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Archive for July 19th, 2010

BP Considers ‘New Plan’ To Permanently Seal Busted Gulf Oil Well?

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July 19, 2010: Henry Fountain / The New York Times – July 19, 2010

As scientists on Monday allayed concerns that BP’s well in the Gulf of Mexico was damaged, the company said it was considering an alternative plan that could permanently seal the gusher sooner than had been anticipated.

Kent Wells, a senior vice president for BP, said the company was studying the possibility of a “static kill,” in which heavy mud would be pumped into the recently capped well.

Also known as bullheading, the procedure would force the oil and gas back down into the reservoir.

“The static kill does give us a new option,” he said at a briefing in Houston. A decision to proceed could be made in several days, Mr. Wells said.

He said that the procedure could speed the process of sealing the well and that the digging of a relief well, which has been seen as the ultimate solution and could be completed by August, might be needed only to confirm that the technique had worked. The flow of oil into the gulf has been shut off since BP installed a cap on the well and closed its valves last Thursday.

On Monday morning, BP and the government said scientists had determined that methane gas seeping from the seafloor nearly two miles from the well was a natural occurrence and not related to a pressure test to assess the well’s condition. The test was extended to a fifth day on Monday. The seeping was discovered on Sunday and raised concerns that the test had shown that the well was damaged and was allowing gas to escape into surrounding rock and up through the seabed.

Thad W. Allen, the retired Coast Guard admiral who commands the spill response, said small numbers of gas bubbles that had appeared much closer to the well were not a problem, either. “It’s the collective opinion of folks that these small seepages do not indicate there is any threat to the well bore,” he said at a briefing in Washington.

Admiral Allen said that the need to extend the tests was being evaluated day to day, and that it was possible the well would remain shut indefinitely. He dismissed concerns that if it was not reopened and collection of oil restarted, the precise flow rate of the oil might never be determined. “I think we’re going to know enough about this well that by the time we’re done we’re going to be able to do that,” he said.

Mr. Wells said the idea of a static kill had arisen because the pressure test so far had shown that the well was not damaged and that the pressure of oil and gas coming from the reservoir was lower than expected. If the procedure was carried out, he said, it could use the same deep-sea plumbing used for the failed “top kill” procedure in late May.

In the top kill, heavy mud was pumped into the flowing well, but engineers could not pump it fast enough or long enough to counter the flow of oil. The static kill would be much more likely to succeed because with the new cap on top and the valves closed, the well is completely sealed and the oil and gas are not moving.

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: How many times does this article contradict itself? Amazing propaganda! Welcome to the twilight zone of 21st century doublespeak– SJH 

Link to original article below…

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/20/us/20oilspill.html?_r=1&hp

US Is In Costa Rica: Militarization Of Central America & Caribbean

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July 19, 2010: Mark Vorpahl / Global Research – July 19, 2010

Nestled between Panama to its south and Nicaragua to its north, Costa Rica is a Central American nation roughly the size of Rhode Island.

If another nation were to send Rhode Island a force of 7,000 troops, 200 helicopters, and 46 warships in an effort to eradicate drug trafficking, it is doubtful that the residents of Rhode Island would consider this offer “on-the-level.” Such a massive military force could hardly be efficiently used to combat drug cartels. The only logical conclusion is that the nation whose troops now are occupying this other country had another agenda in mind that it didn’t want to share.

In early July, by a vote of 31 to 8, the Costa Rican Congress approved the U.S. bringing into their nation the same military force described above, justified with the same dubious “war on drugs” rationale. According to the agreement, the military forces are supposed to leave Costa Rica by the end of 2010. This begs the question however, if such an over the top display of military muscle is needed now to combat the drug cartels, what will be done in the next few months to make their presence unnecessary? The history of such U.S. military deployments around the world suggests a more credible outcome than what the agreement states. Once the U.S. moves such massive forces into a country, they rarely move them out.

When push comes to shove, the political machinery in Costa Rica is subservient to U.S. government and corporate interests. Nevertheless, there are many in Costa Rica who are declaring that the agreement is a violation of their national sovereignty and is unconstitutional. (In 1948 Costa Rica abolished its army, which was sanctioned in its constitution.) Legislator Luis Fishman has vowed to challenge the decision of the Congress in the courts.

Shifting Strategy And Tactics

The buildup of U.S. armed forces in Costa Rica is part of an escalating pattern that indicates a shifting of strategy and tactics for the U.S. in controlling what the Monroe Doctrine infamously described as the U.S.’s “backyard” — that is, all of Latin America. Since the U.S. government inspired covert coup d’etats and political reversals of popular governments and/or movements in Guatemala, Brazil, Chile, Nicaragua, and El Salvador in previous decades, U.S. rulers had figured they had things stitched up to their liking in Latin America. The political elites in Latin America were uniformly in the pockets of the U.S. corporate empire and appeared to be more or less in control of their people. They commonly outlawed strikes and at times even trade unions, eliminated minimum wage laws, and gave enormous tax breaks to U.S. corporations.

Therefore, the U.S. Empire builders could use their political and economic might alone to subjugate these neo-colonies to a very profitable neoliberal agenda. This agenda included allowing U.S. corporations easy access to pillage these nations’ public sectors through privatization, letting multi-national corporations overrun these nations’ local markets and farms through the elimination of trade barriers, and increasing the exploitation of their workers and the devastation of their natural resources by tossing out national labor and environmental standards. Because of the profits enjoyed by a few as a result of these measures, they carried the day, though they, in turn, created a simmering spirit of rebellion in the semi-colonies’ peasantry and workers that would inevitably find expression.

As the U.S. began to set its sights on, and send its resources to, other parts of the world, most notably the Middle East and Asia, the web they had wrapped around Latin America began to unravel. This was most apparent in Venezuela where a U.S.-backed coup attempt in April of 2002 failed because of the massive mobilizing of the Venezuelan people in defense of their democratic rights. All subsequent attempts of the Venezuelan oligarchy, in collusion with the U.S. State Department, to get rid of Chavez resulted in their humiliation because of the constant support and organizing of the country’s lower classes. It became apparent to the U.S. ruling class that they could no longer rely on the Venezuelan oligarchy which had lost direct control over the political situation. What is more, the popular upsurge witnessed in Venezuela in the past decade opened up floodgates for anti-imperialist organizing across the continent, resulting in the election of a number of left-wing presidents.

Not only was the neoliberal agenda of the U.S. being blocked, an alternative to the U.S. Free Trade policies was being set up. The Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America and the Caribbean (ALBA), which was initiated by Venezuela and Cuba, began to build a trading block based on exchange according to different nations’ needs rather than U.S. corporate profits. While ALBA needs to be more substantially developed in order to fulfill its promise, especially in regards to organizing grassroots control to determine its priorities, it is a challenge to U.S. corporate and political dominance in the region.

U.S. Military Moves

As a result, the U.S. government began to shift its reliance from solely economic and political means to control Latin America towards taking military measures, even while engaged in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. What have been some of these measures?

In 2006 the U.S. conducted military exercises off the coast of Venezuela called “Operation Partnership of the Americas.” This exercise involved four ships, 60 fighter planes, and 6,500 U.S. troops.

In 2006 the U.S. State Department classified the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, with their military bases jointly contracted to Holland and the U.S., as “The Third Frontier of the United States.” U.S. aircraft carriers, war ships, combat planes, Black Hawk helicopters, nuclear submarines, and thousands of troops began to build up in Curacao in particular. In 2009 a U.S. military plane was intercepted in Venezuelan airspace that had flown from Curacao’s base.

In 2008 the U.S. reactivated the Fourth Fleet to patrol Caribbean waters. This fleet had been out of commission since 1950. Now it operates with the potential of acting as a floating base for the U.S. to conduct military strikes throughout Central and South America.

In 2009 the U.S. made a deal with Colombia to build up its military personal in seven bases, from 250 to 800 American troops with 600 civilian contractors, effectively taking control over these installations. This was widely denounced throughout Latin America as an action aimed at intimidating Venezuela. In December of that year a U.S. drone plane flying from one of these Colombian bases violated Venezuelan airspace.

From 2009 to 2010 the U.S. worked behind the scenes to legitimize a military coup in Honduras against lawfully elected President Zelaya, who had aligned the nation with ALBA. Part of the U.S.’s motivation behind its actions was to maintain control of Soto Cano’s Airbase, with its 550 U.S. troops and 650 U.S. and Honduran civilians. In the 1980’s the U.S. had used this base for a training ground and launching pad for the Contra terrorists in Nicaragua and El Salvadorian death squads opposed to the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN). There is good reason for concern that this Airbase will again be used for similar operations today.

In 2009 the U.S. and Panama agreed to open up two naval bases in Panama, which will be the first time U.S. military forces will be based in this nation since 1999.

War On Drugs?

Most of these measures have been justified on the grounds of combating drug trafficking, including the military buildup in Costa Rica. However, they have not curtailed this problem at all. Such U.S. military buildups have generally been accompanied by an increase in drug trafficking, as has happened in both Columbia and Afghanistan. Based on this record it can only be concluded that the “War on Drugs” rationale is a red herring for public relations consumption, not the actual motivation.

This military build up in Costa Rica is the latest in a series of moves the U.S. has made in Latin America that seeks to use threats and arms to reverse the strength of popular anti-imperialist forces across the region. The U.S. is playing with the possibility of erupting a continental conflagration for the sake of corporate profits.

While it is doubtful that the U.S. wants to directly engage in a military conflict with, most likely, Venezuela right now, preparations for this possibility are being made. What is more likely in the short term is that the U.S. military will use its forces to engage in sabotage and intimidation in hopes of reversing support for the nations aligned with ALBA. It is also very possible that the U.S. military will help to support proxy armies, such as Colombia’s, in military conflicts that align with U.S. interests. However, this is a dangerous game. Even in the short term, the U.S. ruling class may drag the nation into another direct conflict, in spite of their intentions, that could spread to involve numerous other nations.

Peace And International Solidarity

While U.S. workers are suffering from unemployment, insufficient health care, drastic cuts to education and social services, as well as environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico created by the Obama governmental collusion with BP, the priorities of the U.S. ruling class are elsewhere. They are more concerned with pouring money into military buildups that threaten war. The target of such a war, or wars, would be the popular working class movements in Latin America, whose only crime has been to struggle to liberate themselves from super exploitation and political repression. It is the same economic and political elite in the U.S. that are denying U.S. workers what is rightfully theirs that are opposing the efforts of workers and peasants throughout the continent to empower themselves.

It is the task of the anti-war movement not only to oppose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also to prevent future U.S. wars in Latin America. Wherever anti-war activists seek to mobilize people against war, they should also seek to educate about the U.S. empire’s military moves in Latin America.

Furthermore, it will require international solidarity to combat what the U.S. elite is doing in Central and South America. There was recently an event that could go some way towards preparing this solidarity. In Sanare, Venezuela, from June 21 – 25, a series of meetings were held entitled “Ecuentro of the Americas: Resisting Militarization and Promoting a Culture of Peace.” It consisted of delegates of organizations from 19 nations across the continent, including School of the Americas (SOA) ‘Watch of the U.S.’ – You can read more about this at http://www.soaw.org/.

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: The rogue American government and US military are the ultimate drug dealers who work for the international bankers and trans-national corporations to fund their black-ops– SJH   

Link to original article below…

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=20171

Global Warming Scam – 2010 Is Not The Hottest Year… On Record

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July 19, 2010: Roger F. Gay / Men’s News Daily – July 17, 2010

Warmers and Democrats are once again getting overheated by their own propaganda; claiming 2010 is the hottest year on record. The current Cap-n-Trade promotional reads something like this (from The Hill blogs):

“The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported Thursday that the January-June period was the warmest worldwide on record, based on average land and ocean temperatures.

“The NOAA data, which is based on records dating to 1880…”

From NOAA’s webpage: NOAA: June – April to June, and Year-to-Date Global Temperatures are Warmest on Record… “The monthly analysis from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, which is based on records going back to 1880, is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides government, business and community leaders so they can make informed decisions.”

If you’d like to see a graph, click here. According to Marc Morano at Climate Depot, the 10th of a degree difference they’re talking about is the result of cherry-picking data.

Besides – this is summer, and what they’re talking about is weather, not climate change. But aside from the normally expected counter-analysis to warmist claims from those who are actually scientifically competent, there is a particular phrase in the new promo that immediately catches my attention – on record. What record?

Even the most recent fake British inquiry into the behavior of scientists at East Anglia had to admit that their data was “misleading.” Now one needs merely to take notice of the copy-paste arguments of rank and file warmers. NOAA has routinely presented results corresponding to those of East Anglia.

One of the most important facts discovered in relation to Climategate was that East Anglia’s Phil Jones went to great effort to falsify temperature records throughout the world, asking its caretakers to replace their data with his fake data and for permission to present his fake data as original data from them. The United States, NOAA included, was not on the very short list of countries that said no. (And while we’re at it, NASA – i.e. the godfather of the global warming hoax James Hansen at Columbia – is also not on that list.)

The Climategate conspirators have all gone back to work as if nothing happened. Warmers are once again using their products as talking points to promote arbitrary tax increases and government take-overs. Are they really expecting the rest of us to believe any of it? (Keywords: hockey stick, trick, hide the decline)

New Documentary – ClimateGate Final Cut – Official Trailer

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: I will continue to repost the below documentary for those unaware of it – SJH

The Great Global Warming Swindle

Link to original article below…

http://mensnewsdaily.com/2010/07/17/global-warming-scam-2010-is-not-the-hottest-year/comment-page-1/

Federal Official Admits A ‘Seep’ Found Near BP Blown Out Oil Well

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July 19, 2010: Coleen Long & Harry R. Weber / AP via Google News – July 18, 2010

NEW ORLEANS — A federal official says scientists are concerned about a seep and possible methane near BP’s busted oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. Both could be signs there are leaks in the well that’s been capped off for three days. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday because an announcement about the next steps had not been made yet.

The official is familiar with the spill oversight but would not clarify what is seeping near the well. The official says BP is not complying with the government’s demand for more monitoring.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below…

Update: Filmed By ROV Monday July 19, 2010 At 4:45 AM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The custom-built cap that finally cut off the oil flowing from BP’s broken well held steady Sunday, and the company hopes to leave it that way until crews can permanently kill the leak.

That differs from the plan the federal government laid out a day earlier, in which millions more gallons of oil could be released before the cap is connected to tankers at the surface and oil is sent to be collected through a mile of pipes. Federal officials wary of making the well unstable have said that that plan would relieve pressure on the cap and may be the safer option, but it would mean three days of oil flowing into the Gulf before the collection begins.

Both sides downplayed the apparent contradiction in plans. Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who will make the final decision, said the containment plan he described Saturday hadn’t changed, and that he and BP executives were on the same page.  “No one associated with this whole activity … wants to see any more oil flow into the Gulf of Mexico,” said Doug Suttles, BP PLC’s chief operating officer. “Right now we don’t have a target to return the well to flow.”

Allen said more work is needed to better understand why pressure readings from the well cap are lower than expected. There could be two reasons, he said: either there’s less oil in the reservoir because so much has flowed out, or oil is leaking out underground. “While we are pleased that no oil is currently being released into the Gulf of Mexico and want to take all appropriate action to keep it that way, it is important that all decisions are driven by the science,” Allen said.

Both Allen and BP have said they don’t know how long the trial run will continue. It was set to end Sunday afternoon, but the deadline — an extension from the original Saturday cutoff — came and went with no word on what’s next. After little activity Sunday, robots near the well cap came to life around the time of the cutoff. It wasn’t clear what they were doing, but bubbles started swirling around as their robotic arms poked at the mechanical cap.

Work continued on the permanent fix: two relief wells, one being drilled as a backup. The company said work on the first one was far enough along that officials expect to reach the broken well’s casing, or pipes, deep underground by late this month. Then the job of jamming the busted well with mud and cement could take “a number of days through a few weeks.”

Some boat captains were surprised and angry to learn that their work helping with the cleanup will mean less money they’re eligible to claim from the $20 billion compensation fund set up by BP. The fund’s administrator, Kenneth Feinberg, told The Associated Press on Sunday that if BP pays fishermen wages to help skim oil and perform other cleanup work, those wages will be subtracted from the amount they get from the fund.

Longtime charter boat captain Mike Salley said he didn’t realize BP planned to deduct those earnings, and he doubted many other captains knew, either. “I’ll keep running my boat,” he said Sunday on a dock in Orange Beach, Ala., before heading back into the Gulf to resupply other boats with boom to corral the oil. “What else can I do?”

It will take months, or possibly years for the Gulf to recover. But there were signs that people were trying to get life — or at least a small part of it — back to normal. The public beach at Gulf Shores, Ala., had its busiest day in weeks on Saturday despite oil-stained sand and a dark line of tar balls left by high tide.

Darryl Allen of Fairhope, Ala., and Pat Carrasco of Baton Rouge, La., came to the beach to throw a Frisbee just like they’ve been doing for the past 30 years. With oil on people’s minds more than the weather, Allen asked what’s become a common question since the well integrity test began: “How’s the pressure? I hope it’s going up,” he said. “You don’t want to be too optimistic after all that’s happened.”

People also were fishing again, off piers and in boats, after most of the recreational waters in Louisiana were reopened late this week. More than a third of federal waters are still closed and off-limits to commercial fishermen. “I love to fish,” said Brittany Lawson, hanging her line off a pier beside the Grand Isle Bridge. “I love to come out here.”

And even though it has been only days since the oil was turned off, the naked eye could spot improvements on the water. The crude appeared to be dissipating quickly on the surface of the Gulf around the Deepwater Horizon site.

Members of a Coast Guard crew that flew over the wellhead Saturday said far less oil was visible than a day earlier. Only a colorful sheen and a few long streams of rust-colored, weathered oil were apparent in an area covered weeks earlier by huge patches of black crude. Somewhere between 94 million and 184 million gallons have spilled into the Gulf, according to government estimates. [emphasis mine]

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: Have any of these people swimming and fishing in the Gulf actually been paying attention to what the hell is going on? Has the ignorance and denial reached such a level that people are in a complete trance? God help us! TTR, as well as thousands of other websites, have been reporting about the dangers of Corexit and the oil and methane breaching the seabed for months! See the BP oil polluted wave above? Below is what the Gulf used to look like…

Are you pissed off yet? Because I sure as hell am. I lived there for over 14 years and moved away because of this unforgivable crime… “Get up! Stand up! Stand up for your rights! Don’t give up the fight!” – SJH

Bob Marley

Link to original article below…

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gIXWYBTpLtSayJtg41LKXpxSxVPAD9H1N4B05