political group but simply a rebranding of traditional Republican candidates and policies.[16][18][19]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_Party_movement

***

Former ambassador Christopher Meyer writes in the Daily Mail that the Tea Party movement is a mix of “grassroots populism, professional conservative politics, and big money”, the latter supplied in part by Charles and David Koch.[110] Mayer says that the Koch brothers’ political involvement with the Tea Party has been so secretive that she labels it “covert”.[111]

(from)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_Party_movement

***

Here are the top contributors for 2010 to Republicans – from OpenSecrets.org –

http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/toppacs.php?Type=C&cycle=2010&Pty=R

Top 20 PAC Contributors to Republican Candidates, 2009-2010

PAC Name Repub Total
American Bankers Assn $1,865,224
AT&T Inc $1,780,775
Every Republican is Crucial PAC $1,710,346
Honeywell International $1,649,500
National Assn of Realtors $1,628,797
National Auto Dealers Assn $1,336,400
National Beer Wholesalers Assn $1,323,000
Freedom Project $1,289,050
National Assn of Home Builders $1,285,000
Blue Cross/Blue Shield $1,204,499
Associated Builders & Contractors $1,176,500
Koch Industries $1,132,000
United Parcel Service $1,004,703
Boeing Co $997,000
Credit Union National Assn $993,945
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu $966,500
Lockheed Martin $905,750
PricewaterhouseCoopers $891,500
Exxon Mobil $883,450
Comcast Corp $881,500

***

The foreign corporate interest in America’s midterms is not restricted to Europe. A report by ThinkProgress, operated by the Centre for American Progress, tracked donations to the Chamber of Commerce from a number of Indian and Middle Eastern oil coal and electricity companies.

“The European companies are funding almost exclusively Senate candidates who have been outspoken in their opposition to comprehensive climate policy in the US and candidates who actively deny the scientific consensus that climate change is happening and is caused by people.”

And Karl Rove through a new organisation, American Crossroads.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/24/tea-party-climate-change-deniers

***

from my blog post – found here –

https://cricketdiane.wordpress.com/2011/02/26/koch-brothers-funding-tea-party-republican-conservatives-to-declare-war-on-americans-and-americas-public-resources/

It describes an article from the efforts made by Koch brothers through

another-big-win-for-koch-tea-party-funding-new-hampshire-abandons-its-rggi-po… – StumbleUpon.

Here is a picture of the man who runs America – provided the chaos in Wisconsin with union busting and authorizing the sales of 39 power plants under no-bid rules there, cut the Medicaid and Badger care programs there and stopped high-speed rail programs in several states, forced EPA program funding to be gutted and in this article – has decimated anti-pollution / green energy programs.

So who elected him to decide?

– cricketdiane

Who bought them?

Whose interests and ideals do they serve?

from an article published a few hours ago from Associated Press – about the passage of the $61 billion in cuts demanded by the Republicans –

Changes rammed through the House on Friday and Saturday would shield greenhouse-gas polluters and privately owned colleges from federal regulators; block a plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay; and bar the government from shutting down mountaintop mines it believes will cause too much water pollution.

Republicans awarded the Pentagon an increase of less than 2 percent increase, but domestic agencies would endure cuts of about 12 percent. Such reductions would feel almost twice as deep since they would be spread over the final seven months of the budget year.http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jVY1ox9P05r45-yyJWlFeZYwc9bQ?docId=40991c2fefb24861be8e54288570b74f

***

More from this AP article about the budget cuts just passed this morning at the demand of the Republicans –

The Environmental Protection Agency took hits from Republicans eager to defend business and industry from agency rules they say threaten job creation and the economy. The EPA’s budget was slashed by almost one-third, and then its regulatory powers were handcuffed in a series of votes.

The measure would block proposed federal regulations on emission of greenhouse gases, which are blamed for climate change. It also would stop a proposed regulation on mercury emissions from cement. Additionally, the bill calls for a halt to proposed regulations affecting Internet service providers and privately-owned colleges.

The 359-page bill was shaped beginning to end by the first-term Republicans, many of them elected with tea party backing.

Freshmen spur GOP-run House on big spending cuts

***

Below, the 50 House members who have joined the caucus as of Friday are listed with their top contributing industry and largest individual donor during the 2010 election cycle. A congressman’s largest donor is calculated by adding together contributions from people and political action committees directly associated with particular groups and companies.

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2010/07/members-of-tea-party-caucus-major-r.html

Michele Bachmann (MN-6)
Amount Raised  $4,074,618
Largest Donating Industry – Republican/conservative
Largest Donor – Starkey Lab

**

I just have to repeat this blog post by the blogster who posted it – it is fact. –

113 Republicans Vote Against Food for Hungry Kids, then Vote For Billionaire Tax Cut
posted 18th December 2010 in Economy, Legislation, Moral Values, Politics, Republicans by Jim Cook

Say what you want about people who “deserve to be poor,” but no child in America deserves to go hungry. Right now there are children in America go without food. When kids go hungry, we starve our future.

S. 3307, The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, was passed and signed into law earlier this month in order to do better by America’s kids. The law, which makes the first inflation-adjusted increase to the federal school lunch program in 30 years, also expands support for joint summer reading and free lunch programs in high-poverty neighborhoods, to keep hungry kids well fed and to keep their literacy skills up. Research shows these programs lead to better educational outcomes.

You’d think that food for hungry kids would be a no-brainer. But no. There were 157 members of the House of Representatives who voted against the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act on December 2. Two weeks later, those who voted against food for poor kids overwhelmingly voted to give billionaires a tax break.

Here’s the list of the members of Congress who voted against food for hungry kids, then voted for a tax cut for billionaires:

Republican Robert Aderholt
Republican Todd Akin
Republican Rodney Alexander
Republican Steve Austria
Republican Roscoe Bartlett
Republican Judy Biggert
Republican Brian Bilbray
Republican Rob Bishop
Republican Marsha Blackburn
Republican Roy Blunt
Republican John Boehner
Republican Jo Bonner
Republican Mary Bono Mack
Republican John Boozman
Republican Charles Boustany
Republican Kevin Brady
Republican Vern Buchanan
Republican Dan Burton
Republican Ken Calvert
Republican Dave Camp
Republican Eric Cantor
Republican John Carter
Republican Bill Cassidy
Republican Howard Coble
Republican Mike Coffman
Republican Tom Cole
Republican Mike Conaway
Republican Ander Crenshaw
Republican John Culberson
Republican Geoff Davis
Republican Mario Diaz-Balart
Republican David Dreier
Republican John Duncan
Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen
Republican Elton Gallegly
Republican Bob Goodlatte
Republican Sam Graves
Republican Parker Griffith
Republican Brett Guthrie
Republican Ralph Hall
Republican Gregg Harper
Republican Doc Hastings
Republican Dean Heller
Republican Jeb Hensarling
Republican Wally Herger
Republican Duncan Hunter
Republican Bob Inglis
Republican Darrell Issa
Republican Lynn Jenkins
Republican Tim Johnson
Republican Sam Johnson
Republican John Kline
Republican Leonard Lance
Republican Bob Latta
Republican Chris Lee
Republican Jerry Lewis
Republican Frank LoBiondo
Republican Frank Lucas
Republican Blaine Luetkemeyer
Republican Cynthia Lummis
Republican Dan Lungren
Republican Don Manzullo
Republican Kevin McCarthy
Republican Michael McCaul
Republican Tom McClintock
Republican Patrick McHenry
Republican Buck McKeon
Republican John Mica
Republican Jeff Miller
Republican Candice Miller
Republican Gary Miller
Republican Sue Myrick
Republican Randy Neugebauer
Republican Devin Nunes
Republican Pete Olson
Republican Ron Paul
Republican Erik Paulsen
Republican Tom Petri
Republican Joseph Pitts
Republican Bill Posey
Republican Tom Price
Republican George Radanovich
Republican Tom Reed
Republican Phil Roe
Republican Hal Rogers
Republican Mike Rogers (MI)
Republican Dana Rohrabacher
Republican Tom Rooney
Republican Pete Roskam
Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Republican Paul Ryan
Republican Steve Scalise
Republican Aaron Schock
Republican F. James Sensenbrenner
Republican Pete Sessions
Republican John Shimkus
Republican Bill Shuster
Republican Adrian Smith
Republican Christopher Smith
Republican Lamar Smith
Republican Cliff Stearns
Republican Marlin Stutzman
Republican Lee Terry
Republican Glenn Thompson
Republican Mac Thornberry
Republican Todd Tiahrt
Republican Patt Tiberi
Republican Mike Turner
Republican Fred Upton
Republican Greg Walden
Republican Lynn Westmoreland
Republican Ed Whitfield
Republican Robert Wittman

That’s Republican moral values voting for you.

http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2010/12/18/113-republicans-vote-against-food-for-hungry-kids-for-billionaire-tax-cut/

***

From an amazing article – (from Feb. 23, 2011)

Koch brothers quietly open lobbying office in downtown Madison

Koch Industries, which owns the Georgia-Pacific Corporation and the Koch Pipeline Company, operates gasoline supply terminals and a toilet paper factory in Wisconsin.

Koch Companies Public Sector LLC occupies a seventh-floor suite at 10 E. Doty St. According to the Government Accountability Board’s website, the firm has seven lobbyists who “represent various Koch Industries Inc. companies on public affairs matters, including Flint Hills Resources, LP, an energy purchaser and refiner & transporter of petroleum and Georgia-Pacific, LLC a manufacturer of paper, wood products and building materials.” The group’s lobbying interests are listed as “the environment, energy, taxation, business, policy and other areas affecting Koch Industries, Inc. companies.”

The billionaire brothers whose political action committee gave Gov. Scott Walker $43,000 and helped fund a multi-million dollar attack ad campaign against his opponent during the 2010 gubernatorial election have quietly opened a lobbying office in Madison just off the Capitol Square.

Charles and David Koch, who co-own Koch Industries Inc. and whose combined worth is estimated at $43 billion, have been recently tied with Walker’s push to eliminate collective bargaining rights for public workers. The two have long backed conservative causes and groups including Americans for Prosperity, which organized the Tea Party rally Saturday in support of Walker’s plan to strip public workers of collective bargaining rights and recently launched the Stand with Scott Walker website.

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_7e8aa25a-3ec0-11e0-9923-001cc4c03286.html

also noted in the article above –

The expanded lobbying effort by the Koch brothers in Wisconsin raises red flags in particular because of a little discussed provision in Walker’s repair bill that would allow Koch Industries and other private companies to purchase state-owned power plants in no-bid contracts.

***

“Nobody should be surprised that the members of the Texas delegation in the Tea Party caucus are high on the list of Republican and conservative contributors,” Henson said. The real estate and oil and gas industries are both major players in the Texas economy and campaign finance, he added.

Below, the 50 House members who have joined the caucus as of Friday are listed with their top contributing industry and largest individual donor during the 2010 election cycle.

(from)

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2010/07/members-of-tea-party-caucus-major-r.html

Egypt’s Leaders Dining in Elegance as Heroes Worshipped by World Leaders especially Dick Cheney

“He’s been a good man, he’s been a good friend and ally of the United States,” Mr. Cheney said. “We need to remember that.”
more by Vice President Dick Cheney – 16 hours ago – New York Times (blog)

Cheney: Remember that Mubarak has been ‘a good man, a good friend and ally’

The Hill (blog) – Bridget Johnson – ‎20 hours ago
Former Vice President Dick Cheney called embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak a “good friend and ally,” and

Cheney on Egypt: Mubarak is US friend, ‘and we need to remember that’

Washington Examiner (blog) – Byron York – ‎Feb 6, 2011‎
Former Vice President Dick Cheney says Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak is a “good man” who has been “a good friend and ally of the United States. …

My Note –
Well, Mr. Cheney and your Republican friends – this is what your friend did to one of many, many, many Egyptian people. That makes Mr. Mubarak something other than a “good man.” By all that we know in the world and its history, “good men” do not do this – (no wonder the Bush administrations were screwing up so many things – they believed that evil was good and good was evil. I’d say that was wrong and it does explain a lot.)

Egyptian 28 year old Khalid Said before Egyptian 28 year old Khaled Said before 

Egyptian Khalid Said after being tortured to death by Egyptian authoritiesEgyptian Khaled Said after being tortured to death by Egyptian authorities 

Khaled Said after his torture to death

Eye witnesses include the Internet Cafe owner who saw the two Policemen arresting Khaled, the residential building keeper (guard/bawab) & his wife, a pharmacist who tried to intervene and stop the torture, a teenager who watched the policemen while they were hitting him in the building entrance and many by standers. Fully documented video interviews with eye witnesses are available on this post hereon our website (witness accounts are all in Arabic). Many more videos of eye witnesses are posted on youtube.

(from)

http://www.elshaheeed.co.uk/home-khaled-said-full-story-background-truth-what-happened-torture-in-egypt-by-egyptian-police/

Mubarak's Life 2010Mubarak’s Life 2010 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38948469/ns/world_news-mideast/n_africa/

***

from Egypt – authorities treat convicted police officer that savagely brutalized an innocent citizen to his job and rank back –

Nabih is a policeman who was convicted and jailed for 3 years for torturing and sexual torture of an innocent citizen. The day after spending his jail term, the minister of internal affairs, has re-instated the policeman back and he kept his rank and position as if nothing has happened.

Aug.12, 2010 in Egypt, Torture Victims
http://www.elshaheeed.co.uk/2010/08/12/policeman-convicted-by-courts-of-torture-and-sexual-torture-of-innocent-victim-has-been-re-instated-as-a-policeman-the-day-after-coming-out-of-jail/*** 

Photo of Mubarak and Reagan as they celebrate at the White House
http://www.corbisimages.com/Enlargement/U2074502.html

**

(found on CNN – International)

***

US Leaders in Hero worship of Mubarak 1982 hang on every wordUS Leaders in Hero worship of Mubarak 1982 hang on every word 

***

from September 2010 – Washington Post article –

A Senate resolution condemning Egypt’s record on human rights and free elections has sparked an aggressive Washington lobbying campaign by the longtime U.S. ally, which argues that the measure could harm the Middle East peace process and its relationship with the United States.

Egypt is one of the leading recipients of U.S. foreign aid, receiving about $1.5 billion last year. The country has accelerated its lobbying spending in Washington from $214,000 in 2006 to $1.5 million last year, according to disclosure records filed with the Justice Department.
By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 8, 2010

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/08/AR2010090806536.html?sid=ST2010090807548

***

President Ford meets with Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfield April 22, 1975 - from NY Times article 2006President Ford meets with Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfield April 22, 1975 – from NY Times article 2006 

from the NY Times article – (2006) –

Ringside seats for this constitutional combat went to Mr. Rumsfeld, a former Illinois congressman whom Mr. Ford chose as chief of staff in 1974 at age 42, and Mr. Cheney, a former political science graduate student who served as his deputy. When Mr. Rumsfeld was named defense secretary the next year, Mr. Cheney, just 34, took the top White House job.

“Ford treated Cheney and Rumsfeld in effect as his students, eager young men willing to learn the art of government at his side,” Mr. Greene said.

Just days after arriving at the White House, those pupils saw Mr. Ford suffer an important defeat. At the urging of a Justice Department official named Antonin Scalia, who would later join the Supreme Court, Mr. Ford vetoed the Freedom of Information Act amendments, which he believed infringed the secrecy of the intelligence agencies and the F.B.I.

Newspaper editorials denounced what they said was a violation of Mr. Ford’s pronounced policy of openness. A defiant Congress overrode the veto, by a vote of 371 to 31 in the House and 65 to 27 in the Senate.

(from)

***
from 2008 – President Bush –

“I appreciate very much the long and proud tradition that you’ve had for a vibrant civil society.” said to Mubarak at Sharm al-Sheikh

“I also talked about Egypt’s role in the world. Egypt is an important nation — that sends a clear signal. People watch Egypt. I appreciate very much the long and proud tradition that you’ve had for a vibrant civil society.“”But I’m absolutely confident the people of the Middle East are working hard to build a society based upon justice.”

http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2008/01/20080116-2.html

Egyptian Khaled Said after being tortured to death by Egyptian authoritiesMubarak secret police torture Egyptians 

2008 - President Bush and Mubarak pat each other on the back for making life better for all Egyptians, Americans and the Middle East - from White House archives2008 – President Bush and Mubarak pat each other on the back for making life better for all Egyptians, Americans and the Middle East – from White House archives 

(from)

http://www.elshaheeed.co.uk/home-khaled-said-full-story-background-truth-what-happened-torture-in-egypt-by-egyptian-police/

**

**

Is America a Sick Country or What?

By Dave Lindorff
The Public Record
Aug 24th, 2009

cuffed_detainee

“You see, here’s the thing. When you hear about the sick, twisted things that America’s torturers have been doing, courtesy of President George W. Bush and Vice President Darth Cheney, you have to remember that the U.S. military and the CIA were not really all that reliable when it came to picking up the real terrorists. In fact, their batting average was pretty lousy.”

(from)

http://pubrecord.org/commentary/3987/america-sick-country-what/

**

Happy, Hayy in the Sunshine - Happy Campers with not a care in the world

from a conservative blog –


Unfortunately, the Geneva and UN Conventions are as vague as a local noise ordinance about what is torture.  The following is the definition from Geneva, which you will notice lists no interrogation techniques – not water boarding or putting a caterpillar in a terrorists’ cell to scare him:

(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

(b) Taking of hostages;

(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;

(d) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

(By the way the above applies to “High Contracting Parties” to the Geneva Conventions, which al-Qaeda is not). [but the US is, my note.]

Here is how the UN defines torture:

“…the term “torture” means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.”

(By the way, al-Qaeda is not a member of the UN, so they won’t follow the Convention). [my note – but, the US is a member.]

Neither Convention lists water boarding or any other interrogation technique.  However, Geneva makes “degrading” treatment torture and the UN says “intimidation” is torture.

That means a jury can, like Democrats did, say that “torture!” can be as little as calling someone a name, because it’s “degrading” (you dirty dog) or telling him tomorrow he may be punished, because it’s “intimidation.”

President Bush understood that if our military members, from Generals on down ever found themselves before one of these Courts, they could be convicted of “torture!” even if they didn’t do anything wrong.

If you think that could never happen, consider that Spain, a NATO ally, is trying to indict six members of the Bush Administration and Dick Cheney was indicted by a Court – in Texas. (etc.)

The allegation of “torture!” was never a real issue.  It was a campaign tool for the Democrats.

http://justifiedright.typepad.com/justified_right/2009/05/index.html

***

Ronald Reagan and Others Escorting Egyptian President

Original caption: Washington: President and Mrs. Reagan escorts Egyptian President and Mrs. Hosni Mubarak to the State Dining Room for a State Dinner in their honor at the White House.
DATE PHOTOGRAPHED
February 03, 1982

LOCATION
Washington, DC, USA

http://www.corbisimages.com/images/U2074502.jpg?size=67&uid=d1ea2fc3-0c33-4402-97b2-0192fb5340cb&uniqID=7baa5625-8c36-40f6-a738-b24618e9eeea

***

From an article about nuclear weapons safety – on Slate yesterday –

But you’ve probably read about Richard Nixon acting erratically, drinking heavily as Watergate closed in on him. You may not have read about the time he told a dinner party at the White House, “I could leave this room, and in 25 minutes, 70 million people would be dead.” (Try that line out at one of your dinner parties. I’ve always found it a good conversation starter.)

Anyway, back down there in your launch capsule you might allow yourself to wonder: “This launch order, is this for real or for Nixon’s indigestion?”

If you were asking yourself that question, you wouldn’t be the only one. James Schlesinger, secretary of defense at that time, No. 2 in the nuclear chain of command, was reported to be so concerned about Nixon’s behavior that he sent word down the chain of command that if anyone received any “unusual orders” from the president they should double-check with him before carrying them out.

http://www.slate.com/id/2286735/

***

And just for the record – The US military budget for 2010 was $693 billion plus “off budget” items which take the total, excluding USAID and State Department stuff – to well over $1.25 trillion dollars. Now, I would say that is a problem. And, especially so – considering that hundreds of millions of dollars in field equipment of the most sophisticated kinds (from those same budgets) have been put in the hands of jackasses that are twisted, greedy, obtuse, psychotic, deranged, cruel and untrustworthy like Qaddafi, et al.

– cricketdiane

***

From an article published today from “Think Progress” who was nice enough to collect up a few of these and publish them together – here are two –

GENERAL ELECTRIC: In 2009, General Electric — the world’s largest corporation — filed more than 7,000 tax returns and still paid nothing to U.S. government. They managed to do this by a tax code that essentially subsidizes companies for losing profits and allows them to set up tax havens overseas. That same year GE CEO Jeffery Immelt — who recently scored a spot on a White House economic advisory board — “earned total compensation of $9.89 million.” In 2002, Immelt displayed his lack of economic patriotism, saying, “When I am talking to GE managers, I talk China, China, China, China, China….I am a nut on China. Outsourcing from China is going to grow to 5 billion.”

WELLS FARGO: Despite being the fourth largest bank in the country, Wells Fargo was able to escape paying federal taxes by writing all of its losses off after its acquisition of Wachovia. Yet in 2009 the chief executive of Wells Fargo also saw his compensation “more than double” as he earned “a salary of $5.6 million paid in cash and stock and stock awards of more than $13 million.”

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/26/main-street-tax-cheats/

(others included Bank of America, Exxon-Mobil, Citigroup, Boeing, and this note from the comments section – )

Since 1968 we have had 5 republican presidents and 3 democratic presidents (Clinton was more of a republic or corporatist president – my note, with A Republican Congress) 

Nixon: 5 years
Ford: 3 years
Carter: 4 years
Reagan: 8 years
Bush 41: 4 years
Clinton: 8 years
Bush 43: 8 years
Obama: 3 years

So in the last 43 years we have had a republic president for 28 years and a democratic president for 15 years.

By the way it was kind of neat how you totally ignore the Nixon, Reagan Ford and Bush 41 years. It is a fact that Reagan and Bush 41 both nearly tripled the national debt as they attacked the middle class and the American worker.

It is a fact that George W. Bush 8 years as president nearly destroyed our country as he ignorered the warnings of a coming terrorist attack, deregulated, ignored the housing crisis, cost the government $3.1 trillion in revenue while giving tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans during a time of war. Bush didn’t admit that we were in a recession until the final weeks of his presidency.

So you can spin things all you want but facts are facts. 8 years of Bush along with a 6 year republican majority in both houses of congress under Bush led to the near collapse of our financial system and our economy as American jobs were shipped overseas in record numbers.(Edited by author 3 days ago)

***
Just had to look it up –

The gains in seats in the mid-term election resulted in the Republicans gaining control of both the House and the Senate in January 1995. Republicans had not held the majority in the House for forty years, since the 83rd Congress (elected in 1952). Large Republican gains were made in state houses as well when the GOP picked up twelve gubernatorial seats and 472 legislative seats. In so doing, it took control of 20 state legislatures from the Democrats. Prior to this, Republicans had not held the majority of governorships since 1972. In addition, this was the first time in 50 years that the GOP controlled a majority of state legislatures.

The 1994 elections ushered in a great number of Republican freshmen. For example, of the 230 Republican House members of the 104th Congress, almost a third (73; 32%) were new to the House.[2] In the Senate, 11 of 54 (20%) Republicans were freshmen.[2]

In the 1996, 1998, and 2000 elections, Republicans lost Congressional seats but still retained control of the House and, more narrowly, the Senate. After the 2000 election, the Senate was divided evenly between the parties, with Republicans retaining the right to organize the Senate due to the election of Dick Cheney as Vice President and ex officio presiding officer of the Senate. The Senate shifted to control by the Democrats (though they technically were the plurality party as they were one short of a majority) after GOP senator Jim Jeffords changed party registration to “Independent” in June 2001, but later returned to Republican control after the November 2002 elections. In the 2006 elections, Democrats won both the House of Representatives (233 Democrats, 202 Republicans) and the Senate (49 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and 2 Independents caucusing with the Democrats) as well as the majority of state governorships (28-22).

However, in the 2010 elections, in what was very similar to the 1994 elections, Republicans won back control of the House. The Senate narrowly remained with the Democrats. Republicans also won a Majority of State Governorships and State Legislatures.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Revolution

**

And as noted by Arianna Huffington on Intelligence Squared recently in a startup to the debate about the “two-party system making America ungovernable”  –  (carried on bloomberg recently) –

Only 42% of the voters in America voted in 2010. That means the decisions reflected only some percentage of the choices made by 42% of the electorate allowed to vote and not the choices described by 100% of the total adult population in the US.

In most of the Republican won elections, the deciding factor was in many cases less than a 5% difference between them and the Democratic choice. Those numbers can be 52% of the 42% who voted chose the Republican candidate who now touts the “overwhelming mandate” – in fact, those numbers during and just after the election were very telling. They were not won by wide margins. Not the whole of the adult population nor vast majority of the voting electorate agreed with them and not even a wide margin of a high percentage even voted with them nor agreed to have them elected.

The same is true of nearly all the races, in fact – regardless of who won. Now, that’s just pathetic. But, what it isn’t – is a mandate of any kind. In fact, I was really grateful that Bernie Madoff was in jail, because if people had been given the chance to vote for his name on a ballot, they probably would have –  since at least his notoriety was well known and his name had become way too easy to remember and recognize.

That’s part of it. The other main part is what the title of this post says – and that is, from the over $800 trillion dollars in credit default swaps to derivatives and lobbying money, PACs money, corporate funding of armies of consultants, attorneys, lobbyists and campaign donations – along with the vast array of money going into other nations for military equipment paid for by our government tax dollars – we could have something to show for it, had those resources been funneled differently.

If the focus had been something productive and concrete – but it wasn’t. And, it still isn’t. And, we still have the same problems we had in the first place. The smog, the water polluted that we drink, the industrial waste going everywhere making people sick, the use of gasoline and diesel fuel to fuel damn near every transportation resource, the use of our national resources like the coastal shelf oil and other natural assets without a fair return to our nation (even Libya was getting a better deal than we have), and being at the mercy of whatever foul regime wants to dick around with it somewhere in the world or the traders or the speculators or the insurance companies insuring them or whatever it is this time – same problems as thirty years ago. No – make that forty years ago now.

Same problems. And, after throwing literally tons upon tons of money at it – still the same problems. I mean really, how many billions of dollars does it take to put in a safe water system in any of these nations – and how many billions have they received over the years to do it while still not having safe drinking water? or up and running electricity systems or what ever else we paid for them to have? (sorry, I was thinking about Haiti for instance – but that isn’t the only nation like that.)

And, what do they mean that 95% of the women in many of these countries like Libya are uneducated? How much money have we sent over the years to make sure that could be different? But, no – apparently, that money through NGOs, USAID, and a multitude of other programs from the IMF to the UN are not doing anything but enriching rulers like Qaddafi and Mubarak and every other one like them in the world, while they tear down their populations day in and day out. But, our leaders had to have known that.

The world leaders had to have known those things all along throughout the entire forty plus years that it has been that way, both in Libya and in every other nation where it is occurring. But, we’re still giving them money left and right as fast as we can go – through every single organization, every bank, every government, every inter-governmental organization and agency, through every business, every oil company and military contractor, and through every international cooperation funding organization, like the IMF, World Bank and economic development banks, UN programs and agencies, as well as from every agency in the United States government.

– cricketdiane

***

Leverage of an economy’s debt

Derivatives massively leverage the debt in an economy, making it ever more difficult for the underlying real economy to service its debt obligations, thereby curtailing real economic activity, which can cause a recession or even depression. In the view of Marriner S. Eccles, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman from November, 1934 to February, 1948, too high a level of debt was one of the primary causes of the 1920s-30s Great Depression. (See Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report for 2002)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derivative_%28finance%29

***

 

 

 

A world without fear – and without brutality was traded off for what? Qaddafi, Mubarak, Ben Ali, and who else?

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I watched a little while ago as Ambassador Rice spoke to reporters in a press briefing carried on CNN. She was asked by a correspondent about Qaddafi’s remarks this morning to BBC and ABC. The statement she made was that he is clearly delusional. I’ll look up the exact quote because it was remarkable.

And, she is right – it underscores the urgency and the danger of the current situation.

Early this morning, I happened upon a twitter from the Financial Times which I clicked and it turned out to be a video interview with one man as a guest – probably well-known – being questioned by a host about doing business with someone like Qaddafi and other ruthless dictators. A few seconds into it, I turned it off at the point when the man who was the guest started saying that first of all, it wasn’t a good thing to do but then said why it was a good thing to do. Sometimes, it might be worthwhile to spend time trying to understand that double think and use of “perception management” being done – but I had no patience with it right now.

The reason why I didn’t have any patience with it is simple. The problems caused by the previous handling of Qaddafi and his sons, his family members and regime leaders as well as the nightmare caused by the thirty year handling of the Mubarak regime’s brutality and corruption (among others like them) makes it overtly obvious that it was wrong for a multitude of reasons. The stability it “afforded” was false – it was known to be a disaster just waiting to happen. The oppression it caused is unforgivable and obscene. The treacheries that it supported and has perpetrated are insane, grotesquely evil and grossly manufactured more horrors and difficulties each moment, each hour, each day, each week, each month, each year and for decades across greater and greater facets of everyone’s life everywhere in the world.

And, the economic investments put into the region were always in jeopardy and resting on the sands of a variety of disasters that could have, and finally did happen. The way it was set up, there were disasters across a number of possible scenarios that could’ve happened at any time. The price paid for it to be done that way was high all along, including the brutality, the placing of dangerous weapons and resources in the hands of despotic serial killers, the corruption, the diversion of resources into their personal coffers and the wholesale bribery forced upon businesses that would participate with the countries where these despots were kept in power.

The price paid for it was unconscionable in the human oppression and brutality across tens of decades and generations of people’s lives. And, the price paid for it was untenable because the problems and issues were unresolved by doing it that way which left them to remain without solutions and without alternative options. Still needing these solutions and alternatives to be available has ended up happening at a time when we and the world can much less afford it and need them even more critically.

The economic foundation of these nations and our own were placed upon a risky quagmire waiting to give way at any time and the reality manufactured by “perception management” about it didn’t actually make it stable, strong, secure or healthy. The civil society was suffering for it. The problems it was supposed to fix by making the “trade-off” of doing business with ruthless dictators still exist to this day. And, now what?

At any point, it could’ve actually been even worse than it is – and even much, much worse than the way it is turning out so far (which, I might add, remains to be seen, what the full import of these situations will be.) The idea that our business leaders and previous government administrations, found someone they could buy in order to keep them in line with satisfying the world demands for oil from the region while looking the other way on the brutality these regimes were perpetrating – was folly at best. It remained a waiting cauldron of difficulties, rather than the real peace, prosperity in the world and stability it seemed to promise.

I do understand. The oil our nation and the international community bought this way by keeping these horrendous beasts of mankind in power, was a way to insure that our freedoms at home, our goods, our opportunities for food and other necessities could be covered at a price that our nations would be able to use to prosper (and have our own basic security.) But, the trade-off was more than that.

We traded the other options off the table, or put them off indeterminately. While a man spent thirty years of his life inventing, researching and creating something else that would work – none of those government and business resources went to support that option. And, in many ways – in a multitude of ways, that story of that one man /that one woman has exponentially played out across this nation and others around the world for thirty years times hundreds of thousands of individual lives inventing, innovating, creating, designing solutions – nearly all of which were never brought forward to be made available in the world.

Not only that, but by honoring and worshiping these men whose lives were the opposite of everything that we hold dear and the antithesis of every principle upon which our nation (and the United Nations) were founded, we didn’t become simply the “whores” of mankind as business seems to believe. We both honored evil and dishonored truth and good, respect-worthy things simultaneously. It made us the opposite of what we wanted to be.

And, that makes us something else far beyond what businesses and world leaders consider it is. There is an intrinsic price that was paid for it. We are already bearing the fruits of that price. Part of that price is that the same problems remain to be solved. Part of that price is the money laden powerful dictators that have been underwritten by it at the cost of their nation’s people and the rest of the world. Part of the price is the dependence on a relatively few sources of a necessary commodity putting all of us and all of modern life at the mercy of those few sources. Part of that price is also that by honoring barbaric evil, we received greater evil and more of it. And, part of that price is the opportunity cost of what we lost and did not do that could’ve been done.

Perhaps, being that fusion had already been created and designed and tested and studied and brilliantly used for inventing – that would have powered our whole world. But no – it didn’t get that chance and the man who could have helped to take us there with it was excluded from pursuing it at a point where business thwarted his efforts as they decided that mergers and acquisitions were the “real” money.

Maybe the hydrogen cell and other battery technology which came out of the research from the past needs for batteries in the space program long ago created, studied and invented during the Mercury, Apollo, and Soyuz programs could have provided all the industrial needs for power for ships, for planes, for trains and diesel trucks – for our factories, for any number of home and consumer uses. But, no – the little bit of funding for it went instead to continue subsidizing the oil industry so they could have that money support Mubarak and Qaddafi and God only knows who all else that are just like them or worse.

There is a nifty Honeywell turbine that uses magnets on the fan blade tips to produce electricity from the wind with less energy conversion loss than many other of the designs available – is that in every home electricity grid? Is it even affordable? Does it get the lion’s share of money for manufacturing it that it could have in comparison with what oil companies get?

At a certain frequency radio waves turn water into combustible fuel – it burns. Did we use that instead? Did we pursue atomizing water, subjecting it to that frequency and using it to fuel our cars? No – of course not. While this money was going to support Qaddafi and Mubarak and oil industries, what else did it not do? Why did we let the oil companies and their lobbyists keep things that way – keep our cars from getting 80 miles to the gallon of gas they do use, keep our government pouring millions of dollars into their programs for oil exploration while depriving other options, keep our tax dollars and oil dollars subsidizing brutal dictators and their personal lifestyles knowing what they were doing to their own people? (and, knowing what dangers these dictators represented to the rest of the world.)

And, why would anyone have thought that tons of Semtex should have been in the hands or access of Qaddafi in the first place? But by giving him hundreds of millions of dollars and resources around the world that also honored him because of his wealth and power, which we gave him (and I include more than the US and the Western nations in that) – Qaddafi not only had tons of Semtex but used it to kill hundreds of people. He also paid people to go use that horrendous explosive on vast scores of human lives that were killed or permanently altered in the most horrific ways.

Mubarak produced many of the terrorists that have troubled the world and so have other nations who happen to have also oppressed their people intolerably. The weapons shows honored them, welcomed them and welcomed their money to buy whatever they wanted to buy. And, the world leaders and world’s business leaders not only allowed them to do that, but encouraged it knowing there was going to be no good in it sooner or later.

If I sell a man a bat whose intentions are to go play baseball with his sons and later he uses that bat to do violence, maybe there is nothing I could’ve done to stop it nor to even know it would happen. But, I wouldn’t sell a man a bat whose only intention was to go use it to kill somebody, when that intention was obvious. For that, I would be responsible if I knew that is how he was intending to use it. And, when arms sales were made to Qaddafi – it had to have been obvious that his intentions were to use those things deplorably somewhere women would be hurt, children were to be hurt, men were to be hurt and possibly all of them to be killed by it. His state of mind has been obvious all along, his intentions were well-known, and his willingness to play against all of us at any time for even the most petty reasons were (and still are) easy to see.

So, after tens of decades and hundreds of billions of dollars spent doing things this way –

And, what do we have to show for it? A nation divided. National resources plundered. People’s lives on hold for years upon years throughout the world. And, the most horrendous crimes and brutality even in our own country that have ever been seen by mankind – and I don’t mean Loughner although he was certainly a real piece of work, too. I was thinking over the many other atrocities – including war zones in our own living rooms, horrendous crimes on our streets, horrendous crimes of domestic violence every minute of every day across our nation, police brutality in our own communities and around the world, destroyed economies throughout the United States and the World, and criminal atrocities at every level of our society.

– cricketdiane

***

Well, I edited the above comments a little bit after thinking about it and then it occurred to me that it needs a little more.

First, to be specific –

When oil was the only choice, it put us at a disadvantage.

Second, to be even more specific about the power given to brutal regimes –

Endorsed by the world leaders and international businesses including the vast oil industries, these regimes could have done things in any way they wanted which includes treating people right and honoring their human rights, creating prosperous societies across all levels of their country, and being a stable, decent participant in the world.

Third, to be even more precise about why it has anything to do with me –

The stupid double think used to perpetrate the lies that it was the “right” thing to do in the “right” way in order for it to stay that way when it was actually the exact opposite of everything that is “right”, has cost all of us, including me.

The opportunity cost born consistently over tens of years in our country and around the world as money flowed to doing things that way, perversely affected all of us as well, including me.

It robbed all of us of the progress that would have been made along other avenues of thought and resources, other designs, other research, other goods and services, other energy sources, other inventions being brought to the marketplace and supported, other options and breakthroughs being supported financially and other leaders in the world who would have been chosen democratically and treated their citizens equitably.

Fourth, what difference does it make?

1.  The money being funneled into these programs still exists in the same way it did with billions of dollars going into it in the same manner, whether it is to buy access to oil reserves available under a propped up horrific dictator or brutal government, or to finance military equipment to them.

2.  There has not been a shift of paradigm which says those who are responsible for shifting that money into these programs are ultimately responsible for the horrors being perpetrated with these resources. That includes the UN, the nations underwriting money, sales and grants to them, as well as the business leaders involved in them.

3.  It promotes this “double think” about it in order to say it is “right” when it isn’t, and funds the companies who rely on accomplishing that whether it is lobbying firms, purchasing agents, government bureaucrats and politicians, consultants, “think tanks”, some academics, or media outlets based specifically upon accomplishing that.

4.  And, the bottom line of that “double think” process is that it divides, creates chaos, undermines a clear view of the facts where we can all come together and work with those facts in a reasonable and intelligent manner, it leaves us vulnerable to the truth when it does become obvious, and it keeps us from coming together generally to discuss the facts rather than to argue about what the facts are. That is the greatest dividing factor we have now.

5.  Many of those who spent their lives researching, designing, inventing and proving other options to be viable are gone now and their brilliance is lost. Where they might have gone with it will never be known, because their efforts were thwarted, unfunded, hindered, kept off the table and out of the marketplace. The brilliance of their thought, the avenues of their thinking, their knowledge about it and what they knew it could do are all lost to us and were never passed to teach any of it to us either. The opportunity for them to teach us across the world and the generations yet to come about the things they knew and understood was lost as well. And, it wasn’t applied across vast industries and systems like transportation, for instance where that knowledge and breakthrough thinking was so greatly needed.

That is not all I have to say about it – this is an example –

The difference it makes is this –
xc3 (that should be xc subscript 3)

mc2 (that should be mc superscript 2)

***

Generally cold, locally hot fusion

Accelerator-based light-ion fusion is a technique using particle accelerators to achieve particle kinetic energies sufficient to induce light-ion fusion reactions. Accelerating light ions is relatively easy, and can be done in an efficient manner—all it takes is a vacuum tube, a pair of electrodes, and a high-voltage transformer; fusion can be observed with as little as 10 kV between electrodes. The key problem with accelerator-based fusion (and with cold targets in general) is that fusion cross sections are many orders of magnitude lower than Coulomb interaction cross sections. Therefore the vast majority of ions end up expending their energy on bremsstrahlung and ionization of atoms of the target. Devices referred to as sealed-tube neutron generators are particularly relevant to this discussion. These small devices are miniature particle accelerators filled with deuterium and tritium gas in an arrangement that allows ions of these nuclei to be accelerated against hydride targets, also containing deuterium and tritium, where fusion takes place. Hundreds of neutron generators are produced annually for use in the petroleum industry where they are used in measurement equipment for locating and mapping oil reserves. Despite periodic reports in the popular press by scientists claiming to have invented “table-top” fusion machines, neutron generators have been around for half a century. The sizes of these devices vary but the smallest instruments are often packaged in sizes smaller than a loaf of bread. These devices do not produce a net power output.

Sonofusion or bubble fusion, a controversial variation on the sonoluminescence theme, suggests that acoustic shock waves, creating temporary bubbles (cavitation) that expand and collapse shortly after creation, can produce temperatures and pressures sufficient for nuclear fusion.[11]

The Farnsworth–Hirsch fusor is a tabletop device in which fusion occurs. This fusion comes from high effective temperatures produced by electrostatic acceleration of ions. The device can be built inexpensively, but it too is unable to produce a net power output.

The Polywell is a concept for a tabletop device in which fusion occurs. The device is a non-thermodynamic equilibrium machine that uses electrostatic confinement to accelerate ions into a center where they fuse together.

Antimatter-initialized fusion uses small amounts of antimatter to trigger a tiny fusion explosion. This has been studied primarily in the context of making nuclear pulse propulsion, and pure fusion bombs feasible. This is not near becoming a practical power source, due to the cost of manufacturing antimatter alone.

Muon-catalyzed fusion

Muon-catalyzed fusion is a well-established and reproducible fusion process that occurs at ordinary temperatures. It was studied in detail by Steven Jones in the early 1980s. It has not been reported to produce net energy. Net energy production from this reaction cannot occur because of the energy required to create muons, their 2.2 µs half-life, and the chance that a muon will bind to the new alpha particle and thus stop catalyzing fusion.[10]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_fusion

***

The Farnsworth–Hirsch Fusor, or simply fusor, is an apparatus designed by Philo T. Farnsworth to create nuclear fusion. It has also been developed in various incarnations by researchers including Elmore, Tuck, and Watson, and more lately by George Miley and Robert W. Bussard. Unlike most controlled fusion systems, which slowly heat a magnetically confined plasma, the fusor injects “high temperature” ions directly into a reaction chamber, thereby avoiding a considerable amount of complexity. The approach is known as inertial electrostatic confinement.

Hopes at the time were high that it could be quickly developed into a practical source of fusion power. However, as with other fusion experiments, development into a generator has proven to be difficult. Nevertheless, the fusor has since become a practical source of free neutrons, and it is produced commercially for this purpose. Fusors have been assembled in low-power forms by hobbyists.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farnsworth%E2%80%93Hirsch_fusor

&***&

Here is how this was lost –

Mubarak – $70 billion dollars personally and worldwide glamor, honor for him and his family while spending over $150 billion from the US plus vast reserves of money from international sources given to him and his egregious regime since 1959 –

Qaddafi – oh never mind, it would have to be obvious by now that the above statements simply expands to include him and Israel, and just about every other nation in the Mideast, Africa and the rest of the world . . .

But this is what happened to Mr. Inventor and what he was working to create for us –

Robert Hirsch

 

U.S. Patent 3,530,497 US3530497 — Hirsch–Meeks fusor

Things changed dramatically with the arrival of Robert Hirsch at the lab. He proposed an entirely new way of building a fusor without the ion guns or multipactor electrodes. Instead the system was constructed as two similar spherical electrodes, one inside the other, all inside a larger container filled with a dilute fuel gas. In this system the guns were no longer needed, and corona discharge around the outer electrodes was enough to provide a source of ions. Once ionized, the gas would be drawn towards the inner (negatively charged) electrode, which they would pass by and into the central reaction area.[citation needed]

The overall system ended up being similar to Farnsworth’s original fusor design in concept, but used a real electrode in the center. Ions would collect near this electrode, forming a shell of positive charge that new ions from outside the shell would penetrate due to their high speed. Once inside the shell they would experience an additional force keeping them inside, with the cooler ones collecting into the shell itself. It is this later design, properly called the Hirsch–Meeks fusor, that continues to be experimented with today.[citation needed]

Work at Farnsworth Television labs

New fusors based on Hirsch’s design were first constructed in the late 1960s. The first test models demonstrated that the design was effective. Soon they were showing production rates of up to a billion neutrons per second, and rates of up to a trillion per second have been reported.[citation needed]

All of this work had taken place at the Farnsworth Television labs, which had been purchased in 1949 by ITT Corporation, as part of its plan to become the next RCA.

In 1961, Harold Geneen became CEO of ITT, which became a conglomerate, engaging in any sort of profitable business, rather than a telecommunications and electronics company.

A fusion research project was not regarded as immediately profitable. In 1965 the board of directors started asking Geneen to sell off the Farnsworth division, but he had his 1966 budget approved with funding until the middle of 1967. Further funding was refused, and that ended ITT’s experiments with fusion.[citation needed]

The team then turned to the AEC, then in charge of fusion research funding, and provided them with a demonstration device mounted on a serving cart that produced more fusion than any existing “classical” device. The observers were startled, but the timing was bad; Hirsch himself had recently revealed the great progress being made by the Soviets using the tokamak. In response to this surprising development, the AEC decided to concentrate funding on large tokamak projects, and reduce backing for alternative concepts.[citation needed]

Work at Brigham Young University

Farnsworth then moved to Brigham Young University and tried to hire on most of his original lab from ITT into a new company. The company started operations in 1968, but after failing to secure several million dollars in seed capital, by 1970 they had spent all of Farnsworth’s savings. The IRS seized their assets in February 1971, and in March Farnsworth suffered a bout of pneumonia which resulted in his death. The fusor effectively died along with him.[citation needed]

Recent developments

In the early 1980s, disappointed by the slow progress on “big machines”, a number of physicists took a fresh look at alternative designs. George Miley at the University of Illinois picked up on the fusor and re-introduced it into the field. A low but steady interest in the fusor has remained since then. An important development was the successful commercial introduction of a fusor-based neutron generator. From 2006 until his death in 2007, Robert W. Bussard gave talks on a reactor similar in design to the Fusor, now called Polywell, that he stated would be capable of useful power generation.[1]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farnsworth%E2%80%93Hirsch_fusor

In the most successful approach, magnetic confinement fusion, the necessary conditions are approached by heating a plasma contained by magnetic fields. This has proven to be very difficult in practice. The complexity of the systems applied detracts from the usefulness of the design for a practical generator.

Fusor fusion

In the original fusor design, several small particle accelerators, essentially TV tubes with the ends removed, inject ions at a relatively low voltage into a vacuum chamber. In the Hirsch version of the fusor, the ions are produced by ionizing a dilute gas in the chamber. In either version there are two concentric spherical electrodes, the inner one being charged negatively with respect to the outer one (to about 80 kV). Once the ions enter the region between the electrodes, they are accelerated towards the center.

In the fusor, the ions are accelerated to several keV by the electrodes, so heating as such is not necessary (as long as the ions fuse before losing their energy by any process). Whereas 45 megakelvins is a very high temperature by any standard, the corresponding voltage is only 4 kV, a level commonly found in such devices as neon lights and televisions. To the extent that the ions remain at their initial energy, the energy can be tuned to take advantage of the peak of the reaction cross section or to avoid disadvantageous (for example neutron-producing) reactions that might occur at higher energies.

The ease with which the ion energy can be increased appears to be particularly useful when “high temperature” fusion reactions are considered, such as protonboron-11, which has plentiful fuel, requires no radioactive tritium, and produces no neutrons in the primary reaction.

Power density

Because an electrostatic potential well cannot simultaneously trap both ions and electrons, there must be some regions of charge accumulation, which will result in an upper limit on the achievable density. The corresponding upper limit on the power density, even assuming D-T fuel, may be too low for power production.

My Note –

See that little word, “may” in the last sentence?  – “may be too low for power production,”

What we lost, from the brilliance of what Tesla knew to Farnsworth – is the ability to ask them about it while they were literally taken out of the equations available to us by unfunding, unfair competitive practices, by diversions of resources to suit other players in the business world, by the shift from inclusiveness to exclusion, by the use of those dollars to do something else which would have funded all of their knowledge being made available to us for my generation and generations to come, We could have built upon it and carried it forward, understood it better having them and their knowledge as references in its entirety – but no.

And, that is the cost we endure (among others like having Hosni Mubarak and Qaddafi run security gangs that have dragged people off the street, tortured them for days, applied horrific and sadistic tortures to people, kept their people impoverished and without opportunities, and all this while keeping their women and most of their populations uneducated and oppressed. We have put up with terrorism sponsored by both of them in the rest of the world which killed, maimed and roiled the lives of huge numbers of people forever, allowed them to undermine the stability and safety of every other nation on the earth, treated them like great gods even as they did this, and funneled huge amounts of money to them that literally stagger the mind.)

So, instead of having inventors, innovations, designers, engineers, creators, scientists, and other creative positive contributions supported – We and the other nations of the world were wining and dining heinous sadistic criminals who were nothing but destructive and oppressive and crushing and cruel.

Now how did they come up with that picture as “right” and “desirable”?

Then turn to us and say, “innovate something” –

They’ve got to be kidding.

– cricketdiane

***

 

Farnsworth–Hirsch Fusor during operation in so called “star mode” characterized by “rays” of glowing plasma which appear to emanate from the gaps in the inner grid.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farnsworth%E2%80%93Hirsch_fusor

***

And what did get done instead –

***

Seven men found buried alive in Gadaffi’s compound

Submitted 18 mins ago

SKY News quoted the rescuers as saying that they heard voices underground and dug through earth and freshly laid concrete to discover the seven men, some of whom were barely alive. They said some of the seven were anti-Gaddafi protesters and others were soldiers who had rebelled against the dictator. They were now being treated in hospital.

The ground underneath the compound is yielding more dark secrets in a labyrinth of bunkers, prisons and armouries. This was Gaddafi’s subterranean stronghold in the east of Libya. Its tunnels appear to have been stacked high with every kind of weapon.

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/International/28-Feb-2011/Seven-men-found-buried-alive-in-Gadaffis-compound

(my note – there were also 42 men found in an airless cell which had been lowered through a trap door and then the door covered with dirt by Qaddafi forces that were discovered by the protesters four days after they had been in there without food or water and little air – three had died before they were found and rescued.)

***

from bloomberg – 2005

Libya’s Second Oil Auction Lures Exxon, BP, Dozens of Producers

By Maher Chmaytelli – October 2, 2005 06:24 EDT

Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) — Exxon Mobil Corp., BP Plc and Chevron Corp. are among at least 49 companies that registered to bid today for exploration rights in Libya, as the north African country steps up efforts to develop Africa’s largest crude-oil reserves.

National Oil Corp., Libya’s state-owned energy company, issued badges today for representatives of 49 companies to attend the country’s second auction since oil was discovered in 1959, at 5 p.m. local time in Tripoli. Libya will offer permits to search for oil and gas in 26 onshore and offshore plots covering about 100,000 square kilometers (38,600 square miles), nearly the size of Cuba. (etc.)

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aaTFQQSfwleI&refer=news_index

It also says –

About 60 companies bid in the first auction, offering Libya’s government 61.1 to 89.2 percent of any production and paying $133 million in signing bonuses.

Libya, a country slightly larger than Alaska, has proven crude-oil reserves of 39 billion barrels, equivalent to more than five years of U.S. consumption. Libyan Energy Secretary Fathi Ben Shatwan told Bloomberg on Sept. 19 that potential reserves may top 100 billion barrels as only 30 percent of the territory is covered by agreements with oil companies.

***

According to U.S. State Department reports obtained from the so-called Cablegate leaks, Petro-Canada paid the Libyan autocrats a $1-billion “signing bonus” straight off the bat, then invested $3.5-billion in the redevelopment of many of Libya’s existing oil fields. In exchange, the Canadians got a 12-per-cent share of oil revenues produced from their slice of the field, for 30 years. As the U.S. ambassador to Tripoli wrote in a 2008 cable, Petro-Canada “swallowed hard and signed up.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/the-business-of-doing-business-in-gadhafis-oil-kingdom/article1921542/

***

My Note –

Those aren’t even good business deals on top of it all – they didn’t make that deal on the Louisiana Coastal oil fields – I didn’t see Mississippi get a $1 billion dollar “signing bonus” plus give away only a 12 percent share of the oil revenues produced. In fact, it looks like it is almost exactly backasswards from that in the US oil resources – we’ve paid them over a billion dollars to find it, pump it and process it (at least) plus given away nearly all the profits from it – who is negotiating this stuff?

Damn. It’s just wrong. It is wrong.

– cricketdiane

***

Innovate something? Like what – CDOs, credit default swaps? Mortgage-backed securities that can be sold and resold and then foreclosed and sold again after taxpayers pay for the purchase of the securities that were created from them? Is that what they mean? Or what kind of corrupt criminal nonsense would get supported this time the Republicans are taking over power?

Shit.

***

(A note I wrote on a post a couple days ago) –

But the Qaddafi son’s have laughed at the international coverage about the “alleged” violence and deaths of civilians at their hands. They’ve also insisted that they want resolutions “without violence” even as they have armed mercenaries and their own security officers with orders to beat down, whip, stomp, crush, shoot and kill the protesters accusing them of being backed by enemies.

It is obvious that the only real enemies of the people in Libya and the international citizens in Libya, the national resources of Libya and the international business resources in Libya – are the Qaddafi regime and the family members specifically whose orders are being carried out with no regard to the crimes against humanity they are perpetrating.

– cricketdiane

***

Pakush points to another site about 100 metres away. ”Yesterday [Thursday] we found 42 soldiers in an underground cell. Three of them were dead,” he said.

The men were Libyan soldiers who had refused orders to defend the military base against the popular uprising that has brought the regime of dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to its knees.

”Gaddafi’s men locked these soldiers up and covered the entrance to the cell,” said Pakush, who helped to free the men.”They had no food, no water, and it was very difficult for them to breathe.” (etc.)

via Libya, Gaddafi | Soldiers entombed in airless cell.

**

My Note –

A man with “a £10m house complete with suede-lined indoor cinema not far from an area of north London known as Billionaire’s Row” –

Col Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam denied that his father had any assets abroad. “We are a very modest family and everybody knows that,” he told ABC News. “They are saying we have money in Europe or Switzerland . . . It’s a joke.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12591935

***

Congress enacted the Foreign Assistance Act in 1961 which separated military from non-military aid and created the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to administer non-military assistance.

The act also states that countries violating the human rights of its citizens will not be eligible for any type of aid.[6]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_aid

So, it was still my question – who decided to use our tax dollars to put sophisticated killing machines in the hands of regimes who were known to be abusing their citizens, torturing them, killing them, maiming them, viciously and arbitrarily attacking them, keeping their citizens impoverished, and commonly sponsoring terrorists, as well?

And, why would anyone in our government get to do that when the law states unequivocally that no aid is allowed to be given to countries that violate human rights (using our tax dollars of any kind or variety.) That is what the Act says, authorizing such military aid, foreign aid grants, grants to other governments, financial and business pacts with such governments, and military training to such governments.

Why would it be so – this isn’t 1947 –

At a time when every state budget is in trouble, when the Republican conservatives have taken over the House of Representatives with every intention of cutting every program to help the American people while increasing funding to the same foreign aid outflows listed above, and at a time when our national economic foundation is in dire trouble – how could this be?

And, as we watch across the entire world – the horrors that Egyptian government ministers under Mubarak perpetrated on Egypt’s people and the horrors of the Libyan government under Gaddafi (Qaddafi) with his family’s ruthless perpetration of violence on the Libyan people – it looks like the principles by which America’s decisions were to be made properly – were plainly cast aside when military equipment, money and training financed or given by grants from the US taxpayers enriched them.

It didn’t enrich the citizens of these nations. It never gave them human rights, human dignity, freedom of choice in their government, freedom, democracy, security, assurances of economic opportunity or in fact, anything of a good and secure life for themselves and their families.

The decision-makers in the United States who gave our money to horrific dictatorships, did what? Did it really secure for us cheaper fuel or did it simply delay the question of what to do about it in general which leaves us with the problem of fueling our entire transportation system right now (and as we go forward,) at a time when our national economy can least afford to figure it out and implement it?

And, just to tie this all together right quick – the above note on this post about the US current account balance means something very significant – far more than the “budget deficit” and far more than our current interest payments on our national debt and far more important than our national economic indicators within our nation (like number of foreclosures, business bankruptcies, corporate bankruptcies, bank failures, state and local budget deficits, unemployment numbers, etc.).

The fact that we are still going to spend 17% of our entire revenues coming into the Federal government for military spending with such a significant part of it being used to arm the world’s nations including those with horrific records of human rights abuses – is important. And, that our nation is sending over $50 billion of our tax dollars overseas into programs for every other nation while children are hungry in America is pathetic.

(from)

About US foreign military aid and cuts to domestic spending

(my post on Fab. 26, 2011)

***

(also from that post – )

So many people think that the US foreign military aid consists of a few old tanks and planes we’ve already used that are being given to these other nations. It is not true. That is a separate program, which is done also. The money is given in grants, financial aid, financing, economic development and infrastructure grants, other payments, military training and security forces training and counterinsurgency training. And, our money is paying to provide training for foreign government officials on how to force people in their own nation to get business permits before starting a business or be beat to death by the security forces that our money paid to train.

The money goes to bridge projects and setting up banking systems, for government offices and to provide staff for those offices – which leads me to surmise that the stranglehold of bureaucracy created in Egypt and Libya and elsewhere might be the indication that they’ve learned how to simply keep getting more of our USAID and foreign aid money by making another layer of government offices to satisfy the paperwork to get the grants for it.

Okay – but these funds by the billions of dollars from the US and other nations across the world have been going into these nations for the last fifty years or more – at what point can we say they already have a banking system now – and the other infrastructure projects satisfied?

– cricketdiane

***

US Economic and Military Assistance to the World - from the GreenBook US Overseas Loans and GrantsUS Economic and Military Assistance to the World – from the GreenBook US Overseas Loans and Grants

(from)

http://gbk.eads.usaidallnet.gov/

 

***

from CNN Feb 28 – Oil holds near $98 on Middle East turmoil – Feb. 28, 2011

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Oil holds near $98 on Middle East turmoil – Feb. 28, 2011.

Brent crude, the main European contract, was down 46 cents to $111.68 a barrel.

The benchmark U.S. oil contract, West Texas Intermediate, for April delivery was up 13 cents to $98.01 a barrel.

***

My Note –

But, the prices based on “higher fuel costs” are up for things from pump prices to airline tickets – none of which have purchased any oil at these prices yet now at the slightly higher prices where they were three days ago. Figures.

– cricketdiane

***

Libya and Qaddafi are waking up to a new world

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President Barack Obama said:  The Libyan government?s continued violation of human rights, brutalization of its people, and outrageous threats have rightly drawn the strong and broad condemnation of the international community,   We will stand steadfastly with the Libyan people in their demand for universal rights, and a government that is responsive to their aspirations. Their human dignity cannot be denied

This is an amazing story of the Libya rescue and humanitarian efforts that have been underway – this is from last Thursday –

The Associated Press
Thursday, February 24, 2011; 10:52 AM

Egyptians, Tunisians try to help Libyan neighbors

By KARIN LAUB

They (the injured) are prevented from exiting the country, and stopped long before they reach the border,  Dr. Mourad al-Ayashi, a Tunis-based doctor, said Thursday.  It’s really frustrating for all the volunteers because they’re ready, with tons of supplies and blood and everything, but they can’t put any of it into practice, though we know there’s an enormous need inside Libya.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/24/AR2011022403371.html

***

Libyan residents rush to receive government handouts

NECN – ‎8 hours ago‎

(NECN/CNN) – Residents of Libya’s capital Tripoli have been rushing to banks to receive a government handout. But will this solve the problems of the country under leader Moammar Gadhafi’s control? Libyan citizens are lining up at banks to claim a $400

LIBYA: SEIF AL-ISLAM, NEWS OF VICTIMS “A BIG JOKE” Agenzia Giornalistica Italia

***

from Itar-Tass (Feb. 28, 2011)

Before the arrival of a group of foreign reporters the main streets and squares in Tripoli were cleaned, and new banners were hung instead of burned portraits of the leader of the Libyan revolution. The Gaddafi government announced a number of measures to improve the social situation for the population of the capital, promising to allocate an additional 400 US dollars monthly for each urban family. The monthly wage for civil servants has been raised by 150 percent.

Nevertheless, journalists who made a trip to Az Zawiyah were surprised to see crowds of rebel protesters who came out to them instead of the city officials loyal to the regime. After learning about the incident, Gaddafi immediately cancelled the visit of foreign media delegation to Misratah.

Former Libyan Interior Minister Abdel Fattah Younis, who sided with protesters, said in a live broadcast that Gaddafi sent artillery units and tanks to crush the uprising in the towns neighbouring Tripoli. According to him, “a massacre is being prepared there.” Younis said that the tank battalions also blocked the coastal highway, in order to prevent the capture of Sirte port by rebels.

http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=15995815&PageNum=0

From its first paragraph (above)

BEIRUT, February 28 (Itar-Tass) – The Bab al Azizia fortress in the south of Tripoli is becoming the last stronghold of Muammar al-Gaddafi regime. The building surrounded by three rows of concrete walls that went under a missile attack in 1986 on the order of US President Ronald Reagan, is arousing less and les fear in the population.

The Libyan leader is doomed, however, his former brother-in-arms who have forsaken him, warn about the danger of crazy steps Gaddafi could resort to in a desperate attempt to retain power.

(from)

http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=15995815&PageNum=0

**

from CNN a little bit ago – about an hour ago –

Meanwhile, security forces said they had switched sides and joined the opposition in Zawiya, a town about 55 kilometers (35 miles) from the capital, Tripoli.

CNN’s Nic Robertson, on a government-organized trip to Zawiya, saw armed civilians taking defensive positions on rooftops to prepare for a possible effort by Gadhafi loyalists to retake the town.

Some buildings in Zawiya showed signs of damage Sunday, including a freshly burned-out police station.

Hours earlier, Zawiya purportedly was controlled by the government, according to officials who drove members of the media to the town.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/02/28/libya.protests/?hpt=T1

Gadhafi clings to power after some security forces turn against him

By the CNN Wire Staff
February 28, 2011 — Updated 0847 GMT (1647 HKT)

(also says – )

The death toll from the recent unrest has topped 1,000, according to an estimate from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Security Council measures form “one of the speediest international responses to a government targeting its own people.”

“We recognize the killings are ongoing,” Clinton told reporters en route to a meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Switzerland. “We recognize we need to advance the humanitarian, the military, judicial, and even forensic planning already under way.”

***

Virtually all 30,000 Chinese in Libya evacuated
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/28/AR2011022800139.html?nav=hcmoduletmv

***

My Note – I’m not sure of the validity of this information (below) – aside from the title which seems to be wishful thinking, there are elements of this info that claim a killing spree is being conducted by Qaddafi right now in Benghazi and Tripoli against citizens. It says this – possible, I suppose, – but now?

Meanwhile,one of the close aides and defense advisor of Gaddafi, the self-proclaimed killer of the founding father of Bangladesh, Colonel [dismissed] Khandekar Abdur Rashid, reportedly has been in command of a special contingent of pro-Gaddafi militias, which are engaged in the systematic and brutal murder of civilians within the Benghazi and Tripoli areas.

Gaddafi Preparing To Flee

by Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
February 28, 2011 at 4:30 am

http://www.hudson-ny.org/1920/gaddafi-preparing-to-flee

Libya’s dictator, Muammar Al Gaddafi, in the last bid to save his 42-year reign, has assigned a few lobbyists in various countries to make desperate diplomatic efforts to “salvage” him and his loyalists from visible assassination in the ever-growing mass movement against his regime.

It figures that Qaddafi would be having his favorite international lobbyists trying to sway international leaders (and probably business concerns as well.) – my note – Wonder which ones they are? Hmmm…….

Now, that would be worth finding out.

***

World leaders are currently meeting in Geneva to determine the best ways to proceed with help for the Libyan people. (my note)

**

This sad news just reported –

4 Americans dead in UAE plane crash

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2011-02-28-Plane-crash_N.htm

A statement by the U.S. Embassy to local media on Monday says the four were en route to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on the first leg of a trip back to the United States. There were no other details about the four. (they were in a private plane, my note from the story).

**

Gaddafi nurse returns to Ukraine

BBC News – ‎1 hour ago‎
A Ukrainian nurse described by a US diplomat as a “voluptuous blonde” confidante of Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi has flown home to Kiev.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12595117

***

Australia probes ‘secret’ Gaddafi assets

News24 – ‎3 hours ago‎
Sydney – Australia is investigating claims that the family of beleaguered Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has stashed millions of dollars in assets down under, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said on Monday.
**

Gaddafi regime fighter down in Libya

Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:53AM

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/167472.html

A warplane belonging to government forces under Libya’s ruler Muammar Gaddafi has been downed around the northwestern city of Misrata as the regime’s grip on power loosens.

The plane went down some 210 kilometers east of the capital, Tripoli, where pro-democracy protesters have also repelled the latest offensive by the Gaddafi regime.

The port city is Libya’s third largest where a number of people have also been reportedly killed.

***

Pearson sees 2011 growth after earnings up 19 percent

stv.tv – Greg Mahlich, David Holmes – ‎3 minutes ago‎
About 3 percent of Pearson’s shares are owned by the Libyan Investment Authority, a stake subject to a UK government freeze on the country’s leader Muammar Gaddafi’s assets on Sunday. Scardino said: “It’s abhorrent to us what is happening in Libya and

FT Financial Times
Pearson beats profit guidance with 28% rise: The education and publishing group, owner of the FT, surpasses a… http://on.ft.com/eYLOxC

***

Aside from Libya – these couple things are interesting –

Mubarak has been banned from travel by Egyptian prosecutors and –

Teodoro Nguema’s son plans to build a $380 million superyacht

Bulawayo24 – ‎4 minutes ago‎
by Byo24News The son of Equatorial Guinea’s dictator of 30 years commissioned plans to build a superyacht costing $380 million, nearly three times what the country spends on health and education each year, says a corruption watchdog.

***
28 February 2011 Last updated at 06:19 ET

Egypt’s public prosecutor has issued a travel ban on former President Hosni Mubarak and his family.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12596133

***

Qaddafi Bab al-Azizia - Tripoli, Libya - from Aljazeera

Qaddafi Bab al-Azizia - Tripoli, Libya - from Aljazeera

This castle was held at the heavily fortified area of six square kilometers in the strategically located south of Tripoli to be close to all interests, the official in the capital and near the highway leading to the Tripoli airport, as some sources that the control rooms of all communication networks exist in this rule.

(etc.)

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/Catherina/488

***

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bab_al-Azizia

***

France sending aid planes to Libya’s Benghazi

The Associated Press

Feb. 28, 2011, 4:37AM

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/top/all/7449265.html

***

ICC prosecutor says expects to open Libya probe

Reuters Africa – Aaron Gray-Block, Tim Pearce – ‎5 minutes ago‎
The United Nations Security Council has imposed sanctions on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his family, and wants Libya’s crackdown on anti-government demonstrators referred to the ICC.
***

Seven men found buried alive in Gadaffi’s compound

Submitted 18 mins ago

SKY News quoted the rescuers as saying that they heard voices underground and dug through earth and freshly laid concrete to discover the seven men, some of whom were barely alive. They said some of the seven were anti-Gaddafi protesters and others were soldiers who had rebelled against the dictator. They were now being treated in hospital.

The ground underneath the compound is yielding more dark secrets in a labyrinth of bunkers, prisons and armouries. This was Gaddafi’s subterranean stronghold in the east of Libya. Its tunnels appear to have been stacked high with every kind of weapon.

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/International/28-Feb-2011/Seven-men-found-buried-alive-in-Gadaffis-compound

***

Libya ruled by Qaddafi dictatorship has tentacles everywhere

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***

My Note –

I thought the population of Libyan nationals was listed at 6.5 million – not 4 million as Qaddafi’s son Saif claims. And, he seems pretty secure in the fact that he, his father Qaddafi, other family members and regime heads are sitting in a place protected by 2 and half million people. Maybe someone needs to evacuate those people and leave them unprotected except by their military secret police and mercenaries – then they can sort it out themselves.

– cricketdiane

Note that the above site has Christine Amanpour’s interview video clip plus the full transcript from it.

***

The U.N. resolution, obtained by the Los Angeles Times, lists the names, dates and places of birth of dozens of Kadafi’s closest associates and relatives, lending some insight into who is controlling the foundering regime.

Aside from condemning the violence in Libya and referring actions of the Kadafi regime to the International Criminal Court, the resolution “decides that all Member States shall take the necessary measures to prevent the entry into or transit through their territories of individuals listed in Annex I of this resolution.”

Kadafi said Sunday that the Libyan people supported him and that the sanctions were “null and void,”  even as rebels closed in on Tripoli.

“The U.N. is not allowed to meddle in the internal affairs of other countries, unless a country is attacking another state,” Kadafi said in an interview with a Serbian news station.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/2011/02/libya–6.html

***

My Note –

You know, the IDEX and other arms bazaars could be contacted to bar any future entrance by the Qaddafi regime members, their representatives and illegitimate “ruling” Qaddafi family members. They only sell and allow entry to those legal representatives of governments whose goals are not to use those arms and equipment in brutality of their unarmed citizens – right?

Yeah, right. However – they don’t want the liability either. So, they could be very helpful.

Here is one other note of importance probably –

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi used Monitor Group to carry out a survey and interviews with the leaders of non-governmental organisations to provide the empirical data for his thesis at the London School of Economics.

Senior advisers at Monitor Group include Sir Richard Dearlove, who was recruited in 2005, the year after he retired as head of MI6. Sir Richard was well known to the Libyans because Colonel Gaddafi had chosen British intelligence as the go-between when he decided to surrender his country’s nuclear programme.

The company also employs Sir Mark Allen, another former MI6 agent and a senior adviser to BP. Sir Mark lobbied Jack Straw just before the Justice Secretary abandoned efforts to exclude the Lockerbie bomber from a prisoner transfer deal. (etc.)

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6835814.ece

***

There is little known Libyan investment in Zimbabwe at the moment.

It only emerged last month that Libyan had invested in transport and property sectors after a man Stanely Musendo, tasked with overseeing the investment allegedly converted US$4 million to his use.

There were also reports that Gaddafi had been given commercial farms in Zimbabwe in exchange for fuel. (etc.)

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/local/26321-controversy-surrounds-gaddafis-sons-visit.html

Also in this article –

Mugabe is a long time friend of al-Saadi’s father who has been ruling the North African country for the past four decades.
There has been speculation in the past that the two leaders share business interests.
In 2002, Mugabe’s wife Grace reportedly sold a mansion in one of Harare’s plush suburbs to Gaddafi for an estimated $5 million.

http://www.thestandard.co.zw/local/26321-controversy-surrounds-gaddafis-sons-visit.html

**

Human rights advocates have sounded the alarm about Libyan security forces’ assaults on migrant workers and waves of killings targeting protesters. In recent days, Libyans and foreigners inside the country have learned to distinguish army soldiers in green berets from more ruthless members of paramilitary groups with red berets.

In Sabratha, several witnesses said, the red-bereted militiamen opened fire randomly on entrances to homes in districts where there was unrest, just to keep people from joining protests.

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2011/02/26/1887899/foreigners-in-libya-targeted-in.html

**

Another witness, Abdallah Hakim, a manager at a Benghazi state-owned textile works, said the men had been lowered into the minuscule cell through a trap door, which was then sealed and covered with earth.

”The men said they had been in the cell for about four days before we found them. It was a miracle only three men had died,” Hakim said.

http://www.smh.com.au/world/soldiers-entombed-in-airless-cell-for-defying-orders-20110226-1b99m.html

**

Libyan officials say Western and Arab media have grossly exaggerated the extent of the unrest and presented a one-sided view of the security forces’ actions.

But multiple, corroborated accounts by independent sources and witnesses unconnected to one another paint a picture of security forces run amok, waging a campaign of retribution against their own people and foreign nationals (“whose nations may have inspired Libyans to revolt.” – my note – I don’t know why it has this last clause in the sentence – makes no sense.)

Human Rights Watch, a New York-based advocacy group that has dispatched a two-member team to the Tunisian border to collect witness accounts, reported Saturday that security forces stormed into the homes of some migrant workers, accusing them of being responsible for the anti-government unrest sweeping across Libya.

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2011/02/26/1887899/foreigners-in-libya-targeted-in.html

**

Discussions on forming a transitional government are reportedly underway.

Mustafa Abdel-Jalil – who resigned as justice minister in protest against the excessive use of force against demonstrators – said a body comprising military and civilian figures would prepare for elections within three months, Libya’s privately-owned Quryna newspaper reported. (etc.)

On Saturday, one of Col Gaddafi’s sons, Saif al-Islam, insisted that normal life was continuing in three-quarters of Libya. By contrast, anti-Gaddafi forces say they control 80% of the country.

Each side’s claims are difficult to confirm but it is known that the opposition controls Benghazi, Libya’s second city, while Col Gaddafi still controls the capital Tripoli, home to two million of the country’s 6.5 million population.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12589434

***

euronews-en Saturday, February 26, 2011 10:09:00 AM CET

Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi said: “Soon you will discover that what you have heard in Libya was just a big joke. A very big joke. Here in Libya we were laughing about those reports about hundreds and thousands of casualties, bombing Tripoli and Benghazi and Zawiya or whatever, about mercenaries,”

***

Gaddafi’s son denies use of violence

SBS – ‎6 minutes ago‎
The son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi has claimed his father has not used any force against civilians, in a television interview with ABC America. As world leaders’ condemnation of the Libyan ruler continues to grow,
(((

Libya International Petro & Energy Fair

Tripoli , Libya
March 07, 2011 – March 10, 2011
Phone 00971 4 2988144
Fax 00971 4 2987886
Email nafees@orangefairs.com

http://www.pennenergy.com/index/events.html

***

Petro Libya International & Energy Fair

BtoB / exhibition / fair – *(etc.)

Libya, Tripoli,
From 03-07-2011 to 03-10-2011

See the program

  • Alamia Company for exhibitions and conferences (Leader)
  • La société ALAMIA, la Compagnie Internationale de l’Organisation des Foires et Conférences, organisent en collaboration avec la Coopération Nationale de Pétrole sous l’égide de la Coopération Générale des Foires, la Compagnie de l’Electricité Générale, la Société d’Investissement pour la Publicité et la Promotion et l’Institut de l’Energie Atomique, la Foire Internationale Petro-Libye et de l’Energie qui se tiendra du 7 au 10 mars 2011.

Contact : info@petroenergylibya.com

Contact Phone : +218 21 478 2397 / +218 91 373 9725 / +218 927141422

http://www.invest-in-med.eu/en/agenda/fiche-Petro+Libya+International+%26+Energy+Fair-1720.html

***

‘I Love Tunisia’ campaign to boost tourism

(a news item from the sidebar of the above page)

Another site describing the Libya International Petro & Energy Fair

http://www.petroleumafrica.com/en/eventdetail.php?EventId=658

***

Also of interest from the page linked below with most of the Petroleum and Energy conferences, etc. listed for this year –

GITA’s Geospatial Infrastructure Solutions Conference

Grapevine, Texas , United States
April 10, 2011 – April 14, 2011
Phone 303 337 0513
Fax 303 337 1001
found here –

http://www.pennenergy.com/index/events.html

**

5th North African Mediterranean Petroleum and Geosciences Conference & Exhibition – Libya, March 28-30, 2011

( . . . )

This conference and exhibition could not have been more perfectly timed and placed. Being held as the Oil & Gas Industry is being pressed to find solutions to the energy demand and the location of Libya provides the best possible central location were ideas and expectations of North Africa, Europe, Middle and Far East and America (North, South, East and West) can be freely and fruitfully brought to bear on the challenges ahead.

This is why Libya 2011 is an ideal meeting place for experts and senior executives from national and international companies, as well as research centers and universities, to exchange their ideas and experience.

Important information due to current situation:
Due to the current situation in Libya, EAGE is carefully monitoring the developments for the event Libya 2011, 5th North African Mediterranean Petroleum and Geosciences Conference & Exhibition which is scheduled in Tripoli for 28-30 March 2011. EAGE is in close contact with local and international parties to determine the way forward. Please review the EAGE news page regularly for the latest updates.

http://www.eage.org/events/index.php?eventid=473

***

Occidental Petroleum – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to Oil and gas‎: Occidental is the largest producer of natural gas and second-largest The company has its only operation in North Africa in Libya. Liwa won eight out of 15 exploration spots on the EPSA-4 auction,
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occidental_Petroleum

**

from bloomberg – 2005

Libya’s Second Oil Auction Lures Exxon, BP, Dozens of Producers

By Maher Chmaytelli – October 2, 2005 06:24 EDT

Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) — Exxon Mobil Corp., BP Plc and Chevron Corp. are among at least 49 companies that registered to bid today for exploration rights in Libya, as the north African country steps up efforts to develop Africa’s largest crude-oil reserves.

National Oil Corp., Libya’s state-owned energy company, issued badges today for representatives of 49 companies to attend the country’s second auction since oil was discovered in 1959, at 5 p.m. local time in Tripoli. Libya will offer permits to search for oil and gas in 26 onshore and offshore plots covering about 100,000 square kilometers (38,600 square miles), nearly the size of Cuba. (etc.)

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aaTFQQSfwleI&refer=news_index

It also says –

About 60 companies bid in the first auction, offering Libya’s government 61.1 to 89.2 percent of any production and paying $133 million in signing bonuses.

Libya, a country slightly larger than Alaska, has proven crude-oil reserves of 39 billion barrels, equivalent to more than five years of U.S. consumption. Libyan Energy Secretary Fathi Ben Shatwan told Bloomberg on Sept. 19 that potential reserves may top 100 billion barrels as only 30 percent of the territory is covered by agreements with oil companies.

***

Ex-radio engineer for Gaddafi regime uses newfound freedom to broadcast

Washington Post – Leila Fadel – ‎18 minutes ago‎ (02-28-11)
Radio Free Libya operates in the same building from which Moammar Gaddafi’s regime broadcast official messages. It has been on the air since Feb. 21, when rebels took control of the coastal city. (Leila Fadel) By Leila Fadel IN BENGHAZI,

***

Gaddafi rejects UN sanctions

Radio New Zealand – ‎2 hours ago‎ (02-28-11)
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has dismissed new United Nation sanctions against him and says a small group of rebels protesting against his rule are surrounded and will be defeated. In a telephone interview with Serbian television, he said the UN

***
From –

http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=135734

Published: 2011/02/28 07:12:37 AM

ALTHOUGH his own cause must surely now be lost, Muammar Gaddafi continues to lash out against the Libyan people. Tragically, his instructions to “fight to the death” and to “cleanse Libya house by house” are still being followed by a coterie of armed supporters.

http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=135734

***

The friendship of oddball financier Nat Rothschild, 39, scion of one of Europe’s most distinguished Jewish families, with Colonel Gaddafi’s epicene son, Saif, is remarkable.

Colonel Gaddafi confiscated all Jewish property in Libya when he came to power. (etc.)

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1360082/Gaddafis-sons-friendship-oddball-banker-Nat-Rothschild-remarkable.html#ixzz1FEek6qY0

**

  • FEBRUARY 28, 2011

Oil Flows as Rebels Gain

Libyan Opposition Presses Gadhafi, Establishes Government, Sets Crude Shipment

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703933404576170100553270590.html

(Secretary of State) Clinton didn’t specify which Libyan leaders Washington contacted, but said the U.S. was willing to provide relief to Libyans facing food and medical shortages.

Also from this article – along with the fact that oil is now being sent out by the anti-Qaddafi rebels – from the Eastern areas of Libya –

Foreign journalists invited to Tripoli were taken to a pro-government rally Sunday afternoon, where cars roared around central streets flying green streamers and green flags, signaling support of Col. Gadhafi. Ahead of the rally, police officers were seen handing out the streamers.

An oil tanker was expected to depart the port of Tobruk in the northeast corner of Libya sometime Sunday night carrying 700,000 barrels of oil, said Hassan Bulifa, a member of the management committee of Arabian Gulf Oil Co., Libya’s largest oil producer and the only oil company based in the country’s opposition-controlled eastern territory. (etc.)

***

Kadafi loses another city to Libyan opposition

Los Angeles Times – ‎3 hours ago‎ (02-28-11)
A possible standoff shapes up as protesters with tanks and antiaircraft guns mass in Zawiya, the city just west of Tripoli that Moammar Kadafi’s forces have surrounded with armor and military checkpoints. Libyan anti-government protesters chant slogans
***

Libya has mercenaries for Qaddafi (Gaddafi) that may not get paid – they are going to be pissed

Tags

, , , ,

**February 27, 2011

Clinton: U.S. ready to help Libyan opposition

Also warns other nations not to allow mercenaries to come to aid of Qaddafi

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/02/27/501364/main20036975.shtml

Addressing the rulers of unnamed neighboring countries, she said, “You must stop mercenaries and those going to Libya to commit violence and other criminal acts.”

The African fighters that Qaddafi is allegedly using against protesters come from several nations.

My Note –

Well, somebody needs to get on the African news sites and start telling them that there is a good chance that since Qaddafi’s assets and family assets are frozen around the world and since banks are being told not to allow access to those funds – that there is a good chance the mercenaries will not get paid.

It would be better if they find that out before going to Libya than after they’ve run around the place shooting people, because once they are there and they realize they won’t get paid – there will be a massacre of the most horrific proportions in their anger, their sense of shame and betrayal and in their desire to get even, rob, pillage and plunder to get the money they came for.

– cricketdiane

***

From Christine Amanpour interview with Qaddafi son, Saif Gadhafi –

The president of the United States, President Obama, has called on your father to step down. What do you think of that?

SAIF GADHAFI, MOAMMAR GADHAFI’S SON: First of all, it’s not an American business. That’s number one. Second, do you think this is a solution? Of course not.

(and)

AMANPOUR: Says if a person can only keep control by using force, then legitimacy is gone.

SAIF GADHAFI: Right. But what happened? We didn’t use force. Second, we still have people around us. So we are in Tripoli. In Tripoli, we have here half of the population of Libya — half. That’s more than 2 million, 2.5 million people living in the city. Do you think because of 10,000 or 5,000 people, even if you have the demands against my father or whatever, it means that the whole Libyan population is against Mr. Gadhafi?

AMANPOUR: You said you’re not using violence. But there are many reports of helicopter gunships, of people being killed, and also air force pilots defecting, jettisoning their planes rather than carry out orders to bomb citizens?

SAIF GADHAFI: Show me a single attack. Show me a single bomb. Show me a single casualty. The Libyan air force destroyed just the ammunition sites.

http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/week-transcript-saif-al-islam-saadi-gadhafi/story?id=13012239

***

My Note –

I thought the population of Libyan nationals was listed at 6.5 million – not 4 million as Qaddafi’s son Saif claims. And, he seems pretty secure in the fact that he, his father Qaddafi, other family members and regime heads are sitting in a place protected by 2 and half million people. Maybe someone needs to evacuate those people and leave them unprotected except by their military secret police and mercenaries – then they can sort it out themselves.

– cricketdiane

Note that the above site has Christine Amanpour’s interview video clip plus the full transcript from it.

***

The U.N. resolution, obtained by the Los Angeles Times, lists the names, dates and places of birth of dozens of Kadafi’s closest associates and relatives, lending some insight into who is controlling the foundering regime.

Aside from condemning the violence in Libya and referring actions of the Kadafi regime to the International Criminal Court, the resolution “decides that all Member States shall take the necessary measures to prevent the entry into or transit through their territories of individuals listed in Annex I of this resolution.”

Kadafi said Sunday that the Libyan people supported him and that the sanctions were “null and void,”  even as rebels closed in on Tripoli.

“The U.N. is not allowed to meddle in the internal affairs of other countries, unless a country is attacking another state,” Kadafi said in an interview with a Serbian news station.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/2011/02/libya–6.html

***

My Note –

You know, the IDEX and other arms bazaars could be contacted to bar any future entrance by the Qaddafi regime members, their representatives and illegitimate “ruling” Qaddafi family members. They only sell and allow entry to those legal representatives of governments whose goals are not to use those arms and equipment in brutality of their unarmed citizens – right?

Yeah, right. However – they don’t want the liability either. So, they could be very helpful.

Here is one other note of importance probably –

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi used Monitor Group to carry out a survey and interviews with the leaders of non-governmental organisations to provide the empirical data for his thesis at the London School of Economics.

Senior advisers at Monitor Group include Sir Richard Dearlove, who was recruited in 2005, the year after he retired as head of MI6. Sir Richard was well known to the Libyans because Colonel Gaddafi had chosen British intelligence as the go-between when he decided to surrender his country’s nuclear programme.

The company also employs Sir Mark Allen, another former MI6 agent and a senior adviser to BP. Sir Mark lobbied Jack Straw just before the Justice Secretary abandoned efforts to exclude the Lockerbie bomber from a prisoner transfer deal. (etc.)

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6835814.ece

***

Another Qaddafi Son Arrested –

(my note – I don’t know if this post is from 2001, but it sure does shed light on the way the Qaddafi son, Saif has spoken on this lately, including in Amanpour’s interview today)

The August 23, 2001, issues of the Italian newspapers Corriere Della Sera, Libero, and Republica, reported that Qaddafi’s son Hanibal was party hopping from nightclub to nightclub near Via Venito in Rome. He was exhibiting vile and very inhuman behavior, so three Italian security guards stopped him to alleviate any threat he might pose. He threw a bottle and a fire extinguisher at them, causing them injury. As a result, they arrested him and took him to a police station in the Monte Mario area.This is not the only incident involving Qaddafi’s family that has occurred recently. Two weeks ago, Hanibal’s brother Sa’adi was forcibly removed from The Billionaire, a nightclub in Porto Cervo. Many other such incidents similar to these two have occurred in countries all over Europe. In addition, Qaddafi’s relative Ahmed Qaddafeddem has a history of trafficking in prostitution and other shameless practices in Egypt, and several European countries.

This family and Qaddafi’s thugs are constantly in the news, but not for anything positive. Instead, they are in the news either for terrorist acts, prostitution, drinking, or incidents like those above.

By now, surely every sane person in the world understands the heinous damage that Qaddafi, his thugs, and his family are doing to Libya. When will it end? When will this malignancy be cut out of the body politic of Libya so that it can never infect and threaten humanity again?

While Qaddafi’s henchmen plant bombs, murder Libyan political opponents, and commit a whole host of other crimes against humanity, we have to sit here and watch the childish, petty crimes of his sons and other relatives. Every day they flaunt their power and disregard in our faces.(etc.- I hope the writer of this will forgive me for re-posting so much of it, but right now, this is critical information to the world community and I would want all my friends to know of it in light of the current situation in Libya.)

http://www.libyanet.com/v24aug1b.htm

***

My Note – (posted a little while ago on facebook)

There are hundreds of thousands of foreign national citizens that remain in Libya and hundreds of thousands have had to be rescued from there – over two million Libyan citizens are at risk living in Tripoli – billions of dollars worth of regional international investment facilities are in danger, and vast portions of the Libyan 6.5 million citizens are coordinating the demands for change and to set Qaddafi’s brutal repressive regime aside –

so, if it is not the business of the rest of the world and the rest of the Arab nations and the nations whose citizens and businesses have been there or are there – then why wouldn’t it be? Libya isn’t an island unto itself and neither did it accept doing all things it needed within its own borders nor would it expect to do that in the future.
Just a thought. (my note) America and the International Community is with the people of Libya and I hope they honor the desires of the Libyan people to have security, freedom, democratic government choices, economic opportunities and better lives.

– cricketdiane

**

You’d just have to read this one – (there’s a lot more in it) –

“The incident is the latest violent allegation to involve Hannibal Gaddafi. In July last year, Swiss police arrested him and his wife, then heavily pregnant for apparently beating up their servants in a Geneva hotel. The couple were charged after staff at the President Wilson Hotel – where the Gaddafis were staying as Miss Skaf prepared to give birth in a Geneva hospital – claimed they were beaten with a belt and a clothes hanger.”

But the incident led to a long-running diplomatic stand-off, with Libya stopping oil exports to Switzerland, boycotting Swiss imports, cutting flights between the two countries and refusing visas to Swiss citizens. (after they couldn’t even be charged for it, my note).

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1239304/Gaddafis-son-wifes-screams-coming-4-000-Claridges-suite-1-30am-Christmas-Day.html

***

Also in this article –

Hannibal was arrested in 2005 at a Paris hotel for punching Miss Skaf, then his girlfriend, who was eight months pregnant.

He allegedly beat her after she refused to let him into a room at the Grand Hotel. Police were called when he brandished a handgun.

Mr Gaddafi then moved to another hotel where he went on the rampage, smashing furniture in a £500-a-night suite.

(etc. – and then a note about Saif and the Lockerbie bomber – )

Suave and urbane, Saif, 37, was educated at the London School of Economics and counts Prince Andrew among his friends.

Although he too has attracted controversy after being heavily involved in the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al Megrahi, whom he accompanied home to a hero’s welcome in August.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1239304/Gaddafis-son-wifes-screams-coming-4-000-Claridges-suite-1-30am-Christmas-Day.html#ixzz1FCzGjeEY

***

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12591935

Col Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam denied that his father had any assets abroad. “We are a very modest family and everybody knows that,” he told ABC News. “They are saying we have money in Europe or Switzerland… It’s a joke.”

My Note –

Do these people not know that the entire world knows better than that and there are news articles describing their $7,000 hooker parties, homes and business interests they own? Where does he think he is – what year? (my note on facebook about the above story) 2.15 pm 02-27-11

***

Uni chiefs’ salute for Mad Dog

The Sun – Virginia Wheeler – ‎3 minutes ago‎
ACADEMICS from the London School of Economics have been caught on video lavishing praise on Mad Dog Gaddafi after accepting £1.5million from his brutal regime.

***

From a BBC article noted above –

Libya’s border with Tunisia is being overrun with migrants, many of them from Egypt, fleeing turmoil in Libya, aid workers say. (earlier today on CNN this was reported to be around 40,000 people with more on the way, buses, food and some water is being made available by Tunisians – but they need so much more and most people are sleeping on the ground in the cold – as also noted here in this article, my note) ( . . . )

About 100,000 people have fled anti-government unrest in Libya over the past week, the UN estimates.

The BBC’s Jim Muir at the Ras Jdir border crossing with Tunisia says the exodus of Egyptian workers from western Libya began on Wednesday, but has been intensifying daily since then.

The refugees are taken by bus to a nearby camp, but Liz Eyster of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), told the BBC that Tunisian authorities were no longer able to cope with the influx.

“They’ve been accommodating people in shelters, schools and places of their own. But we’re now aware of the fact that they’re very much stretched and they need the support of the international community.”

Monji Slim, the local representative of the Red Crescent, told AFP news agency: “It is a humanitarian crisis, our capacities to take in people are exhausted. The entire world should mobilise to help Egypt repatriate its nationals.”

Gaddafi’s sons told ABC News there were no attacks on protesters.

(etc.)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12591935

**

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to address the media later Sunday and offer more details of Ottawa’s planned sanctions against the embattled regime of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Gadhafi has cracked down heavily on protesters who have taken to the streets of the capital and elsewhere demanding his ouster, with death toll estimates in the hundreds.

World leaders have harshly condemned Gadhafi’s use of force against his own people, which has led the United Nations and countries such as the United States to impose sanctions on his regime.

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20110227/canada-response-to-libya-110227/

***

The sheer numbers of foreigners leaving Libya as Moammar Gadhafi’s regime attacks anti-government protesters has been staggering.

As of Saturday, at least 16,000 Chinese, 15,000 Turks and 1,400 Italians had been evacuated, most working in the construction and oil industries.

http://story.malaysiasun.com/index.php/ct/9/cid/b8de8e630faf3631/id/43341131/ht/Germany-evacuates-132-from-Libya-in-secret-mission/

***

My Note –

I was posting this and noticing that with hundreds of thousands coming from Libya with reports of the Gaddafi (Qaddafi) regime brutalizing people and killing protesters even those unarmed, and with proof that the Gaddafi forces had literally buried 42 soldiers in a small airless cell without food or water because they wouldn’t fire on the protesters as they were ordered, among other horror stories of the things they watched happen, isn’t that what has happened?

– How could it be that the Qaddafi sons and regime members in Tripoli would say to the international communities that they are not doing violence, haven’t ordered violence to be done, that none of the protesters have been killed, and that everything is the opposite of the reported and substantiated reality? They certainly seem to believe it – or is it that the Qaddafi clan look at their fellow Libyan people and the foreign nationals in Libya as “rats” and “roaches” as mentioned somewhere online?

– cricketdiane

***

And, aside from the 1,200 people they shot in 1996, I think it was – who were political prisoners, there are definitely reports that go back decades of the kinds of torture and brutality as a part of the everyday operations ordered by the Qaddafi ruling family – which would horrify anyone in civil society. There was a 2008 report given to President Bush outlining some of it, but there were certainly validated reports long before that – maybe many of them. So, why would they have continued doing it that way, unless the entire Qaddafi regime of family, sons and officials had never known the difference between reality and their own perceptions of it.

(my note)

***

Tales of the Gaddafi (Qaddafi) sons in Australia –

In February 2002, a visit by Saif al-Islam, regarded as a wild child, brought headlines after reports of a late-night sex romp in Port Douglas. A bodyguard allegedly pulled out a gun on a Barrier Reef dive boat.

His behaviour, and that of his 20-member entourage, was reported to then prime minister John Howard in a letter of complaint from the charter vessel company, Haba Dive. Queensland police took no action.

Several Cairns prostitutes also alleged there was a sex party with members of the entourage.A former NSW government staffer recalled yesterday that a consul to a Pacific nation had recounted how one of the Gaddafi sons in 2006 left the country without paying a $7000 bill at a high-class Sydney brothel.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/gaddafi-sons-sydney-romps-20110226-1b97b.html

***

My Note –

You might want to ignore the banner art on this site – (the one linked below)

The article found here is well worth reading –

– cricketdiane

**

This balancing act is likely to continue as Libyans wait to see whether Qaddafi is truly serious about reform. “We are getting more comfortable, but lots of people don’t feel confident,” says one Libyan businessman. For decades, Qaddafi confiscated businesses and homes and treated enemies with brutality. Fear still lingers in the Tripoli air, and hotel rooms and restaurant tables are said to be bugged. Moreover, Saif isn’t the only Qaddafi son with his father’s ear. Saadi, a former professional soccer player, and Mohtassem, the chief of intelligence, also vie for influence.

http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2007/03/05/businessweek-the-opening-of-libya/

Also from this 2007 article –

Even if it’s not entirely open for business, Libya seems to be worth the trouble. After all, the country has oil and gas income approaching $40 billion per year, some $60 billion in the bank, and an attractive location across the Mediterranean from Sicily. So far, the biggest action is in energy. The Oasis Group—which includes ConocoPhillips, (COP )Marathon Oil (MRO ), and Hess (HES ) paid Tripoli $1.8 billion two years ago to return to the Libyan fields that the U.S. government forced them to give up in 1986.

It’s a monumental task. Libya is behind the curve in just about everything. Moreover, the country’s economy is more dependent on oil and gas than just about any other. The industry, which employs only 3% of the workforce, accounts for over 60% of gross domestic product a higher share than in either Saudi Arabia or Kuwait. Even though Qaddafi, who has ruled since 1969, is taking the chains off the private sector, unemployment is still estimated to be as high as 35%, and the streets of Tripoli are filled with loitering young men.

***

If anyone is interested in the Sierra Leone connection to Qaddafi training and support – (goes way back).

http://www.novelguide.com/a/discover/exgi_0001_0002_0/exgi_0001_0002_0_00132.html

**

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/166232.html

from Iranian Press TV – out of Tehran – this story Feb. 20, 2011, about the situation in Libya from reports a week ago –

Son of Libya’s ruler Muammar Gaddafi has been seen killing pro-democracy protesters as the explosion of anger continues to rock the country, a report says. (etc.)
In a televised address on Sunday, Gaddafi’s son Seif al-Islam claimed that 84 protesters died in Libya, dismissing reports that more than 250 people were killed in nearly a week-long unrest.

Seif al-Islam, however, admitted there were “mistakes” by police and military forces, who were not trained to deal with crowds.

***

Lavrov told Kusa that Libya must respect human rights and ensure the security of both Libyan and foreign citizens.

http://www.saigon-gpdaily.com.vn/International/2011/2/89977/

***

My Note –

I want to say about this particularly, that the world has come to the point at which none of us want to put up with  people being brutalized and killed by their governments – the Chinese didn’t have any patience with the Gaddafi regime’s security forces running around shooting Chinese citizens that were in Libya to enhance the country and work there, the Russian government as a nation with its own citizens and interests in Libya had no patience with it and to be honest, if the list of nations were posted that pulled their citizens out was made here – I would need three or four pages at least just to show their efforts.

They aren’t going to sit by and watch Qaddafi and his sons continue doing atrocities  to their own people either whose only crime was to have been born Libyan or to have become a citizen of Libya at some point. And, neither are the Western nations, regardless of what may have been overlooked in the past administrations of these governments. Life is changed, and the world has changed. It isn’t an isolated dark closet anymore where any brutality can happen in some secret and never discovered dungeon or jail or royal quarters of a nation under a sadistic regime.

There is no way to understand the pathological lies of the Qaddafi leaders and family members when all the evidence from reality proves the opposite of what they are saying is the case. Is it irrational or the demented reasoning of those who have not joined this greater world and are playing by yesterday’s rules and yesterday’s hidden corners?

Or is it sheer contempt for that greater world who can no longer afford such atrocities to be meted out nor perpetrated upon vast populations for any reason? The world will have the oil beneath Libya with or without Qaddafi and his sons signing the paperwork – they don’t own it anyway. The people of Libya own those resources and will be happy to participate with this greater world whose petroleum needs they can help to satisfy because it will do their lives good and will provide greater things for their lives than not doing it would provide. That is simple enough.

Why should the citizens of Libya have to share the spoils of those oil resources with the perversions of the Qaddafi clan who’ve already proven the manner in which they will repress, brutalize, impoverish, and exclude their own population from that prosperity?

– cricketdiane

***

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/gaddafi-son-sparks-crisis-with-arrest-at-swiss-hotel-876809.html

The daughter

Gaddafi’s only daughter is Aisha, a lawyer who was part of the defence team of the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. She has come out in defence of her brother Hannibal in his latest troubles.

The following February Mr Gaddafi was arrested in Paris after allegedly beating up a female companion who had resisted his advances, and damaging the door to her room. Later he changed rooms and was said to have begun destroying furniture before pulling a 9mm Walter PKK semi-automatic handgun on security guards at the Intercontinental Hotel. They succeeded in subduing him. Police questioned but did not detain him and he returned to Copenhagen soon afterwards.

France lodged an official complaint with the Libyan authorities and three months later he was convicted in absentia of “voluntary violence against a vulnerable person, namely his pregnant companion, which caused her total inability to work for at least eight days”. He was given a four-month suspended prison sentence and a €500 fine.

(etc.) Lists seven sons and one daughter with descriptions of them.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/gaddafi-son-sparks-crisis-with-arrest-at-swiss-hotel-876809.html

***

Just a note about something I found on the Catholic news site – and in total opposition to the Qaddafi claim that Osama bin Laden is behind this or other radical religious extremists (although it may be too early to know what all the influences will end up being in the long road ahead for Libya and the region) –

The two churches in Tripoli and Benghazi have not suffered any damages. The different communities of religious sisters working in hospitals in Cyrenaica [the eastern coastal region] are busy treating those wounded in clashes.”

1.8% of the nation’s 6.7 million people are Catholic, according to Vatican statistics. The nation has six parishes.

http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=9353

**