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Gulf oil spill to reach Atlantic seaboard? [Updated]

Gradually learning the jargon here. Like, the Subsea Oil Recovery System is nothing more or less than a giant steel container, inverted, with mudflaps, and they're going to lower it onto the major leak, which is at the end of the drill pipe. They're also making two more of these things -- I've heard them called domes or coffer dams but it sounds like they're rectangular and not circular -- for the other two leaks. They have to hope this will work in mile-deep water and crushing pressure. See this memo from the Deepwater Horizon response folks for more details. More from the New York Times on this.

A cautionary note: This is your classic fluid situation, no pun intended. There are conflicting numbers, conflicting measurements, conflicting strategies, with lots happening at once and many different people offering their thoughts on what's really happening. I'd be cautious, for example, about believing the report that oil will be carried by the Gulf Stream around the tip of Florida and onto the Atlantic Coast. This ran all over the place Sunday thanks to the Associated Press. The Gulf Stream angle got a bit hyped in the headlines ("Nightmare scenario feared if massive oil spill enters the Gulf Stream" shrieked the Kansas City Star) -- and it was based on a single source, a professor in remote sensing at UF who has no direct knowledge of what's happening in the water as far as I could tell. Tell me if you know differently (or "different," as we say in Hogtown).

Moreover, what we have going on now is already pretty much the nightmare scenario. It doesn't become more nightmarish, really, just because the oil reaches Palm Beach or the Outer Banks. The Gulf produces billions of tons of fish and shellfish, has countless wildlife refuges and provides a way of life for untold thousands of people who will be out of business if their water is gunked up with oil.

Here is our story in the paper this morning (team effort) about the oil spill. Quick question: I understand why the Administration wants to tell everyone at every turn that it was quick on the draw and tremendously serious and purposeful from the get-go on this thing -- but was it necessary to have the president of the United States give remarks STANDING IN THE RAIN? That was ludicrous. They've invented this cool new technology called the umbrella.

--

[Update: Today a BP executive, Andy Inglis, was supposed to give a presentation in Houston at the 2010 Offshore Technology Conference.

Title of presentation: "The Challenges and Rewards in Operating in the World's Offshore Basins."

Cancelled it for some reason.]

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 3, 2010; 9:19 AM ET
 
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Next: More worst-case scenarios in gulf oil spill

Comments

Once again a breaking news story makes everybody instant experts in arcane technologies with incomprehensible jargon.

Basically they are going to drop a giant concrete igloo on top of it and hope the pressure from the oil can't pop it off.

From Joel's story this morning, the frightening part is that 90 days to drill a relief well (which in my mind would only slow, not stop, the leak) is one of the rosey scenarios.

Off-shore oil drilling is a classic case of the problem of the commons where the rewards are privatized but the intangible cost of the long-term damage is spread across the general public.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I don't believe it. Yes, I did it again. Reposting:

Yikes, that was one tough quiz. I got 7 out of 11, but I frankly confess four of those seven were educated-by-elimination guesses. Never heard of Ron Swanson, whoever the he11 he is.

'Morning, Boodle.

I've got to throw yet another flag on the online copy desk for its use of the word "fatal" on Milbank's column: "Obama's fatal flinch on immigration reform" on the page itself and "Milbank: Obama's fatal flinch" in the Opion column head. Milbank himself never once uses the word "fatal" in his column, nor is there any approximate term. He doesn't like Obama's 180 on immigration, and he can talk about that until he's blue in the face. But where in he11 does the headline writer get off injecting something into a column that isn't there?

*sigh*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 3, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I have been extremely impressed by what Joel has been writing on this. I forwarded the last kit to a number of friends and relatives because, for some reason, they take assessments coming from a professional journalist more seriously than they do babblings coming from me.

Go figure.

I suspect that some of the reporting we are seeing is out of desperation. It isn't that there is any kind of information blackout going on (That deepwaterhorizonresponse.com Joel pointing out is especially appreciated), rather the pace of this disaster, and the responses to it, are unfolding (or enfolding) slowly. And in such a situation any rumor or assertion takes on unreasonable importance.


Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 3, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and in case Dawny is hanging about, yes, I am grossly off-topic. I plead the fact that I have special needs.

I beg all Boodlers to confine their comments solely to the topic at hand, which has to do with whether or not oil will drift into the Atlantic. No other points of discussion will be tolerated. I caution this point because I know some of you are dying to post comments about the oil drifting into the Pacific (through the Panama Canal -- d-uh!!), the Caspian, and most especially the Black Sea, which as many of you know is already black enough as it is without gunk in it. Dawny gets very upset when she has to read stuff that isn't on topic. She and her therapist are working on it, but this isn't something that clears up overnight.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 3, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Below is a link to the best technical discussion I've seen so far about offshore oil platform operations relevant to the Deepwater Horizon incident. As with many posts on theoildrum.com, some of the comments provide information that is equally informed and important as the main article.

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6421#more

Posted by: CrudeNoir | May 3, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

"Off-shore oil drilling is a classic case of the problem of the commons where the rewards are privatized but the intangible cost of the long-term damage is spread across the general public."

And the notion that we seem to be unable to get MORE GOVERNMENT (nut case designation accepted) oversight, makes it even more depressing.

Posted by: gmbka | May 3, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Why didn't BP have "super shears"?

Apparently Brazil requires 'super shears" on its deep wells. Why not in the US?

See following comment from theoildrum.com:

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6421#more

Toolpush on May 3, 2010 - 6:11am

In Brasil before a rig starts a contract, they must land a tool joint on the pipe rams cut the it with the shears rams to prove the shears are capable at depth. The industry has reconized the problem and have moved from 3000psi operating pressure to 5000psi. The introduction of super shears which are designed to cut through nearly anything that needs to pass through the BOP has also been a change. The differance in the super shears to standard shears is they do not cut and seal. They just cut and the standard shear/blinds are used to seal in the well. the Horizon did not have super shears

Posted by: CrudeNoir | May 3, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

The remote sensing center at University of Miami's Rosentiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science has oil slick imagery and some interpretation. Plus Dr Hans Graber's interviews.
http://www.cstars.miami.edu/

I appreciate Joel's checking the UF faculty member.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 3, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Eventually this oil will get everywhere. There some old tale that if you drop a glass of water in the ocean and if a year later you go anywhere in the world and pull out a glass of water there will be at least on molecule of that original glass of water in it.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

It's sort of like living with a chronic disease, isn't it?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 3, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

"Off-shore oil drilling is a classic case of the problem of the commons where the rewards are privatized but the intangible cost of the long-term damage is spread across the general public."

And you know what the solution is? Common ownership of natural resources, so that the people get not just the risks, but the rewards too.

You know what another name for that is?

SOCIALISM.

It's not a dirty word.

Posted by: ErinMyers | May 3, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Oh, fer cryin' out loud. Send 'em back to the textbooks, say I.

Posted by: Yoki | May 3, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Doonesbury is Off topic and made me laugh --

http://wpcomics.washingtonpost.com/client/wpc/db/

Posted by: nellie4 | May 3, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"SOCIALISM.

It's not a dirty word."

No, it's not. But the so-called socialist countries I have seen and experienced have not impressed me, to say the least.

Posted by: gmbka | May 3, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

After studying as many factual, technical articles these last few days as I can absorb I decided to pull on my waders and dip into the comments on the main report this morning. Only got knee-deep but several folks are actually making sense over there. Ten minutes fulfilled my curiousity, however.

btw, at one point (ten days ago?) when the topic was earthquake/volcano dominated, someone (Mudge?) said, "what next, locusts?" I chimed in that I expected to see the waters running red.
Next time I post something like that will the collective boodle take out their virtual hammers and bop me one?

Posted by: talitha1 | May 3, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

6/11 on the quiz.

Doesn't it always seem like the resource extractive types all say before the fact, "Don't worry about a thing, we've got the technology to handle this" and after the spill hits the fan it's "We never imagined that something like this could happen"? Perhaps the real failure here is not the blowout preventer, but the failure to imagine and provide for a truly worst case scenario.

Maybe they could get the aquatic aliens from "The Abyss" to help-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpwYKaLD66U&feature=related

Posted by: kguy1 | May 3, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

kguy - I think you nailed it. It's the "I'm afraid to even think about it" mindset. Somebody probably calculated an acceptable probability of failure and then refused to believe that they might be wrong. Happens all the time.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 3, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Should I mention that satellite radio is currently playing my favorite* REM song?

"It's the End of the World as We Know It and I Feel Fine"

*shrug*

*The only REM song I like, but anyway...

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 3, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

My theory about the aquatic aliens is that at first they probably figured we could solve it on our own and didn't want to, you know, over parent. Now they are probably all embarrassed about waiting so long and don't want us to get mad at them for doing so.

Look. I said it was a theory.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 3, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

We (as in The People) do own the minerals. Our representatives (aka Da Gummint) sell rights to extract these minerals. In exchange we get lease payments or royalties or colored beads or something. Now many of these leases are handed out at prices that arguably are not Fair Market Value. The Oil Companies have far better lawyers and give their pet politicians lots of campaign donations so that We The People don't catch on how bad we're getting screwed until we can't take our two weeks on the Redneck Riviera without needing a Full Silkwood every time we get out of the water.

My biggest shocker when I took a drive down the PCH through Seal Beach was how close to shore the rigs were. You could (and people did) windsurf right out to them. And that is when this Jack Johnson song made perfect sense to me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7Hb-Q8qE4M

(Lyrics for the YouTube deficient):

The horizon has been defeated
By the pirates of the new age
Alien casinos
Well maybe it's just time to say
Things can go bad
And make you want to run away
But as we grow older
The trouble just seems to stay

Future complications
In the strings between the cans
But no prints can come from fingers
If machines become our hands
And then our feet become the wheels
And then the wheels become the cars
And then the rigs begin to drill
Until the drilling goes too far

Things can go bad
And make you want to run away
But as we grow older
The horizon begins to fade, fade, fade
Fade away

Thingamajigsaw puzzled
Anger don't you step too close
Because people are lonely and only
Animals with fancy shoes
Hallelujahs zig zag nothing
Misery it's on the loose
Because people are lonely and only
Animals with too many tools
That can build all the junk that we sell
Aw sometimes man makes you want to yell

(chorus)

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Lynn Redgrave passed away. So it goes.

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news&id=7419612

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Redgrave's obit is also on the home page:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postmortem/2010/05/actress-lynn-redgrave-has-died.html

RIP, Ms. Redgrave.

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 3, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

And speaking of sad developments, yet another example of security trumping all:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/03/AR2010050302081.html

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 3, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Ach, I saw that, Scotty. It is nuts. As bad as Roman cathedrals closing their doors.

http://www.paradoxplace.com/Church_Stuff/Bronze_Doors/Bronze_Doors.htm

Posted by: Yoki | May 3, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

And are their any church doors more famous than the Duomo Baptistry in Florence (other than perhaps the ones Martin Luther started using as a community bulletin board)?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/3446530519/in/set-72157616768271281/

Detail of one panel:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/3446529603/in/set-72157616768271281/

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Aw, man. RIP, Georgy Girl. *sigh* Only 67.

I wasn't aware she'd been battling breast cancer since 2003. IMDB shows she made no less than 17 movies and TV episodes since 2003.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 3, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks CPQ for the correction. I definitely fit in the category of "special needs".

We're all going to be crying in our soup if that spill makes a turn around Florida and heads up the Seaboard coastline. This really is a nightmare. What will happen to the fish, and all the animal life in the water? And those things that depend on the water? I'm getting a headache thinking about it.

Slyness, the weather here is looking a might fierce. We got some rain, but I don't think that's the end of it. Stormy, is the word I'm looking for.

Is what's happening with the oil spill a crime? Could someone go to jail?

Posted by: cmyth4u | May 3, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA KNEW--HE DID NOTHING!


http://www.wkrg.com/gulf_oil_spill/article/video-noaa-feared-4.6m-gallons-per-day-could-gush-into-gulf/882891/May-03-2010_11-35-am/


Why is the media covering up Obama's neglect of the Gulf Disaster??!!


Now it's becoming well-known that Obama knew about the spill almost immediately!!!!!

On April 22, 2010 NOAA knew about the disaster!!

IT'S ON FILM!!!


OBAMA DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!

here's the link:

http://www.wkrg.com/gulf_oil_spill/article/video-noaa-feared-4.6m-gallons-per-day-could-gush-into-gulf/882891/May-03-2010_11-35-am/

Posted by: charko825 | May 3, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, Front Page Alert...

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 3, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Awww... Isn't that cute. Another conservative stomping his widdle feet and getting all upset about environmental damage. Bet he's a member of Greenpeace.

Posted by: rashomon | May 3, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Um... charko, if "Obama did nothing," then why do your links of videos show gummint people running around like crazy doing things? And why is the predicted initial estimate size of the spill 23 times larger than the current estimate of the size?

Take a pill, please. Relax.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 3, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Not only that, Rashomon, he appears to want the government to intervene drastically and immediately in how a corporation conducts its business. He appears to want...increased oversight. Intervention. Big-footing the locals and seizing control. Regulations. Telling companies what kind of saty measures they should have standing by.

My, my. I feel an attack of the vapors coming on.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 3, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Boobz in the Nuz!

Another proud moment for the commonwealth-

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/01/virginia-seal-breast-picture_n_559673.html

Posted by: kguy1 | May 3, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Oh, that's not all Ken the Kook is up to Kguy. McCarthyism, anyone?

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/virginiapolitics/2010/05/climate_scientist_says_cuccine.html

Posted by: rashomon | May 3, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I think the logical answer to why Obama isn't using an umbrella is the one he himself implied. He was told the rain wasn't nearly as bad as what it actually was.

There's a moral there somewhere.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 3, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

These Ashcroft wannabes need to just get a new issue of National Geographic and quit obsessing over statues.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

Hey, I can speak that language if I have to...

CHARKO!!! What do YOU PROPOSE OBAMA DOES NOW!!!????

!!! We'll wait for your KNOWLEDGEABLE, WELL CONSIDERED, and SIMPLE ANSWER!!!!

Thank you,
bc

PS Since the economy actually seems to be easing back from the catastrophe bestowed upon US by the GOP and the Bush Administration, and the Dems actually got some Health Care Legislation passed, I'm sure some people are looking for something to snort n' spit about the Obama Administration...

Posted by: -bc- | May 3, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I really like the WaPo editorial stressing the need for a thorough and honest technical evaluation.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/02/AR2010050202697.html?hpid=opinionsbox1


Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 3, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh, *expletive* -- Lynn Redgrave's gone and died. And you're right, Mudge -- "only" 67. That's not much older than we are, yanno. She was a terrific actress, and I, too, loved Georgy Girl. Great film, great music, great everything -- especially the look on James Mason's face in the taxi at the end. RIP, Ms. R.

Now, where's the socialism I've been promised/threatened with?

*tapping my foot in anticipation*

Posted by: -ftb- | May 3, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Obama too slow to act in dealing with oil spill...


The Obama administration has lacked vision and urgency in responding to the worst environmental disaster it has faced. The oil gushing from the destroyed rig into the Gulf of Mexico has overwhelmed the industry and local governments, and only Washington can muster the resources to meet such an ominous threat to the entire coast. Yet the president did not send his top environmental aides and mobilize the Navy and Air Force until Friday — after the giant slick already had reached the fragile marshes and shorelines of the Mississippi Delta. The federal response must match the magnitude of the threat of environmental and economic calamity that stretches from Louisiana to Florida....

SOURCE LINK:
http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/arizonas-discriminatory-immigration-law-is-wrong/1091744


Posted by: charko825 | May 3, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse


While oil pours into the Gulf---Obama has a Campaign Dinner Rally at the White House with all of his supporters.

Posted by: charko825 | May 3, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

RD, kguy, to translate from the fuzzy spin doctor lingo lingo: "we never imagined this could happen" actually means anything from 'we thought we would close up and get out before it happened' and 'we thought the damage would be much smaller'.

The fact that several countries have tougher standards on safety precautions means plenty of people have already imagined this or seen something similar happen. The risk assessments have probably all been hashed out long ago as far as the equipment goes. But I'd guess there is extremely large wiggle room on estimates of the potential cleanup costs, making it possible to rationalise cheaper investments as desired.

In so far as it looks greed may have helped make the leak possible, I dearly hope this is not the case of the original explosion. 11 people are missing and almost certainly dead. I gloss over this too easily when I dust off my old system engineering hat.

Minor techie rant: I'm getting a little irritable with some reports I see referring to the BOP as a failsafe. If it truly was so, it would have to be actuated to open and allow oil through. When the rig failed, the valve would close automatically. This doesn't appear to be the case - seems it needs to be deliberately actuated in order to close. While there may some good technical reasons for it to work this way it is most definitely not a failsafe (unless Jumper hops on to tell me it is safer to let the oil flow - thanks for your posts btw - very interesting).

Posted by: qgaliana | May 3, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure that since charko825 linked to the St. Pete Times editorial as his authoritative source, he has no problem with this conclusion:

"But in the long term, the president should retreat from his plan to expand drilling in gulf waters, which includes reducing the buffer off Florida's west coast from the current 235 miles to 125 miles. As this disaster illustrates, the risk simply outweighs the potential for more oil and financial windfalls for government."

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I agree that "dome" does not capture the images I've seen of a very large, tall rectangular metal box (with an open bottom) to be lowered over the leaks.

But I'm not sure why the angularity of the box makes the term "cofferdam" inappropriate per Joel's entry here. A "cofferdam" is not a particular shape. One question, though: a cofferdam normally creates a water-free zone (even within a body of water) in which to do a job. Are they really planning to pump water out of these? If not, are they really cofferdams? See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cofferdam

Unfortunately, I saw an expert on the PBS Newshour late last week gently question how these tall building-size boxes will stay put once they are put in position, given the strength of currents 5000 feet down. I pictured them being toppled fast unless there are a lot of pile-driven anchored cables all around, which seems tough for ROVs to accomplish.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | May 3, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

That's an interesting point, qgaliana, about the definition of failsafe. Sort of like a dead man's switch.


You know, I think that critics like charko should simply read Joel's previous kit.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 3, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!

==========

The only thing Obama could have done was to impose a moratorium on ALL off-shore drilling until stricter regulations were in place. Bush reversed every major Clinton-era envirnoment policy in literally the first few day following his inauguration. Why didn't Obama act once he took office?

Obama can still declare a moritorium even though it's already one unprecedented distaster too late.

Posted by: Freestinker | May 3, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse


OPEN ANWAR ASAP!

I'm sure that since charko825 linked to the St. Pete Times editorial as his authoritative source, he has no problem with this conclusion:

"But in the long term, the president should retreat from his plan to expand drilling in gulf waters, which includes reducing the buffer off Florida's west coast from the current 235 miles to 125 miles. As this disaster illustrates, the risk simply outweighs the potential for more oil and financial windfalls for government."


ANWAR needs to be opened up ASAP for drilling....This never would have happened if we drilled up in ANWAR

Posted by: charko825 | May 3, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

If by "Campaign Dinner Rally at the White House with all of his supporters" you mean "White House Correspondents' Dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel which raised $132,000 for journalism scholarships" you are perfectly correct.

This is absolutely morally equivalent to George Bush flying to a campaign fund-raiser in San Diego before doing his famous Air Force One window view fly-by. The similarities are so chilling shivers run up and down my spine. It's like history repeating itself.

Did you know that Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy and Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln?

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Yo, Mudge and slyness -- do we need more toilet paper in the bunker? Seems like we already need it here. . . .

... but I digress

Posted by: -ftb- | May 3, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

For charko825....

The Good Food Channel has the answer for you:

http://uktv.co.uk/food/homepage/sid/5913

Posted by: russianthistle | May 3, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!

==========

The only thing Obama could have done was to impose a moratorium on ALL off-shore drilling until stricter regulations were in place. Bush reversed every major Clinton-era envirnoment policy in literally the first few day following his inauguration. Why didn't Obama act once he took office?

Obama can still declare a moritorium even though it's already one unprecedented distaster too late.

Posted by: Freestinker | May 3, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

charko825,
You wouldn't happen to be a former governor of Alaska would you? Can you say "Drill, baby, drill!"? I knew you could.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Obama is like my dad who thought it was not manly to use an umbrella. I was however pretty shocked to see the rain rolling down Obama's face and jacket. Tears?

Joel--you and the team please keep up the great work -- the world needs the truth about this disaster and it needs to stay in the forefront. A catastrophe is happening before our very eyes.

Posted by: Windy3 | May 3, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Ignoring lunatics like charko for a moment, does anyone have a rational point of view regarding U.S. responsibility to a foreign corporation's operations 50 miles offshore and well beyond the 12-mile limit? Didn't this happen in international waters? Isn't BP a foreign corporation?

Jumper, you're our oil rig expert. What's the ownership status of the rig (and the spill), and what is U.S. claim on stuff that goes on offshore? If the soverign nation of XYZland wanted to put a rig 50 miles off Virginia, could they do it?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 3, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Shoot, kguy! I'd wanted to interrupt the "stay-on-topic" for the Commonwealth's AG conniption on the Great Seal horror. I figured he was trying, belatedly, to cash in on the muslim cleric's boobquake alert from a week ago.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 3, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, in addition to the 12 and 24 mile limits, nations have a 200 mile exclusive economic zone off their coasts. They cannot control navigation in this zone, but have exclusive rights to any resources. Any operations in this zone must have permission of the nation, and operate in accordance with its laws.

Posted by: rashomon | May 3, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Yellow mentioned the problem of the commons; another poster mentioned that ownership of such irreplaceable resources must be rethought.

Clearly, the market either uses such resources without fully costing the externalities of extractive activity or fails to apply risk analysis carefully with the accent on FULLY.

(Market Failure is what we call this event.)

We need to re-propertize these commons, with shareholders understood to be ALL OF US NOW and future generations, to come. These common-resources should be placed in trust instruments.

Then, market interests could "apply" or seek access to the resource; however, they would not be able to claim "Mighty Market Domain" as the primary access point.

Is this hard? Yes. Is it possible? Yes. Will we do this? Perhaps this disaster will push us toward a rational rethink of WHO OWNS WHAT.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | May 3, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

The Crown Jewel of Obama's legacy is that he caused the greatest oil disaster in the history of the world!!

Because of the policies of Obama ecological systems will be damaged for decades to come!!

The loss of jobs will be overwhelming!!


This is what happens when you elect a resident from a third world country...Things that happen in the third world begin happening to you!!

Oh yeah---Barry is also crashing our economy into third world status too!!


Posted by: charko825 | May 3, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Most nations now have a 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone where they can regulate and control mining and fishing but necessarily shipping.

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

Things have come a long way since three-mile territorial limits were based on the range of fort cannons.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

russianthistle - Good link. Problem solved!

Posted by: Bob-S | May 3, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Some of the Boodle's most excellent lawyers probably know better than me, but I've been dealing with matters relating to international oil for a long time.

Sooo, BP has its global headquarters in London, but is a multi-national super-major. It therefore has companies in most of the countries in which it either produces, transports, or markets its products. BP is therefore as much a US company as it is an British one, and as much Iranian as US, and as much Nigerian as Iranian.

Generally, while some countries have not signed on, the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) has it that Territorial Waters extend 3 nautical miles offshore, the Continguous Zone 12 nautical miles, and each countries Exclusive Economic Zone 200 nautical miles, granting that country certain rights to regulation and enforcement to that limit.

Where countries are so close together as to prelude exclusive jurisdiction over the 200 ni belt, best practice has them negotiate a Joint Development Zone, with the jurisdiction shared according to agreed prinicples. These can either work well, or poorly, as in the case of Sao Tome and Principe and Nigeria, in which Nigeria outweighs the authority of ST&P on the Joint Development Authority (see recently scandals in the granting of licenses within the zone).

I hope this answers your questions, 'mudge. Thank you for your attention.

Posted by: Yoki | May 3, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Hee hee. I was so verbose that the question was answered three times as I was typing!

Posted by: Yoki | May 3, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

qgaliana, I thought I read that the BOP was designed so that in the absence of a signal/current, etc. from the rig that it would actuate automatically. My impression was more like a two-state relay, where a signal kept it in one state (open), but in the absence of the signal, it would revert to its "at rest" state, which would shut off the flow and cut the pipe. I'm OK with calling that a failsafe measure. I'm not OK with there being no back up to it or that they didn't even have another external containment system designed and tested for use.

I haven't seen anything definitive on whether it didn't revert or whether something was blocking it so it couldn't close completely. I think both theories have been floated.

Sorry I don't have a link, I'll try to retrace my steps from this morning to find where I read that...

Posted by: MoftheMountain | May 3, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

200 miles-- thanks, Rashomon.

charko, you're doing an outstanding job in providing comic relief here. I'm borderline ROTFLAMAO. Really. I thought the "this is what happens when you elect a third-world" blah-blah was really quite excellent. I mean, totally off-the-charts wild-crazy foaming-at-the-mouth good. I am reminded of the early John Belushi on Weekend Update when he'd fall off his chair in a screaming fit. Very nice.

(And I really appreciate it that you've eschewed the caps lock key. Many thanks.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 3, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Quick google reveals that charko825 is a notorious WaPo troll (no surprise there) who in addition to being a birther advocates the unlimited use of shale oil. All cries of ecological abuse by Obama from that quarter are hereby null and void and hypocritical.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, y'all.

Awww, I see they cancelled today's offshore oil safety awards luncheon at the 2010 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20003638-10391695.html

According to CBS News, BP won last year for "promoting improved medical care and evacuation capabilities for offshore facilities."

I doubt the families of the 11 who didn't make it off the rig will find much comfort in that.

http://blog.al.com/live/2010/05/bp_told_to_stop_circulating_se.html

The Alabama AG has told BP to stop circulating settlement agreements, which appear to cap payments at $5,000.

Posted by: MsJS | May 3, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Yoki.

Top o' the morning to ya.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 3, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse


While oil is pouring into the Gulf at record proportions here is what Barry the Moron does:


OBAMA (Barry Soetero): I have ordered Secretary Salazar to conduct a thorough review of this incident and report back to me in 30 days on what, if any, additional precautions and technologies should be required to prevent accidents like this from happening again.


...nothing like addressing the problem head-on...


Posted by: charko825 | May 3, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

My comments about about placing "ecosystem services" commons (air, water, mineral/natural product supplies like oil and gas, and other essential earth systems) are shared by many forward-thinking economists.

Read Hazel Henderson, E.F. Schumacher, Herman Daly, Josh Farley, to start.

But, for immediate and practical clarity on how Capitalism already has such instruments at the ready, see Peter Barnes' work Capitalism 3.0.

He founded Working Assets several year ago.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | May 3, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Dave Barry, or Marion Barry?

That's too bad about the cancellation of Andy Iglis' presentation at the Offshore Technology Conference. Would have been enlightening, I'm sure.

Posted by: Bob-S | May 3, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

" greatest oil disaster in the history of the world!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!

Obviously you haven't quite gotten the hang of this eco-nut stuff, but FYI here are the top ten-

http://envirowonk.com/content/view/68/1/

Exxon Valdez is still the worst in US history, and even that doesn't crack this list.

Posted by: kguy1 | May 3, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Bob. I find that the little stick poking, where most people ignore, can be some of the funniest.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 3, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, that's very interesting. Thanks for the info!

It scares me a little how much you people seem to know sometimes . . .

Posted by: cowhand214 | May 3, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

There's a lot of stuff I don't know, but I'm trying to find out. Stuff like em dashes.

I don't know all about blow-out preventers. They are complex and once I understood blind rams vs. shear rams I figured I'd get back to that later. I don't quite understand the cement bottom plug. I THINK it's supposed to be drilled out later by a workover rig. And while I'm at it, I never spudded in a well or was anywhere near one doing it. I came in later. I don't know international maritime law, and I don't know how much force Obama's teeth can exert on conductor pipe, even while feeling urgency, 5,000 feet down. And I was usually enjoying 48 hours of sweet downtime onshore or in town during actual pipe cementing. I would wave "see ya" to the surly, overconfident Halliburton hands as I drove away, or took a crew boat, or helicopter if lucky. I worked 84 hour weeks a lot. I do know you can calculate hydrostatic head by multiplying 0.052 by pounds per gallon of the fluid times depth in feet. Temperature / volume corrections not included.

One of my tasks was to simply prevent the conditions for blowout to occur. This I excelled at. I failed once, negatively, when an engineer refused to recognize good science and increased mud density about 5 lbs. per gallon more than I recommended, and he lost a LOT of mud in the hole (one of those lower-pressure areas I mentioned.)

I am still unsure of exactly who Lady Gaga is.

And I don't think it's good in any way to let the oil keep flowing.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 3, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Man, Yoki -- you shur know yer onions! Excellent description of that issue. Not my area, dontcha know, but it's always fun to learn something new -- specially from *yew* ...

chark needs to have a brain transplant.

Posted by: -ftb- | May 3, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I have an emotional connection to this story if you'll bear with me... I just returned from spending a good part of the day at Atlantic Beach (Jacksonville, FL) looking and swimming in the blue ocean, watching porposes just offshore, sitting in white sand (I know some of you see Jacksonville and think "huh?" but there are some REALLY nice beaches around here) and thinking how beautiful a place that was and how we may be this close to losing it all. So thank you for digging deeper into the facts, and helping us understand the reality of this disaster, it is reassuring to know there is still good jouralism taking place.
And protestations to the contrary from the Angry Right, I believe the U.S. Government is doing everything they can and then some, but I'm also believing that even the entire USS Eisenhower Task Force prepositioned and with an entire aircraft carrier full of containment booms isn't going to be enough to deal with what's happening out there... I hope I'm very wrong, but this is going to be a loooong time cleaning this up.
And if what I'm hearing is true, that there may be liablity limits on the clean-up costs BP will incur, I would not want to be their upper management... you thought it was ugly with Goldman Sachs...) Can someone comment or find out about these limits to BP's liabilities?

Posted by: PeterPamZ | May 3, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

CrudeNoir deserves a shout-out for the link to the radio interview with a survivor from the rig.
http://www.marklevinshow.com/Article.asp?id=1790422&spid=32364

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 3, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

kguy, I am beginning to start to think that the south, with their many problems look to Obama as their foreign government manager just like we might complain to our Mexican gardener. I saw a weekend video story from MSNBC where the fishermen of the Gulf were "lining up for jobs" to clean up the mess and these hardscrabble guys were complaining that it was taking Obama a long time to solve their particular problems and they were getting "really upset."

Maybe I was just misunderstanding those folks. Maybe they were just complaining like people complain when they are in a long line. It's just no different than waiting in line at Safeway for a cashier who is from a foreign land and taking a few seconds per person too long. This is just your basic Kenyan US President.

Who wants to do this carp... get an African.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 3, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks MoM, I stand corrected if that's the case. I'll see if I can find some more detailed references, but the ones I'd seen all spoke of having to activate the BOP to close it. It could just be journalists paraphrasing in ignorance.

There's probably someone at the manufacturer going through the design with a fine tooth comb by now.

Posted by: qgaliana | May 3, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

PeterPamZ, this is from the NYT:

"Under the law that established the reserve, called the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, the operators of the offshore rig face no more than $75 million in liability for the damages that might be claimed by individuals, companies or the government, although they are responsible for the cost of containing and cleaning up the spill."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/us/02liability.html

Posted by: rashomon | May 3, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I think the total-knowledge quotient is high because we form a sort of cloud-brain, cowhand. We're like a bunch of hedgehogs who got together.

I spent four days at Jax Beach a couple of years ago, so know how lovely it can be up there, PeterPamZ. It was in January though, so too cold to swim. Still loved it.

Posted by: Yoki | May 3, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Umbrellas are for women and sissies. Good for Obama for refusing to hold one for himself.

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | May 3, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

After rereading, I think I see what you are saying with it needing to be actuated, qgaliana. I still can't find where I read about how it was supposed to automatically close though, so maybe I dreamt it.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | May 3, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Having just spoken with my dear friend in Zambia a few minutes ago, I am in the process of faxing *hearts* (as mostly usual) to Weed. You're such a funny guy!

Interesting that these guys want the gummint to give them jobs to be part of the clean up effort, and not BP.

*snort*

Posted by: -ftb- | May 3, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Don't tell that to all those macho British bankers, WackyW. Oh, wait a minute...

Posted by: Yoki | May 3, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Special-Needs-Cloud-Brain: Boodlers at work form a collective hedgehog of knowledge while admitting to needing doses of

clafouti
really good fair trade/shade coffee
bamboo knitting needles
STP in cans (the Racer's edge)
scent of lilacs and roses
commas, placed properly

as therapy.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | May 3, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Don't those folks know that the government never created a single job- according to Mchael Steele. And if it did, that would be socialism! The horror, the horror.

Posted by: kguy1 | May 3, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I heard some wingnut suggest that the rain had stopped in Louisiana yesterday and Obama had Secret Service agents standing around with spray bottles misting him for his "photobama".

Posted by: talitha1 | May 3, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

rashomon, thank you for the info... that "although" makes a world of difference. Let's hope that the inevitable court cases are NOT over by the time this spill is cleaned up, that this is not as bad as it sees to be right now.
And all of you please vervently hope it's another El Nino year and this year's hurricane season is a lot like last year's...

Posted by: PeterPamZ | May 3, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Yoki,
It is so nice to know that my random googling can be confirmed by people that actually Know Stuff. When we have bubble domes around our countries this stuff will be much easier.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Carl Hiaasen gives the Florida perspective-

Last week, BP's chief executive, Tony Hayward, tried to ease the fears of Gulf residents by saying that the approaching layer of oil was as light as ``iced tea.''
Good luck trying to sell that line: ``Hey, folks, that brown stuff all over the beach? Don't think of it as tar. Think of it as Snapple.''


Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/05/01/1607537/gulf-spill-can-kill-our-tourist.html#ixzz0mtgzB0CY

Posted by: kguy1 | May 3, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

A quick reminder whilst on my ways somewheres else. Talking about resources and the commons, remember that offshore oil resources may be owned by gummints, but onshore - that is, land - resources are owned individually. Often, by people. People or organizations own mineral rights to property and lease them to oil & gas corps for exploration and development. No common ownership there.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 3, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Can't we just sent the Seaview or the Seawolf down there to check things out. They always solved the problem in an hour or so.

And if it were only ten years into the future, Sealab could have fixed it with their dolphins.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Right, Ivansmom about the ownership of oil, gas, and minerals on land.

I am, naturally, talking about the larger "birthright" of the planet's citizens -- including future ones -- to have access to the stuff here we consume and really should share better,.

I want us to use property rights to exert claims on the stuffs we need to live. Further, I think future people have claims. I also, full disclosure, think that the most isolated person on the planet can make a claim on stuff that looks to belong to others, including me....we won't survive the next 1000 years in any reasonable way unless we rethink our human systems quickly.

The earth has limits. Including oil and minerals.

---
Now, clearly I am outed as special-needs-cloudybrain-Pollyanna, etc. Sorry about that to those who will now discount what I say. Still, I love the world and all there-in, so forgive my chiding love note.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | May 3, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, yello -- I bet Lloyd Bridges could have fixed it, too.

Posted by: rashomon | May 3, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

While $75 million seems to be a ridiculously small cap on liability claims for an incident of this size, there probably has to be some limit. Bear in mind that once you start trying to hit BP up for economic damages, they can only afford so much. Their entire 2010 net income of around $5 billion is chump change when you start talking about tens (or hundreds) of thousands of claimants. Even Walmart couldn't handle those claims lightly, and Walmart's a heck of a lot bigger than BP.

Posted by: Bob-S | May 3, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Is that right, Ivansmom? In Alberta, the provincial government owns all subsurface rights, landowners only surface and riparian rights. That was not always true; certainly back in the 70s the junior I worked for wrote plenty of royalty/rent cheques to private individuals and entities (and may still do so), but whenever I've bought land in this province subsurface rights explicitly accrued to the province.

Posted by: Yoki | May 3, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

We are the Special Needs Cloud-Brain. Resistance is futile Em Dash All your base are belong to us. Also home plate.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 3, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I can hear the sound of engelmann typing to tell me I'm mistaken. Please correct as necessary, e-mann.

Posted by: Yoki | May 3, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

The whole situation just makes me sick to my stomach. Fix it already, please!

That said, the bunker is open, and yes, there is plenty of TP. I replenished the supply when I went to Costco this morning. TP, and Mexican food for 120 for dinner Wednesday evening.

Posted by: slyness | May 3, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

There is also all that federal land where We The People seem to give away all sorts of mineral, timber and grazing rights to the properly connected cronies. If Mount Rushmore had oil there would have been a rig on Teddy's nose by now.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Jacking the thread to the last boodle, a lot of those Sea Hunt episodes were filmed at Silver Springs because the water is so clear.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. I think I-mom is a little off on that one. There are plenty of oil and gas wells, as well as mines, operating on Federal government. This became an issue because of the Republican "drill here, drill now" mantra, insisting that more leases be granted, when it was pointed out that only a fraction of existing leases were currently being exploited.

Posted by: rashomon | May 3, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

That is: There are plenty of oil and gas wells, as well as mines, operating on Federal government land.

Think I need some caffeine.

Posted by: rashomon | May 3, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Or up it, yello.

Posted by: MsJS | May 3, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

CQP, I'm with you on the special-needs-cloudybrain-Pollyanna front. I'd through in my dirty-lens and Mudge an Em-Dash.

slyness, I'll bring tequilla and limes along with fresh doilies for the bunker.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 3, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Somehow, TP and Mexican food for 120 just seem to go together.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 3, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

*faxing slyness a papier-mache pinata of Mr. Whipple*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 3, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Grazing privileges. They are kinda-sorta treated as property in, say, setting the selling price of a ranch, but can (and are) withdrawn without compensation. The BLM system isn't terribly good, but I don't think it amounts to a huge burden on the public. I happen to like sheep better than cattle. They aren't prone to ruin streamside areas.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 3, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

CQP, I'm with you on the special-needs-cloudybrain-Pollyanna front and I'll throw in my own pair of dirty lenses.

slyness, let me know if the bunker needs extra tequilla, limes and doilies for Wednesday night?

Posted by: talitha1 | May 3, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Ooooops *shame*

Posted by: talitha1 | May 3, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

The National Parks have been fairly successful at fending off Useful Uses of their land, except for the Hetch Hetchy Valley, turned into a drinking water reservoir for San Francisco. It would be highly restorable.

The Black Hills, including Mt Rushmore, were swiped from Native Americans the moment gold was discovered. I doubt that they were consulted about turning a fine mountain into a work of art/tourist attraction.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 3, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

It is not uncommon in my neck of the woods for individuals to own land with oil and gas rights that are then leased to a major corp for exploration.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 3, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, if we bring in any more doilies *none* of the Boodle-men will show up to contribute their humourous and informed company.

Posted by: Yoki | May 3, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Here is my encounter with grazing on public lands somewhere between Cheyenne and Shell:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/4458174897/in/set-72157623681598314/

Sheep not only have the right of way, they are too cute to hit:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/4458955460/in/set-72157623681598314/

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Between Sheridan and Shell.

Bighorn National Forest to be precise.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Grazing privileges are what our youngest son seems to have in our kitchen.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 3, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Research into oceanic current pattern suggests oil entering the Gulf Stream may be in excess of 236 ppm, well exceeding the carrying capacity of natural filtration (see for example Jones, 2005)

//Yoki, you there? I’d hate to perpetuate our special needs image, so that was just to give the appearance of being on-kit. Yup, land titles are always a history lesson. Originally, property rights were the proverbial (proverbial in law school anyway) carrot, from the middle of the earth into space. Then later the property ownership was de-linked between the surface as opposed to the “mines and minerals”. I forget when the cut-off was, but have a hazy memory of the only properties with mines and minerals being part of the property were original homesteaders, the railway properties and a couple other exceptions. Anyone with surface rights still can get royalties from access, but the considerations are different.//

Referring additionally to considerations of the trans-oceanic thermocline, Johnson (2002) suggests partial differentiation based on subsurface pressure and temperature strata may also be necessary.

Posted by: engelmann | May 3, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Tequila, limes and doiles: classic approach-avoidance. You sure know how to throw a party, talitha.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 3, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, my "doilies" are of the decidedly un-Victorian lace variety.;)

Posted by: talitha1 | May 3, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, and your point is?

Posted by: MsJS | May 3, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

On the other hand, if you have the wherewithal to exploit & defend your mineral rights to the center of the earth, you're going to win most arguments on the subject.

Posted by: Bob-S | May 3, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Anybody else watching "The Pacific"? Heart-breaking episode last night. I knew it was coming, though. I liked Annie Parisse as Mrs. Basilone.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 3, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

*laughing at the loom*
Is it 5 o'clock yet? Any time zone will do.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 3, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks engelmann! I feel more accurate now.

Posted by: Yoki | May 3, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Now THIS is a truly Hilarious WaPo hed and tease in the photo box: "Rush's out-of-touch moment"

"Judging by Limbaugh's comments about the gulf oil spill, his understanding of the liberal stance on nuclear energy is out of date."

Imagine. Rush's view of the world (and a keystone liberal position) might not be zackly akkarit. Hard to believe, I know. I always appreciate it when a crack news magazine like Newsweek spots an item the rest of us might have missed.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 3, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

We've been watching "The Pacific" since it began. Last night broke my heart more than any other episode, Mudge. Darned powerful series.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 3, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"I have suffered from being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a hell of a lot more if I had been understood."
Clarence Darrow

Posted by: kguy1 | May 3, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Sedco, the company which leased to rig to PEMEX at Ixtoc I, was Texas governor Bill Clements's company. Karl Rove went to work for Clements in '79, the year Sedco's rig participated in the Ixtoc I spill. Ixtoc I was the second largest in history after Saddam's madness in the Persian Gulf.

Sedco merged; became Transocean.

Just some trivia. I may now see how Ixtoc I vanished down the memory hole. For some.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 3, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Ooooh! So more like thongs than like antimacassars?

Posted by: Yoki | May 3, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm from downhill of the Bighorn National Forest, on the west side, including several pleasant summer weeks in and around Tensleep, where the red rocks make for pink sheep. Pink everything.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 3, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Thinking of The Pacific, it was astonishing to see Eugene Sledge's book on sale at Target. Paul Fussell, who wrote classic assessments of the literature of the world wars, was greatly impressed by Sledge.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 3, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

"Pink everything." --DotC

Ohhh, can I bring some pink lemonade for the tequila?

Posted by: MsJS | May 3, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Okay, Mudge & talitha -- I've never heard of The Pacific. What channel is it on and what's it about? Am I too late to start watching it now?

*typical* *tsk*

Posted by: -ftb- | May 3, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

It never ceases to amaze me the information I can find in the boodle (and Joel's kits as well of course).

Sad about Lynn Redgrave, way too young.

I spent a wonderful week in Perdido Key close to the Florida/Alabama border, still one of the most beautiful places I have been, white coral beaches and sand dunes (which are part of a nation or state park).

Forgive me but I always thought US conservatives wanted the government to keep their hands off private industries and were against industry regulations - but it is the governments fault when thing go wrong and their responsibility to clean up the mess. My brain cannot get around that.

Posted by: dmd3 | May 3, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I added a couple of things to the kit.

I think it's still unclear how awful this thing is going to be, ultimately, but it sure looks like a full blown catastrophe at the moment.

Posted by: joelache | May 3, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Roit!!! Wot's all this then about Wednesday night?!?!

The Pacific, ftb, you know -- big puddle west of California and Oregon and British Columbia and all.

Hawaii floats in it.

*running away* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 3, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Ha, Mudge!

Tequila and limes are always welcome in the bunker, talitha. Doilies, only by us wimmen folk who understand and appreciate such things.

The thing about Mexican for 120 is actually true, I was at Costco this morning, in pouring rain, to purchase said food. Would you believe Costco doesn't have taco shells and we have to go elsewhere to find them? I was *amazed*.

Mr. T's birthday steak is on the grill, the potatoes are boiling (garlic mashed), and I'll put the spinach salad together here in a few. Hmmm. Bleu or goat cheese with the spinach?

Posted by: slyness | May 3, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Sure, the federal gummint owns the mineral rights to federal lands. As LostinThought says, I was referring to privately owned land. If I, say, want a piece of farmland, I can buy just surface or surface & mineral rights. [Hint: try to get the mineral rights. It is getting harder and harder.] If I want to sell, I can sell the whole thing, or just surface, and keep the mineral rights for myself. Then, should an oil or gas company happen by, I can lease them the mineral rights even though I have no connection to the surface property.

I find the Canadian system as per Yoki & Engelmann very interesting and probably a lot fairer, talking about common resources.

Special Needs Cloud Brain. Very nice. Resistance is futile.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 3, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Steak, slyness?? Go with the bleu cheese. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 3, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Goat with spinach.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

At what point does this mess cover so large of an area that it is such a thin film that it isn't too much of a problem? My guess is that with the spreading out of the slick, there will be rogue patches of water/oil emulsions that will make god-awful messes in specific locations they come ashore but eventually much of the oil will be just spread out over the gulf, degraded (through bio action, dissolving, and evaporation) and just go away. Spreading a plume out over such a large area has to eventually provide some dilution effect.

Posted by: Mapmaker1 | May 3, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

lol @ kit update. I can't imagine why he wouldn't want to give that talk.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | May 3, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Not that I would ever go off topic, but today two of my wisteria buds burst into bloom.

Posted by: dmd3 | May 3, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

So *that's* why I sneezed suddenly, dmd!

Posted by: -ftb- | May 3, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Hello boodle! Thoroughly backboodled (this kit anyway) and learned more than in a whole day of watching/listening to news broadcasts.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 3, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Isn't that usually the case, frosti?

Posted by: -TBG- | May 3, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Now THIS is funny...
_______________

Florida GOP puts Charlie Crist painting on eBay

The Republican Party of Florida is looking to make a little profit off the defection of Gov. Charlie Crist -- by selling a portrait of the recently announced independent on eBay.

The oil painting was originally purchased for party headquarters in Tallahassee. Party officials say they paid $7,500 for the Crist portrait and a painting of former Republican Party of Florida Chairman James A. Greer.

From the description:

★ Canvas is naturally sensitive to changes of temperature and humidity, just as the Charlie Crist's political convictions are subject to fluctuations in poll numbers.

★ Depending upon variety of conditions, the stretch canvas may periodically lose and regain tautness, much like Charlie Crist periodically loosens or regains positions on a variety of issues.

★ Ornate gold frame made of manufactured wood, similar to the fabricated conservative values of the politician depicted within.

"That painting cost Republican Party of Florida donors $7,500," said spokeswoman Katie Gordon. "It certainly seemed like a lavish expense and we'd like to recoup some of the cost."

The portrait also happens to be the focus of a possible probe into financial misappropriations by the state party.


http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/05/florida-gop-puts-charlie-crist.html

Posted by: -TBG- | May 3, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

S'nuke - by my reckoning, Wednesday would be Cinco de Mayo...

I've been very curious all day as to how they're going to transport and lower those dome covers over the blowout preventer structure and possibly the broken pipe sections across the sea floor that are also seeping oil.

Not only are the currents and water pressure going to make things interesting, but it seems to me that they're going to need to cut the main pipe and move it and any other wreckage out of the way, no mean feat in itself. And then there's the pressure of the oil gusher itself -- how much force/energy is *that* packing if seeking 2000 psi (the pressure of water at that depth, I think) is the *low* pressure side of the system? As someone alluded earlier, the water currents and eddies down there are probably very strong and complex flows. Oy. That's a heck of a ring toss.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | May 3, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

PERSONS attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted;
persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons
attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.

Just sayin'.

Slyness slyly implanted a Mexican food cootie. It is stealthy but insistent.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 3, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Obama waited 12 days to address the situation. The EPA Director, Lisa Jackson, did nothing for 9 days.

The administration failed to enact a 1994 emergency plan that specifically addressed this situation.

Where are you, liberal, lying, Obama-protecting blowhard, incompetent failures and hacks? Where is your reporting about the COMPLETE FAILURE OF OBAMA TO ADDRESS OUR NATIONAL EMERGENCY?

While he was making fun of Americans Saturday night, thousand of barrels of oil head toward our most delicate ecosystem...

Cheers, you freak. I hope that your champagne is rerouted to your lungs.

Posted by: joesmithdefend | May 3, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I really wish I could get to one of those other Offshore Technology Conference talks. So many good ones to choose from:

The Shape of the Industry To Come: Changing Roles and Responsibilities

[Chris Ross] concludes that there will be many opportunities for value growth—though with greater risk than in the past—and suggests ways to capture growth, sustain profitability, and manage risk.

Business Ethics, Personal Honor and Professional Conduct in International Offshore Operation

The speakers at this breakfast will provide examples and objectives to consider in dealing with ethics, especially in regards to professional standards of conduct in the international offshore E&P industry.

Why We Hate The Oil Companies: Straight Talk From An Energy Insider

While pundits and politicians offer false new promises of green energy independence, and others deny a climate problem, Hofmeister offers an insider’s view of energy companies, special interest posturing, and how politicians inflate energy costs in their own electoral interests. He details how misinformation, disinformation, and lack of information are exploited to hurt consumers.

The Silver Lining of a Recession: Managing Through the Tough Times to a Bright Future

The thrill quickly turns to chill when the unpredictability of a recession hovers over the worldwide economy, causing uncertainty and fear across all markets, especially in the most global of all: energy.

Opportunities and Challenges for Deep Water

As the industry marches into deeper waters, the challenge we face is to safely and economically drill, develop, and produce more difficult reservoirs using more complex development systems,even under uncertain global economic and political conditions.

Descriptions have been mildly edited for brevity and irony.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Joe, chill out. Have some champagne.

We're special-needs commentors here, not lying incompetent failures.

Posted by: MsJS | May 3, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Not quite sure what you have to defend there, joesmith.

Posted by: -dbG- | May 3, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Wow, so we should use 20th century solutions for 21st century problems.

Sorry, no dice by me. I'm holding out for 19th century solutions.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 3, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Please do not attempt to argue with Charko. Spammers don't do two-way discussion.

Posted by: steveboyington | May 3, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Mrs. Obama at the Science Bowl:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/gallery/2010/05/03/GA2010050303151.html?hpid=artslot

Posted by: DNA_Girl | May 3, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Ah, mais oui, bc. Cinquième de mai.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 3, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Words fail me.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/03/gene-taylor-mississippi-c_n_561362.html

Posted by: -dbG- | May 3, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

ftb, "The Pacific" is a 10-part series (hour-long episodes) and last night was episode 8, so yeah, it's kinda late to jump in now. But it ought to be in re-run real soon. It's on HBO, and TBG's cuz, George Pelecanos, was on the writing team and wrote (co-wrote) a couple of the episodes.

It is the "companion" Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg series to their earlier "Band of brothers" series, which was WWII in Europe. This one, as the title implies, is set during WWII in the Pacific, and mainly concerns the Marines at Guadalcanal, Pelileu and Iwo Jima, and a few other places. The 10 parts basically track three real-life Marines, Eugene Sledge, Robert leckie, and John Basilone, the most highly decorated Marine of WWII (Medal of Honor and Navy Cross, two seperate actions). Sledge is widely regarded as having written the best memoir about war in the Pacific, with Leckie's book second best. This acclaim comes from Paul Fussell, as DotC has pointed out, but other military historians as well.

The series is gritty as all hell; I've never seen a movie or TV show about war that had this level of reality (read: horror). It even surpasses "Saving Private Ryan" and "Band of Brothers," both of which set whole new levels of war story-telling. It's not so much a question of blood and gore, although there is quite a lot of that, but also a lot of other things rarely (or never) portrayed in movies: the trophy-hunting, the disease, the misery, etc. It is told from the point-of-view of the common foot soldier, the privates and corporals and sergeants; there is virtually no "big picture," no admirals and generals strategizing against each other. Just these three poor guys being shipped from one god-forsaken he11hole to another, with their comrades. In a number of episodes, they get leave and go home, meet future wives, etc., so it isn't all combat. (In last night's episode, Basilone got married.)

It certainly won't be everyone's cup of tea, and I understand if it's not yours. But wow, it is something.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | May 3, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

ftb, I waited for Mudge to give you the low-down on "The Pacific" and he did the wonderfully accurate critique that I knew he would. It is indeed gory and gripping. Your heart will break for these ordinary and fearless men and the realities they faced. I've never experienced anything, short of actual war footage, quite like it on any screen.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 3, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

One more thing about The Pacific... those are our dads.

Posted by: -TBG- | May 3, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

TBG, four maternal uncles and two great paternal uncles served in the Pacific. I will catch up with Treme and the P series GO GEORGEPELOS...this summer. No relies served in Europe in WWII. Grandfather in France in WWI and then my dad in Europe during the airlift for Berlin.

KISS GEO for us. For me. Love that he tells their story.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | May 3, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

That is such a *keeper,* joesmithdefend. I adore you. You are so so cute. Don't ever change, mmkay?

Um, you do realize that Obama's administration wasn't governing in 1994? And that was the year that the Republicans took the House under Newt Gingrich? Newt! His name is amphibian, not homo sapiens. Clearly.

Posted by: Yoki | May 3, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

The other thing I love about the trolls is, they don't seem to (perhaps *cannot*) understand that the President can be working on lots of issues at once, from wherever. As though if he isn't *in* the Gulf, he isn't working on the issue. I suppose these people are those who can't walk and talk at the same time. Or read their email and listen to country music.

Posted by: Yoki | May 3, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

In scanning other stories of interest this evening (wapo local) I came upon the unsurprising news that the Commonwealth's illustrious governor is attending the Houston off-shore drilling conference since he continues to press for same off Virginia's shores. Meanwhile our AG Cuccinelli has sued U-Va to obtain a former climate-scientist's grant documents to assess whether he had defrauded the state. The scientist works to defend global warming, natch.

Not quite as funny-sad as chocolate milk in Mississippi, but still.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 3, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Don't start using logic, Yoki. Trolls are impervious. You know what the trolls would say if Obama was at the gulf coast every minute of the last week? That he was grandstanding, and vain and making it all about HIM.

I blame the internet. Trolls used to iive quietly under the bridge, and only bother the people crossing the bridge. Now they have gone viral. Whole troll ecosystems have been established. They are practically a new species. At this point it is fair to say that the trolls from the left are just as bad as the trolls from the right.

Unfortunately, they are all trolls.

Posted by: steveboyington | May 3, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

This was an interesting day in the boodle. There were some highly entertaining shooting bys.
"If morons could fly it would be night" San Antonio

This oil release is getting really ugly, nobody knows anymore where the oil will land. My guess: everywhere...

In my mind a cofferdam separates two phase. If it used to separate the hydrocarbon phase from the aqueous phase, that's fine by me.

I laid waste to my former orchard and cut an 11 ft wide notch in a 40 year-old cedar hedge. The hedge was the main chore, the stems were all tangled together. I overdid the chainsaw bit. I'm not made to be a lumberjack, I can't sing and the mere of 3 tanks of fuel left me with very sore and swollen hands.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 3, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

SCC phaseS and "mere use". gawd I'm tired.

I wonder if Halliburton's former CEO Dick Cheney used the same philosophy with regard to uncontrolled releases as he did with terrists threats.

"If there's a 1% chance -that a deepsea well will blow up and get into an uncotrolled release-, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. It's not about our analysis ... It's about our response"


Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 3, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Troll ecosystems indeed, with evolution and everything:

http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-evolution-of-the-troll-from-internet-tough-guy-to-meh

Posted by: DNA_Girl | May 3, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Rachel Maddow is interviewing Brian Williams on her show. He's calling this a "slower Katrina" and going to have a "colossal" effect.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | May 3, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I like the "slower Katrina" analogy. Like I said a few days ago, this is a storm that is still building steam. It's as if Katrina were just about to land.

So Obama arriving now is more like if Bush had showed up *as the storm landed* to assure everyone that all possible preparations had been made for the grave events that were likely to happen next.

Like I've said before, the phases of this crisis in which the government will take a truly leading role haven't even really begun yet.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 3, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Thinking of pink drinkables, the pinkness of Tensleep, Wyoming is from red sandstone of the Chugwater Formation. Sounds like lemonade to me.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 3, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Good link, DNA_girl. I have to admit, I kind of agree with the post on mustard in macaroni salad. I am more a hummus guy.

Posted by: steveboyington | May 3, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

But on the upside, the www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com looks really snazzy now. Interestingly, all the logos have been removed.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 3, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

DNA_girl, I just got lost on cracked.com after the troll profiles and wandered for an hour and I'm blaming it on you. Humph! ;)

Posted by: talitha1 | May 3, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

This "accident" will foul our ecosystem for at least a generation.

The Post uses interesting terminology in the report to which Joel links:

The oil is anthropomorphized into "rogue oil", and Adm. Thad W. Allen, he of Hurrican Katrina infamy and commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard said,

"This spill at this point, in my view, is indeterminate. That makes it asymmetrical, anomalous and one of the most complex things we've ever dealt with."

Even the oil spill is militarized!!!

How can an oil spill be ASYMMETRICAL? Of course, this guy is tapped to be our new Condi Rice, which became clear from an earlier news conference in which Allen basically said, "Who could have known?"

Um ... that's why we BOP's, and that's why Norway and Brazil go a step further with their acoustic devices.

Lisa @ rangeragainstwar

Posted by: rangeragainstwar | May 3, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Here's a new and responsible-looking story in the Miami Herald, featuring the Loop Current.
http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/05/03/v-fullstory/1610698/daunting-oil-spill-threatens-florida.html

I've gotta go to the beach tomorrow.

Summer-hot here with spring-cool ocean. Caladiums are unfurled and gardenias set to go.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 3, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

late to the party, as usual. this caught my eye. it's a blurb regarding the 50/50 that BP didn't have a good plan to deal with the catastrophic failure of the rig the leased:

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/291430

not having time to read thoroughly, some of the ledes i've skimmed mentioned that 1969 technology is being used in an attempt to mitigate failure of 21st century technology. it appears that BP grossly underestimated the flow rate from the blowout. iirc, the estimate by noaa around 28 april compelled BP to change its tune. bc's observation that attempting to put a dome over the portion of the apparatus that is leaking is tricky at best. BP claims that the company will attempt to contain the leaks with two domes in a combined effort that will be complete by the weekend. i'm keeping my eyes peeled for pigs on the wing.

nice summary:

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/o/oil_spills/gulf_of_mexico_2010/index.html

Posted by: -jack- | May 3, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

as the lyrics state, at least i'm enjoying the ride...

http://new.music.yahoo.com/videos/grateful-dead/hell-in-a-bucket--2168407

Posted by: -jack- | May 3, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

So much for disaster recovery planning. In project management and, in fact, ANY project I've ever been involved with--we're talking healthcare IT projects-- disaster recovery planning was/is critical. Geesh.

And BP is a company with billions and billions. Shameful to say the least.

Okay, time for me to get a bit more cheerful. At least the sun was shining today. :-)

Posted by: Windy3 | May 4, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure this will make you feel better, windy3, but I love it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zf2aIVKp1OY

Posted by: Yoki | May 4, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

asymmetrical
adjective
having parts that fail to correspond to one another in shape, size, or arrangement; lacking symmetry

How is this ... oh heck ... never mind

Posted by: omni3 | May 4, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

archival?
archetypal?

Posted by: Yoki | May 4, 2010 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Arrested suspect in Times Square case.
Check front page.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 4, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

This is a triumph of Intelligence! Talk about connecting the dots.

Posted by: Yoki | May 4, 2010 1:56 AM | Report abuse

Yep, too bad that new administration can only do one thing at a time, huh? ;)

Posted by: talitha1 | May 4, 2010 2:18 AM | Report abuse

Jumper - Just in case you think nobody was paying attention ("PERSONS attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted;persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.") let me assure you that it's not the case.

In one of those freaky coincidences that crops up occasionally, at almost exactly the time that you posted that little tidbit, I was involved in a wide-ranging discussion that included a stop at the question, "For which author(s) would you give your life to save the last copies of their works?"

Arbitrarily, we settled on a limit of five, and I was chosen to go first. Without giving it even a moment's thought, I submitted Swift, Twain, and M.L. King, and begged for some time to ponder my other choices.

Twain rocks!!

Posted by: Bob-S | May 4, 2010 2:23 AM | Report abuse

[I'll concede that I didn't bother with Shakespeare only because I figured that some other folks would be standing fast upon that battlement. If you need me, gimme a shout.]

Posted by: Bob-S | May 4, 2010 2:31 AM | Report abuse

So that was a guy-thing, Bob-S?

Posted by: Yoki | May 4, 2010 2:48 AM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDRtMTfZlIU

Posted by: Yoki | May 4, 2010 2:49 AM | Report abuse

BobS, I picked up on Jumper's Twain quote, too. Ole' Huck got a provocative introduction, didn't he?

Did you decide on your other two authors?
I'm going to put some thought into which five I would choose. Dickinson, maybe, but that's subjective rather than for the greater good. I'll have to muse on it for a while.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 4, 2010 3:22 AM | Report abuse

Pulled the guy right off the plane. Impressive work.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 4, 2010 6:05 AM | Report abuse

"One of the nice things about having to travel on bidness is the snazzy laptops with broadband cards," he thought while Dawn Patrolling his way into town...

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 4, 2010 6:13 AM | Report abuse

Yes indeed, Yello -- shades of "Bullitt," wouldn't you say? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 4, 2010 6:17 AM | Report abuse

About the trolls, they're more like attack dogs. There's a number of them whose sole purpose is to smear a political party. I pretty much ignore them.

A real troll is there to maliciously pick a monty pythonesque argument with you. They're at least sometimes entertaining if they manage to capture the comic absurdity.

Posted by: qgaliana | May 4, 2010 6:19 AM | Report abuse

Asymmetrical is manager's babblespeak. They put it on a power point presentation and it makes everything seem mysterious and magically difficult. Couldn't they just say... ah.... unpredictable?

Recently read a piece somewhere how the military has powerpoint mania. Stuff like asymmetrical is a symptom. In the olden days, this stuff would be scoffed at and the speaker would be called a technocrat.

Posted by: steveboyington | May 4, 2010 6:47 AM | Report abuse

May the 4th be with you.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | May 4, 2010 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Hey... DNA Girl! Stop it!!!

Posted by: russianthistle | May 4, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Good to see you around again, DNA_Girl! How's things? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 4, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

DNAGirl, just thought of you this morning when looking at my rose buds, thinking the deserved a haiku.

Lovely and damp out, a sort of Adam and Eve day. Speaking of Adam and Eve, this story is apocryphal:

William Blake and his wife would sometimes read poetry to each other, naked in their tiny garden. A neighbor chanced upon them upset, naturally. Blake said, "Don't worry; just Adam and Eve here."

Blake's image of A and E:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blake_Adam_and_Eve.jpg

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | May 4, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Sorry, Steve, but you're wrong. "Asymetrical" isn't manager-speak, and it doesn't mean "unpredictable." It's military-speak, and it comes from some very high-level strategic thinking developed by a guy named John Boyd, and as a piece of jargon I have to defend it in this case.

Up above, somebody named Lisa seems to be shocked that the Coast Guard's Adm. Thad Allen actually uses a military term. She seems unable to get her head around the notion of a person with a lifelong quasi-military background using that kind of terminology. Whodda thunk he'd talk that way.

In the present application, "asymetrical simply means applying intensely expensive and complicated state-of-the-art technology to solve a reasonably dead-simple problem: how to fix a leak in a pipe. The "enemy" or the "opponent" in this case, has no "technology" being used against us, it doesn't think, it doesn't maneuver, it has no goals and objectives, etc. It just sits there., and our objective is to fix it. So in that way it is asymetrical. That's all it means.

In Allen's frame of reference, though, "asymetrical" necessarily triggers a set of operational assumptions about how to conduct operations, and I'm guessing Allen is a Boydian, and so might be expected to do a lot of his tactical thinking in Boydian terms, such as the famous (at least to theorists) "fast OODA Loop" Boyd created. All that stands for is "Observation-Orientation-Decision-Action." You study the problem, you decide how to approach it, you make a decision on what to do, and then you do it.

If that sounds dead simple and obvious, then you'd be shocked at the number of times famous decision-makers in history have failed to do it.

Being able to do this is sometimes called "rapid OODA looping." If you are fighting an enemy, the enemy is also trying to do some rapid OODA looping, and your job is to try to break into his loop and screw up his decision-making and implementation. That;'s called "getting inside his OODA loop." But sometimes the "enemy" is quite dumb, and really has no OODA loop (such as the leaky pipe, or a volcano, an earthquake, most other kinds of natural disasters, and even some kinds of wardare). In that case, when one side is using its brains and is OODA looping, and the other side is not, that is "asymetrical." One side is doing something the other side isn't.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 4, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

It can't be blowd up?

Posted by: russianthistle | May 4, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Asymmetrical...either a really cool haircut or a really bad one; the way I arrange furniture/artwork; my personal and business persona.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 4, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Morning, friends. Arriving a tad late, but just did not feel like getting up this morning.

Ftb, you and the toliet paper. I had a good laugh this morning. Thank you.

Hello, DNA girl, hope all is well with you.

I really hope BP can fix their mess. I keep thinking about all that animal life caught up in that mess, and I won't go into the impact on the folks living around that part of the world. And perhaps further. The folks that sell Dawn dishwashing detergent will make a fortune.

The people that hate President Obama are not going to be deterred by common sense or anything else. It's their Holy Grail to hate him. And for one to be a part of their clan, one has to hate him also. It's not complicated. It is based on sheer hate.

President Obama isn't perfect, none of us are. We all make mistakes. I think it's referred to as being a card carrying member of society. Human, I believe is the term I'm looking for. Just my 2 cents worth.

I get to vote today. Isn't that wonderful? A person that used to clean houses for a living, a person that worked in fields picking cotton, chopping cotton, picking peaches, a person that used to babysit children for those that tried to stop me and others like me from voting, actually gets to vote today. God is good.

Slyness, we're steaming here. Not complaining, not one bit.

Have a great day, folks. Love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | May 4, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

At the risk of Mudgin' myself, I was trading posts on another site with one of our friends here. I had watched Rachel Maddow's special show on the floating oil off the coast. She had said at one point that there it was somewhat ironic how the petroleum business and the seafood business is all over and next to each other (referencing the signs).

Me? I love the food and hate to think what will happen to the shrimping industry (more, my LUNCH) if something were to really go wrong. Of course, Right now, it has gone wrong, but it can get so much worse especially when you consider the "lifestyle" of shellfish.

I eat the food and I mentioned along the same lines that I host the Roy Carrier web site and his club in Lawtell, LA is actually called the Offshore Lounge.

Well, no sooner did I hit the proverbial enter key when I got word that Roy had passed.

Roy Carrier had become an icon in the Zydeco world. His music wasn't complicated. It was just stripped down to simple joy, Bayou soul, and rhythm.

One of my favorite evenings of music ever?

To reference Mary Chapin Carpenter ...

Down at the Twist and Shout.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 4, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

Blackhawks Blackhawks Blackhawks

It's beautifully green and flowery here now. The local gazebos are now regularly in use.

If Allen meant asymmetrical the way Mudge described it, I would consider this a PGOTO, or penetrating glimpse of the obvious.

I keep reading quotes attributed to Allen and hoping he has more creativity, smarts, and ability to get things done than the quotes suggest.

Posted by: MsJS | May 4, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I dunno, weed. Mebbe. Mebbe it'll be like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHkvD7-u7y8

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 4, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Am vier Mai sind wir bei Ihnen

Posted by: omni3 | May 4, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Ah, yes -- thanks, Mudge and talitha for your rendering (so to speak) of The Pacific. Alas, I do not have HBO, so I shall rely on your collective and respective reports of same. What I do have (at least on tape and maybe on DVD) is Victory at Sea. I've always been fascinated by that series and remember watching it on television when I was a kid. Of course, the accompanying music (which *never* would be heard in "real" life) is as powerful as can be.

I'm crossing my fingers for my beloved Red Wings tonight. We're already down two games, but we'll be on home ice tonight, so that might help. Frankly, I'm just pleased that the Tigers are doing well.

Hugs to you, Cassandra. I slept in, too, but I had to bound out of bed to be ready for a conference call at 9 this morning. Ready? Yes. Fully awake? Um, not entirely.

Cya later.

Posted by: -ftb- | May 4, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Today is St. Florians Day. So wear a red-blue ribbon and hug a firefighter

Posted by: omni3 | May 4, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Bader-Meinhof celebrates Cinco de Mayo a day early, in order to confound the bourgeoisie paradigm of rigid adherence to the calendar of Franco's running dogs of fascism.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 4, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

If some places celebrate Cuatro de Mayo instead of Cinco de Mayo, does that mean we can party for two days?

Posted by: MsJS | May 4, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Hug a firefighter? Wait till they get the turnout gear off so you don't get dirty.

Gonna be a warm one here, too, Cassandra. Maybe I'll get the beans planted. Mr. T promises me a raised bed, so the squash and okra have to wait till it's done.

I hope the world doesn't go to all PowerPoint presentations, Mudge. You miss so much that way. Nothing like a well-written report to make complicated issues clear. But you and I are old-school on that.

Posted by: slyness | May 4, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I know that we all can become so involved in our daily lives that we sometimes lose sight of the larger issues of our world. Similarly many of us are frequently so immersed in current events and abstract causes that we fail to give proper attention to those less fortunate than ourselves. So today I ask that each and every one of you stop a moment and reflect upon some of the least among us. Yes, today, May 4, 2010, is International Respect for Chickens Day, so rather than feathering your own nest, crowing about your accomplishments, and working for chicken feed, I would egg you all on to celebrate the dignity, beauty, and life of chickens. This is their day to cluck!

Posted by: kguy1 | May 4, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

kguy,

The perfect stamp for you is here:
http://www.zazzle.com/urban+farming+stamps

Chickens in every LOT!

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | May 4, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Mudge... why, yes!

Posted by: russianthistle | May 4, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Or maybe not:

"The "Florian Principle" (known in German language areas as "Sankt-Florians-Prinzip") is named after a somewhat ironic "prayer" to Saint Florian: "O heiliger St. Florian verschon mein Haus, zünd andre an", translating to "O holy Saint Florian, spare my house, kindle others". This saying is used in German much like the English "not in my back yard", when the speaker wants to point out that some person tries to get out of an unpleasant situation by an action that will put others in that very same situation. [Wikipedia]

On the other hand, he was also the patron saint of chimney sweeps, so if you wanna hug Bert and sing "Chim chim cher-ee!" be my guest.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 4, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I really do miss Second City. Pound for pound and show for show, they were better than SNL or Mad TV.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 4, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all!

Cassandra, that was beautiful. Thank you. The ability to vote is something I think we take for granted too much in this country.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | May 4, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Today is apparently also "Star Wars Day." You may need to watch this: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/comic-riffs/2010/05/jibjab_does_star_wars_day_with.html?hpid=news-col-blog

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 4, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Never a huge fan of Richard Cohen, but he really does pull the wings off the Gingrich fly in this one...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/03/AR2010050303384.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Posted by: russianthistle | May 4, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Weed: Thanks for the word up on Roy. The Cajun/Zydeco scene was very big here in the late 80's/early 90's, and I remember dancing to Roy at Twist and Shout and the lately-lamented Tornado Alley. I met my wife at one of the dances, showing her some basic Zydeco steps. Gad, that was almost 20 years ago now!!

Posted by: ebtnut | May 4, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

RT, ebtnut - wow, Twist & Shout, Tornado Alley, heck, remember the Psyche Delly?

I lived down there during the 80's - good times, lots of dancing and fun, and I could walk home afterwards [Note I said "walk" and not "reel"].

Can't hear that song without smiles and reverie...

As far as how to deal with the oil spill, I'm glad that the military guys are working with the industry engineers on this. Those skillsets seem more relevant to others that the Government can bring to bear... I don't know that one can negotiate with this undersea gusher...

I'm asymmetrical, too. I'd part my hair on the side - if my cranial topiary were conducive to such an arrangement.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | May 4, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

There was something asymmetrical about a man who once had a dam to build. The hold-up was some wet fill; too wet to build a dam with. It needed to dry out. His solution: put every man on it! (no, it didn't make the soil dry faster.)

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 4, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Lovely good morning, boodle.
Random laughs and links from you all have made this one particularly enjoyable.

kguy, went out and hugged a chicken since they're more readily at hand than firefighters in my neighborhood.

Later . . .

Posted by: talitha1 | May 4, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

you and me both, bc. :-)

Wow, Terminal A at National is really...

Retro.

First time in here, hopefully the last. *L*

*I'm-a-leavin'-onna-jet-plane Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 4, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Given the discussion of asymmetric warfare I think it is fitting that this is Star Wars Day. Because, to me, the definitive example of an asymmetric threat is when your big ol' super-scary Death Star is taken down by some youngster in a tiny little spacecraft who knows that all it takes is one bomb down the ventilation shaft to the inner core.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 4, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Mudge-thanks for the clarification on asymmetrical. Much better than I could have done.

Here's a question Mr. F and I have discussed over many a glass of wine over the years. If your armed forces are capable of conventional warfare, but you choose to use unconventional methods against a similarly able force, is the ensuing conflict asymmetrical or merely unusual?

Spinach salad with gorgonzola for lunch and some home made grapefruit sorbet made from locally grown grapefruit. (At Chez Frostbitten South they're falling off the neighborhood trees faster than they can be used.)

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 4, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Basically if both sides are using the same general methods, tactics, strategy, etc., it is symetrical, regardless of what level it is. For instance, guerilla/insurgency versus counter-guerilla/counterinsurgency would still be symetrical. Conventional versus guerilla would be asymetric.

Sarah Palin v. Barack Obama: asymetrical

Sarah Palin v. Horse's Ass: Symetrical

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 4, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Leaving a few thoughts here since a new kit will most likely leave them hanging.

Roy Carrier - Zydeco - weep and dance

Cassandra, your post this morning caused me to give thanks for all blessings and to grieve for past injustices. I think of you every day.

k, Mudge did the heavy lifting on The Pacific. I'm a mere echo. We have Victory at Sea in our stacks, too. Very different, to say the least.

Didn't Raoul Dahl write about "ooda loops"?
Oh . . . wait . . .

Posted by: talitha1 | May 4, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home. They're not much bigger than two meters.

-L. Skywalker

It's very little trouble for me to accomodate my fans, unless I'm actually taking a pee at the time.

-Harrison Ford

Posted by: kguy1 | May 4, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I love "Victory at Sea," talitha, both the TV show and the record albums. Came across my VaS 33 rpm records just this past weekend sorting through a pile of old records for the yard sale. (Saved it, of course.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 4, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

It occurs to me that we the people are very likely going to wind up paying for much of the oil spill costs. I can see right now that as the cost estimates begin to pile up, BP (or its financiers) may simply decide that the liabilities are going to exceed the assests and just go Ch. 11. Reorganize, sell some assests at pennies on the dollar, and start over, while we are left holding the bag.

Posted by: ebtnut | May 4, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Maybe so, ebnut, but it will take a while. BP assets are $236 billion, liabilities are $134 billion.

http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/STAGING/global_assets/downloads/B/bp_fourth_quarter_and_full_year_2009_results.pdf

Yes, there is a hole in their bucket, but it's a big, big bucket.

Posted by: kguy1 | May 4, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

It's not only SW day but also North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week, May 2-8 2010. So you all cubicle critters don't run with scissors or lean too far back on those swivel chairs. And you Martooni keep your fingers away from the band saw.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 4, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Methinks that capturing Shazaam last night and the other two Pakistanis today represents a major, major PR victory for Obama and the administration generally. It's nice to get a clear win when you need one.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 4, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Agree with kguy. BP's *profits* last quarter were $5.5 billion-with-a-b. That's just profit, not net income, and just for one quarter. So if the cleanup costs them $10 billion, that's just six months worth of income. Piece of cake, financially speaking.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 4, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Mudge-yes, yes, but if Sarah Palin is really on an intellectual par with Sec'y Clinton and just not using those capabilities-and Obama knows this and must take the HRC nature of her personality into account, is it still asymmetrical? On your second example, methinks you insult horses asses.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 4, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, but it would be a mistake to assume that all our enemies are morons. It's not encouraging to hear the newspersons describe exactly why the bomb didn't work and how to do it the right way. I realize that much of this stuff is on the intertubes, but still...

Posted by: kguy1 | May 4, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

kguy - While your point is generally valid, that bucket isn't really quite as big as the balance sheet indicates. Those $96 billion in reserves aren't going to fetch $96 billion in a fire sale, and that $101 billion in shareholder equity will start going up in smoke (remember Enron, anyone?) as soon as the company is seen to be in serious distress.

I'm not a shareholder or employee, and have no particular love for BP, but if anyone wants BP to foot any serious bills, then BP better stay in business and reasonably healthy.

Posted by: Bob-S | May 4, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Roy Carrier... This news arrived today from Wayne Kahn of Right on Rhythm, Roy's label. RIP Roy!

JOSEPH ROY CARRIER 2/11/1947 - 5/3/2010

It is with immense sadness that I pass on the the news that Southwest Louisiana music legend Roy Carrier died this morning of a heart attack in Opelousas General Hospital. Funeral arrangements will be announced when available.

[snip]

Roy is a bridge from all that Zydeco was-to what it is today. He belongs at the head of any list of Zydeco influences.

[Sorry if this is a re-post, I think the 1st one was too long, so I trimmed the history.]

Posted by: HeadFool1 | May 4, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Another excellent article by Joel:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/04/AR2010050402980.html?hpid=topnews


Although it isn't really what one would call a "Happy News" piece.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 4, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, were you teasing me or is Victory at Sea? . . . awwww, come on - I meant our stacks of vhs tapes! That's not nice!

Posted by: talitha1 | May 4, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

If you check around you certainly can find many different perspectives on how bad this thing is going to get. Which pretty much means, as Joel points out, nobody really knows.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 4, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

No, wasn't teasing at all, talitha. I do love Victory at Sea, show and music. My father was in the Navy in the Pacific, chief quartermaster (helmsman) on a subchaser, and when VaS came on in the 1950s (I was in 1st grade), he used to watch it religiously. I used to watch it, too. By the time I was 10 or 12 I probably knew more WWII history than any kiod in my school. Some episodes he'd say, "I was there." His ship was at most of the major battle locations, but usually a few weeks after the battles. His ship being a subchaser, it mainly did convoy duty, accompanying convoys all over the place. His subchaser, working in concert with a destroyer, sank the Japanese sub I-26 off Wotje, on their last salvo of hedgehogs before they ran out of ammo. The destroyer had already run out of depth charges, so it was that last shot or nothing. The incident is written up in Samuel Eliot Morison's History of the War in the Pacific, the volume on the Marianas campaign (vol. 7, IIRC).

But of course that was a whole different time and place. In the 1950s, WWII wasn't so much "history" as it was what happened to all our dads (and some moms) just a few years earlier. Most of my father's friends also served, and whenever they visit and sit around, they'd tell war stories, so I heard them first-hand.

(I was born exactly nine months and 20 minutes after my dad got home from the Pacific. Maybe only 9 months and 10 minutes, I dunno.)

So we also watched reruns over the years, and yes, I have the VHS of the series. I rate narrator Leonard Graves' voice as the best narration ever, better even than the great Alexander Scourby, who was damn fine himself.

And yes, I love the Richard Rogers score. Have the cassette, have the 33 rpm (both vol. 1 and 2), have the cd. When I listen to the music I can still visualize the TV scenes in my head--the rolling waves and the light trail. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sto3p3eozg8

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 4, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Victory at Sea was something of a constant in my childhood. It seemed like any time one of our local stations had a half-hour slot they had to fill in their Saturday schedule, they would plug it with VaS. Methinks it wasn't very expensive in syndication.

I finally picked up a set of tapes a few years ago and watched the whole series. One thing that I kept noticing was the producers' assumption of audience familiarity with locations and events. Since the war was still very recent history at the time, there were frequent references to rather obscure engagements, with no background information given. It became a multimedia experience, with me constantly stopping the tapes to go over to the Mac and look something up on the web. But I couldn't help reflecting on it as a lesson in the way that what was once common, consensual information slips away over time, until something that was once immediately understandable by a mass audience becomes easily accessible only to specialists.

Posted by: rashomon | May 4, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, apologies.
My husband just informed me that I was indeed a duffus. I've watched the show several times, but had no idea we also owned the recordings as well. That's what happens when two book/music hoarders marry and there's no time to share every darned thing.

And your elaborative post informs me what's next up on the old turntable. Many thanks!

Posted by: talitha1 | May 4, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

That's very true, rashomon. Back then no one had to explain where Tinian was, or Arnhem, or El Alamein, and everyone could name 40 admirals and generals right off the top of their heads.

To very nearly the same degree, that was also true of the Korean War. People knew where Inchon was, and the Chosin reservoir, and the Yalu River, and so on. But that war faded a lot faster than WWII. Today nobody could tell you a single thing about the Korean War except for the cast of M*A*S*H. I'll bet people couldn't even give the dates. (I'm always amazed that people don't have the foggiest idea about the dates of WWII.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 4, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Who is this strange man holding my Mom's hand and always smiling. Yep, my Dad after returning from an overseas deployment. A sergeant in the army working as a photographer for the State Department. The "official" story was he went to South Korea. But I've seen dated pictures. He was actually in Vietnam. Um, I seem to have forgotten my point ... oh yeah, nine months later I had a little baby sister.

Posted by: omni3 | May 4, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I know all about WWII. I've seen "South Pacific" and "The Great Escape".

Posted by: Bob-S | May 4, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I should add that my father was still in jrhigh/highschool during WW11 but I had two uncles who were in Europe. I heard stories of the Bulge, Anzio, liberation of the concentration camps, etc. as a child and can certainly appreciate your memories of your dad and his friends.

I was lucky enough to hear stories (secondary source, of course) from two of my great grandmothers about their Confederate fathers and uncles experiences in "their war" and count those as the spark that lit my deep interest in understanding that part of our history.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 4, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

WW11 ? . . . hope not! Darn keyboard.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 4, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

New page one story: Search for Martian life heats up."

"NASA team reopens dispute on extraterrestrial life, citing new evidence on meteorites from Mars."

No, the boss didn't write it.

""We feel more confident than ever that Mars probably once was, and maybe still is, home to life," team leader David McKay said at a NASA-sponsored conference on astrobiology."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/30/AR2010043002000.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 4, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I was in grade school during the Gulf War (I'm a whippersnapper, I know), and I remember coming home and watching war coverage, knowing the names of the generals, the pull-out poster from Time magazine depicting the different types of military vehicles, and discussing it frequently in school. Sounds like the WWII coverage.

With our current conflicts, I don't think that's happening as much. There was a bit of coverage back in 2003 when the Iraq invasion started, but now it's just a blip in the evening news unless there is something like Abu Gharib or funding disagreements. The general populace knows almost nothing about the current war(s), and there is little propaganda. Is that because of the length? For those who remember, was Vietnam like this? I got the impression from my grandparents that WWII was constantly reported throughout, but that was also a different type of war and because of the draft, the general populace had a very vested interest.

I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing, but I realize I could just be at a different place in my life, which is why I see a difference in the reporting.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | May 4, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I am named for my dad's best friend growing up who was killed in the Battle of the Bulge. I never really understood what this meant until someone pointed out that I had three grandmothers- mom's, dad's, and the mother of the KIA. He was her only child. Between that and being a military brat, WWII was very real at our house.

Posted by: kguy1 | May 4, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

We could have never whipped Tojo without Mitzi Gaynor, Bob.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 4, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I just love this! Ya GOTTA look at the photograph.

Only in Fully.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/04/AR2010050402228.html?hpid=moreheadlines

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 4, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I had plenty of memorable dates in high school and college and since, but I wasn't even born yet when WWII took place.

Posted by: omni3 | May 4, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - Your point about some folks' vagueness about dates was brought home forcibly for me a while back when a few people were at the house for a cookout. At some point I played a couple of Tom Lehrer songs, to include the "MLF Lullaby", which includes the bitterly funny lines:

"Once all the Germans were war-like and mean,
But that couldn't happen again.
We taught them a lesson in 1918,
And they've hardly bothered us since then."

A young couple present couldn't understand why that's so funny until it was explained, and of course then it wasn't very funny.

Posted by: Bob-S | May 4, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8lT1o0sDwI

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 4, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

MofM, and my peers can correct me if their memories are different, but during Viet Nam (esp. say 1967 onward), there were reports on the news daily. With only three networks, the coverage was less dispersed. When Cronkite and Rather began on the ground reports and daily bodybag counts the antiwar protests really heated up. Cronkite's editorializing against the war was galvanizing. (Did I spell Uncle Walt's name correctly?)

Posted by: talitha1 | May 4, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Major Strasser: You give him credit for too much cleverness. My impression was that he's just another blundering American.
Captain Renault: We musn't underestimate American blundering. I was with them when they blundered into Berlin in 1918.

Posted by: rashomon | May 4, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

You can see the rest of the lyrics to that lullaby here:

http://www.lyricstime.com/tom-lehrer-mlf-lullaby-lyrics.html

Posted by: omni3 | May 4, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Andrew Steele of the Carnegie Institute, all hand-wringy over the "societal implications" of possible Martian life, no doubt advocating suppression of this information when or if it is confirmed, over his fears based on nothing but his own general fear of ... whatever, makes me sick. Boo on his desire to "handle" the news, however it turns out. What about the Enlightenment concept that I have a right to know if I helped pay for it, and maybe even an ultimate right to know?

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 4, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Stephen Hawking would say you really don't want to know...

Posted by: Yoki | May 4, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Well, by 1969 I was in Japan & Okinawa. It probably won't astound you to find out that there wasn't a heck of a lot of editorializing against the war on the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service.

Posted by: Bob-S | May 4, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I heard almost nothing about WWII. My father was kept in training at several colleges during the war--Washington and Jefferson, Yale. On a visit to the latter, he happily commented about the campus architecture, but that was the limit of it.

He ended up as a medic in the Pacific, which yielded a few comments about fungus infections being underrated as military problems.

I'm working on "Natives and Exotics: World War II and Environment in the Southern Pacific" by Judith A. Bennett. Perhaps the most unexpected photo is captioned "Solomon Island laborers harvesting radishes at service command farm, Ilu, Guadalcanal, 1944". It's an extremely tidy field.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 4, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Here's more detail on the "dome" to stop the oil leak. It's apparently a rectangular box with a domed top, designed to work like a funnel.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8659398.stm

Noteworthy quote: BP hopes it will collect 85% of the leaking oil and pipe it to the surface

Hopes. It's anyone's best guess on will. And what about the other 15%?

Posted by: MoftheMountain | May 4, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I just can't get my head around a rectangle being a dome. I coulda sworn a dome was, like, a half circle or half a sphere or sumpthin'.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 4, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

You want memorable dates? I've got one for you. I discovered while grading exams for the History of the English Language that the year 1066 is important because that was the beginning of the Renaissance. Oh, excuse me, the "renesance."

Posted by: -bia- | May 4, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Think of the Duomo in Florence, mudge. It's a dome and it's octagonal.

Posted by: kguy1 | May 4, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I don't get the dome part. BBC uses "funnel" for most of the article, and it looks more like a square base from the pics, which I guess is technically a rectangle.

There's got to be something funky going on with the corners if it's a cone on a square, though. Maybe it's not a circle based top at all, maybe it's like a square based pyramid. Of course I'd think they'd want it smooth and circular to channel the fluid.

Whatever, as long as it works, even at 85%.

Have a good night, all. It's chiropractor time!

Posted by: MoftheMountain | May 4, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon,

A well-earned name.

Your condescension is not appealing ("somebody named Lisa seems to be shocked that the Coast Guard's Adm. Thad Allen actually uses a military term.")

I believe my point is well-made:

Adm. Allen, leader of the failed Katrina Operation (after the failed heckuva-job Brownie) is tapped to lead this effort, and says basically, "Who could've imagined such a thing?", basically letting everyone off the hook.

Also, I make the point that everything today is militarized, to include the "rogue oil" which has gone "asymmetrical". Yeah, Adm. Allen is a military man, and that is my point: everything today is perceived an unforseen threat. Moreover, the military is ill-equipped to save us.

Valid points, IMHO. What do the rest of you -- beside Comrade Mudge -- think?

Posted by: rangeragainstwar | May 4, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Based on the pics I've seen, 'dome' doesn't really describe it.

It's a square 'hut' with a triangulated roof weighing and weighs over 90 tons. At the top of the roof sits a smaller square into which some sort of pipe gets inserted.

From there the oil is to be sucked up to a ship on the surface that will be able to process and store the oil.

Not sure what happens once that ship is full.

Posted by: MsJS | May 4, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

russianthistle,

I agree with you re. Cohen's take-down of Gingrich. He's usually pretty poor, but he's spot-on this time.

Posted by: rangeragainstwar | May 4, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

So the right wingers who have been screaming about “less government regulation of private industry” are now all verklempt because private industry majorly screws up, and somehow it’s Pres Obama’s fault?


Color me NOT surprised!


So, the Repubs can’t won’t don’t make a connection between a thirty (or 130) year campaign of right wing deregulation and lax enforcement toward the fossil-fuel extraction industries, but the fact that Pres Obama hasn’t flown counter-clockwise around the spill to whip the oil up into a funnel that he can then deposit into a waiting vat made of Krypton crystals suggests that he is not really competent? Oh, that’s right, I’m a cultist who thinks Pres Obama is the Messiah.....nevermind.


I’ve been wondering since last week why Pres Obama didn’t just swim down there and clamp that oil pipe with his mighty Kenyan pincer-fingers.


Evidently, I’m not the only one.


Posted by: DrainYou | May 4, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, it is replaced with another one. This is very common technology.

Posted by: Yoki | May 4, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, meant to add that they are called Floating Production and Storage and Offloading Vessels, in the biz.

Posted by: Yoki | May 4, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: talitha1 | May 4, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Yoki. That does clarify things.

Ranger, if you feel Mudge’s condescending attitude is not appealing, why are you condescending in return with your “Comrade Mudge” remark?

FWIW, I am on the record here as being less-than-thrilled with having Allen in charge. Others on this blog have individually decided it’s not a topic worth discussing and I gracefully accept that. I suggest you do the same. Ramming a topic down the collective throats of those who frequent this virtual space is an ineffective strategy. It’s not personal, so get over it and move on to a different idea.

As to everything being ‘militarized’, there is so much in life that isn’t I can only scratch my head and wonder what side of the bed you get up from in the morning. I have no interest in any debate on the subject. But that’s just me.

Posted by: MsJS | May 4, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. I thought Mudge was being polite to Lisa Rangeragainstwar, explaining a technical term. I know I was unfamiliar with the military use of "asymmetrical" and am glad for the explanation, which as a matter of language makes sense to me.

Since you asked, Lisa Rangeragainstwar, I think it is important to separate any dislike or lack of respect one might have for Allen personally, based on knowledge of his likely ability or perception of past ability, from the very different question of whether the military and particularly the Coast Guard is a legitimate response group to this disaster. I do not get the sense you have made such a separation.

Further, looking specifically at Allen, I do not see Allen's statement that nobody foresaw such a disaster, which echoes the statements of BP and others in gummint, as letting anybody off the hook. It has been very clear that the hook is present and BP is on it. One may suspect Allen's personal motives or beliefs but there is no evidence that this statement, when made by anyone, may be taken as anything other than a lame excuse.

Sometimes the military, or branches thereof, are appropriate responders. One may object to the increasing use of the military as a response force for non-war efforts. However, the complaint that "everything is militarized" is both too vague and too specific to be useful. I gather from your posts that you believe a government disaster response is required here, rather than choosing to rely solely on corporate efforts. I agree that the government has a role to play in mitigation and cleanup. Under the circumstances I suggest that of gummint agencies and branches, the Coast Guard and, perhaps, specialized Navy and Marine units have the most appropriate skills for deep-sea wrangling. In fact, I can't think of another government agency or affiliate with the necessary skills - mostly, they'd contract this type of work out to private companies. Given the facts of this situation I think these branches of the military are in fact the best-equipped to save us, using the word "save" in the narrow sense I have already described.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 4, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

See this CapHillWeatherGang blog post featuring three pic of the SNOWMAGGEDON RESIDUES.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/2010/05/unbelievable_still_snow_at_bwi.html#more

Four maternal uncles in the Pac Theater with the Army Air Force; all knew George McGovern as they hailed from the cluster of towns around Mitchell, South Dakota: Woonsocket, Avon, Tobin Township, Ethan. All came home, although the "baby" who is now in his high seventies, stayed in Japan for the Occupation. I just went upstairs to look at the necklace he brought home for my mom, his darling sis. He wrote to her weekly; she passed his letters on to a classmate who wrote him also. Upon return, he married that classmate. I just put the necklace on to think of this all (My mom is gone.) And, I see the the lustreware teapot he brought home for my grandmother, his mom. Too hot to make tea. Still, the object in the house were once in Japan; they made their way to me by way of that generation, a great one surly.

My paternal grandda was a WWI vet who lived into his high 90s. Interestingly, he served with the Kansas Army National Guard, whose earlier campaigns include most of the Indian ones, the Utah one(s), and the Spanish American War. Earlier unit were part of the Civil War. He was a medic.

Dad was too young for Korea and too old for Vietnam. But served in Germany at the same time that Elvis Pressley did. Met him even, saying that his southern accent was lovely.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | May 4, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

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