BP ignored the advice of safety modeling software in an attempt to save time before the disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill, according to a presentation slide (PDF) prepared by US investigators. The slide in question briefly appeared on the Oil Spill Commission’s website in error, but was quickly retracted. Advanced cement modeling software, provided by BP’s cement contractor Halliburton, had highlighted serious stability concerns with the well
So, eleven counts of negligent homicide, and still nobody is in jail, and no company is being dismantled.
Brace yourselves, commuters — body scanners may be coming to trains, subways and boats, according to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
“[Terrorists] are going to continue to probe the system and try to find a way through,” Napolitano said in an interview that aired Monday night on “Charlie Rose.” She said as aviation security tightens, “we have to also be thinking now about going on to mass transit or to trains or maritime.”
A stark example of the potential for real conflict is being played out in New York City, where the multibillionaire mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has selected a glittering example of the American aristocracy to be the city’s schools chancellor. Cathleen Black, chairwoman of Hearst Magazines, has a reputation as a crackerjack corporate executive but absolutely no background in education.
Ms. Black travels in the rarefied environs of the very rich. Her own children went to private boarding schools. She owns a penthouse on Park Avenue and a $4 million home in Southampton. She was able to loan a $47,600 Bulgari bracelet to a museum for an exhibit showing off the baubles of the city’s most successful women.
Ms. Black will be peering across an almost unbridgeable gap between her and the largely poor and working-class parents and students she will be expected to serve. Worse, Mr. Bloomberg, heralding Ms. Black as a “superstar manager,” has made it clear that because of budget shortfalls she will be focused on managing cutbacks to the school system.
So here we have the billionaire and the millionaire telling the poor and the struggling — the little people — that they will just have to make do with less. You can almost feel the bitterness rising.
After a week of waiting in line, rotating shifts and Thanksgiving Day in a Best Buy parking lot, the ‘First Family of Black Friday’ finally reached the inside of the store.
Tina Thain and Lorie Davenport were the first in line outside the Best Buy near Tyrone Square Mall in St. Petersburg. Lined up on November 17, Thain and Davenport, were determined to be the first to get their hands on items.
The Davenports purchased a Nook (electronic reader), a wireless router, gift cards, DVDs and a label maker.
She said they accomplished their goals and had a great experience during the week.
That label maker made the whole thing worth it, I’m sure.
Iceland’s President Olafur R. Grimsson said his country is better off than Ireland thanks to the government’s decision to allow the banks to fail two years ago and because the krona could be devalued.
“The difference is that in Iceland we allowed the banks to fail,” Grimsson said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Mark Barton today. “These were private banks and we didn’t pump money into them in order to keep them going; the state did not shoulder the responsibility of the failed private banks.”
As a consequence, “Iceland is faring much better than anybody expected,” Grimsson said. The Icelandic state’s liability on foreign depositor claims stemming from Icesave accounts at failed Landsbanki Islands hf should be put to a national referendum, he said.
Regular readers of this weblog may get the impression that I think the USA is getting more stupid by the day, so it’s time to give you an example that’s closer to home. Actually, across the street from home – that should be close enough.
There’s a major traffic crossing close by, and I have to cross it when I’m walking to the supermarket. Until recently, this is what a pedestrian saw;
Everybody living in the Netherlands for more than 162 minutes knows these and what they do. And for the readers who’ve never been in the Netherlands: I don’t really have to explain, do I?
Anyway, they were replaced this week, together with all the traffic lights at the crossing. The new lights are much brighter, and better in “low-hanging-sun” situations, so that’s an all-out improvement. But here’s what they did with the pedestrian lights:
Really? Not just one, but TWO illustrations demonstrating that a button is a thing you push with your finger? Are they afraid of people whipping out their dicks or something? And notice that they still don’t bother to explain what happens* after you press the button – that’s apparently still assumed knowledge. But the “how” of pressing a button is clearly presumed to be slipping our collective mind. Also note that I’m not the only one irritated by the assumed stupidity of the average pedestrian – it’s been there for two days and already somebody tried to peel off the sticker, reducing the amount of disdain. And no, that wasn’t me.
*Yes, I know, these buttons are sometimes presumed to be placebos. But I noticed during installation earlier this week that they are wired up. If they were full-time placebos the contractor would have saved a lot of money by leaving out the wiring. It’s still possible the traffic control computer ignores the signals during high-traffic situations, since the pedestrian green has enough opportunity to shine regardless of people pressing the button, but the wiring indicates that at least during low-traffic situations the buttons are no placebo
The top US military commander said the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks must stop its "extremely dangerous" release of sensitive documents, according to a CNN transcript released Friday.
"I would hope that those who are responsible for this would, at some point in time, think about the responsibility that they have for lives that they’re exposing… and stop leaking this information," Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN’s "Fareed Zakaria GPS."
"It continues to be extremely dangerous," Mullen said ahead of the expected release by WikiLeaks of millions of sensitive diplomatic cables.
So, Mike, are you telling me that the minimal US military mission feasibility studies still don’t include “What’s the possible blow-back when all the information leaks?”
Sounds like you’re not the right man for the job.
A 19-year-old has been arrested in connection with a plot to detonate a vehicle bomb at an annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon, on Friday evening, the Justice Department announced.
Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia, was arrested on suspicion of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. He is a resident of Corvallis, Oregon, and is a student at Oregon State University, according to the FBI.
Mohamud was arrested by the FBI and Portland Police Bureau after he attempted to detonate what he believed to be an explosives-laden van that was parked near the tree-lighting ceremony in Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square, the Justice Department said in a written statement, but the device was actually inert.
"The threat was very real. Our investigation shows that Mohamud was absolutely committed to carrying out an attack on a very grand scale," said Arthur Balizan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. "At the same time, I want to reassure the people of this community that, at every turn, we denied him the ability to actually carry out the attack."
According to TSA logic, the US now needs to improve security by installing scanners and grope-stations at every on- and off ramp for every freeway.
Beck’s assertion — with which Palin showed no disagreement whatsoever — requires belief in no less than four different insane things – and that’s even if the contrail hadn’t already been fully explained.
And this gets virtually no comment anywhere.
Apparently we’ve all been numbed by stupidity for so long that while the media can still grok an obvious up-is-down screw-up, the presence of mind-blowing nests of illogic immediately adjacent to the famous gaffe… that’s just dismissed as normal.