This Blog is created to stress the importance of Peace as an environmental directive. “I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it’s hell.” – Harry Truman
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BP and Alabama question company's 3-year delay over cement samples
By Harry R. Weber
March 21, 2013
BP and the state of Alabama want a judge to issue sanctions against Halliburton because of its nearly three-year delay in turning over samples of cement that may have been used in the blown-out well that caused the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Attorneys for the state and the British oil giant told U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier of New Orleans they will file motions for sanctions by Friday. Barbier is hearing an ongoing civil trial over the spill.
Possible sanctions could include preventing Halliburton from using certain defenses at the trial, which could make it harder for the company to challenge a finding of gross negligence. Such a finding would allow punitive damages against the company for the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history....
Halliburton (click here)announced March 18 it opened a new Completion Technology and Manufacturing Center in Singapore. The facility allows the company to expand its completion tools business, which is a product service line in Halliburton's Completion and Production division.
The new facility is located on 43 acres in Jurong Industrial Park. It includes more than 500,000 square feet of space for manufacturing and administration services. The manufacturing center includes laboratories and testing facilities, allowing Halliburton to complete high-alloy material precision machining, small deep-hole gun drilling and high-pressure testing....
Some fishermen, businesses and property owners affected by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill have appealed a federal judge’s ruling approving a multibillion dollar class action settlement that BP reached with a committee of lawyers assigned to steer the hundreds of suits filed over the disaster.
At least eight groups of victims have filed appeals in the last two weeks with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. Lack of fairness and due process are among the claims raised in the appeals.
Legal experts had said appeals of U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier’s ruling were a virtual certainty.
The 5th Circuit has not indicated when it will consider the appeals.
Last month, Barbier approved the portion of the settlement that dealt with economic and property damages. Earlier this month, he approved the medical benefits portion of the settlement.
Thousands of claimants have agreed to accept the deal, and BP has estimated that it will pay out $7.8 billion or economic, property and health claims — although the agreement BP reached with lawyers for plaintiffs last year does not have a cap on damages....
NEW ORLEANS — A former Halliburton lab manager testified Tuesday that a company official asked him not to record results of a cement stability test related to the well in the 2010 Gulf oil spill disaster.
Timothy Quirk said during a civil trial over the disaster in federal court in New Orleans that while the request was “a little unusual,” he complied.
The test was conducted shortly after the spill, using ingredients similar to those used to seal the undersea well that blew out. Quirk said he told the results to the company official that asked for the test, then he threw away his notes.
“He did not want them reported,” Quirk testified, referring to his former colleague. Quirk now works for Chevron, according to Halliburton.
The testimony comes a week after a Halliburton lawyer, Don Godwin, acknowledged that officials recently discovered cement samples possibly tied to the ill-fated drilling project that weren’t turned over to the Justice Department after the oil spill....
Imagine that. And why exactly isn't the CEO of Halliburton not up on charges of contempt at the very least. The products Halliburton use are SUBSTANDARD. They know it and they hide it.
The accounting of the financial cost of the nearly decade-long Iraq War will go on for years, but a recent analysis has shed light on the companies that made money off the war by providing support services as the privatization of what were former U.S. military operations rose to unprecedented levels.
Private or publicly listed firms received at least $138 billion of U.S. taxpayer money for government contracts for services that included providing private security, building infrastructure and feeding the troops.
Ten contractors received 52 percent of the funds, according to an analysis by the Financial Times that was published Tuesday.
The No. 1 recipient?
Houston-based energy-focused engineering and construction firm KBR, Inc. (NYSE:KBR), which was spun off from its parent, oilfield services provider Halliburton Co. (NYSE:HAL), in 2007.
The company was given $39.5 billion in Iraq-related contracts over the past decade, with many of the deals given without any bidding from competing firms, such as a $568-million contract renewal in 2010 to provide housing, meals, water and bathroom services to soldiers, a deal that led to a Justice Department lawsuit over alleged kickbacks, as reported by Bloomberg.
Who were Nos. 2 and 3?
Agility Logistics (KSE:AGLTY) of Kuwait and the state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corp. Together, these firms garnered $13.5 billion of U.S. contracts....
The standards were fairly straight forward and the jargon very clear. Meal requirements were determined and standards for meal planning. I just thought I'd field that for now. We were right where we needed to be. The American people had already spent the money and come up with solutions. I believe the year was 1995. There was no fast food included in the standards. The idea behind developing meal requirements and planning was a simple concept called"nutrient targets." (click here).
If a school meal planner knows the nutrient targets for growth and development, the rest is easy.
I can't help that Republicans hate everything Democrats do, but, school lunch programs? Nutritional requirements for children. Healthy foods for obesity in our children? Give me a break, there is such a thing called morality leading to health and longevity. Are we going to do this to our children every time the wind changes direction?
Meal Requirements encompasses standards for school meals that are used for two purposes: (1) to develop menus that are consistent with Dietary Guidelines and the Nutrient Targets and (2) to specify what qualifies as a meal that is eligible for federal financial reimbursement. Meal Requirements comprise standards for meals as offered by the school and standards for meals as selected1 by students. As offered meal standards are applied in the development of menus for school breakfast and lunch and thus may be called standards for menu planning. As selected meal standards are used by the cashier to determine whether the student has selected a meal that meets requirements for reimbursement. The process used by the committee to develop the Meal Requirements was iterative in nature, and it also contributed to the committee’s final recommendations for the Nutrient Targets. This chapter describes the processes used to develop recommendations for the Meal Requirements. Different processes were used to develop the standards for menu planning and for meals as selected. The final recommendations appear in Chapter 7.
Human breast milk has 4.2 grams of fat per 100 ml (approximately 3 and a third ounces). Breast milk also contains trace amounts of fatty acids and about 14 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids. There is about 1.1 grams of protein, 7 grams of carbohydrates and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and chlorine. Body fluid is sodium chloride, so don't get excited. This is not the same as putting chlorine in the swimming pool. Pasteurized milk has about 3.2 percent fat. Cow's milk has less protein, less carbohydrates, but, more vitamins and minerals because it is processed. The point is there are nutritional needs of growth and development that are balanced and necessary. Fat is an important component to the diet of young children. During the first year of growth and development the body is still laying down myelin over the cells of the central nervous system. It is this fact that parents sometimes delay vaccinations to prevent dormant virus fragments that might later develop into MS. So, to have a rigid demand that all parents seek to limit the amount of fat and calories in all children of all ages is not realistic. Only if the child is exhibiting trends in obesity do they need to have dietary restrictions or changes. So, I am more than surprised there is this 'blanket idea' that all children need to have a standardized diet in relation to milk and milk fat. Cow's milk is not at all the same in composition of it's fats, proteins and carbohydrates as human breast milk. It has caused allergies in children as a matter of fact, that last through their adult years.
We all know we are worried about obesity in the people of the USA, especially children. This study is more than likely very correct. The problem is not with the idea of limiting obesity in children; it is whether or not we are seeing normal growth and development in our children. If I may? Whole Milk or Skim. Study links fattier milk to slimmer children (click here) by ALLISON AUBREY March 20, 201312:27 PM ...The guidanceis based on studies that found children who consumed low-fat milk as part of a reduced-saturated-fat diet had lower concentrations of LDL cholesterol. Given the body of evidence in adults linking high cholesterol to increased risk of heart disease, it makes sense to keep an eye on cholesterol, beginning in childhood. And if you take fat out of milk, you've also reduced calories, which should help protect kids against becoming overweight. At least, that's been the assumption.... After "W" was crowned into office by the Supreme Court in 2000, there were wide ranging changes made to the Food Pyramids for Americans. Sorry, but, human physiology hasn't changed that much in 200 years. What has changed are the foods available to eat and the amount of activity an American participates. If I could wave a magic wand, I would get rid of all the crony science that includes catsup and pizza as a vegetable or something like that. But, what I would do is scrap everything occurring from the changes of "W" regime. There is also a difference between catsup and ketchup. Betcha didn't know that. Catsup is sweet and tangy but sometimes spicy and made with tomato, onion, salt, cinnamon. Ketchupsweet, tangy and made with tomato, sugar, onion, salt, cinnamon. Ketchup is more widely used than Catsup, but, I find it most interesting that catsup uses no sugar. Just thought I'd point that out. But, the standards for children get tricky. What is most important is to remember OBESITY is a medical condition. Unless a child is exhibiting problems ON THEIR GROWTH CHARTS that the pediatricians keep in the child's records, it really isn't suppose to be an issue. ...continued in next entry...
This is the composition of the USA Senate after 2012. There are two Independents and 51 Democratic Senators. 2012 was a very interesting election. President Obama helped carry a larger number of Democrats into office during a Presidential election year in both the House and Senate. Let's face it. The Democrats are the only ones in either house doing any of the country's business. But, that is not why I bring this up. There were 21 Democratic Senate seats for election in 2012. There were two Independent seats for election in 2012. That means there are 23 members of the Senate that do not have to worry about elections again for another six years. Six years is a long time to prove to an electorate a vote for the Assault Weapons' Ban was the best vote anyone made. Currently, Senator Feinstein stated she has less than forty votes for the ban when the amendment comes to the floor. I would hope all the 23 Senators voted into office as of 2012 were among them. If that is not the case then they need to change their minds about voting in the affirmative to make this happen. We know there are 10's of thousands of Americans killed every year in the USA due to guns. We also know gun manufacturers grease the palms of politicians in the USA Senate to prevent any gun legislation. We know those same gun manufacturers can only survive if they are allowed to conduct illegal gun sales both domestically and internationally. These are facts. If any member of Congress can look the other way and vote against the gun legislation and amendments with a clear conscience then we need to seriously re-evaluate the definition of ethics in the USA Senate. If the Senate cannot act responsibly to bring about change and maintain a healthy gun culture in the USA then those that have a conscience will find a way to end the gun trade 100% in the USA. My expectations are that it is far easier than anyone can imagine; otherwise; why would they be fighting so hard? I would hope the USA Senate would seek to correct the wayward course of the floundering gun industry in the USA. Seriously.
Frequent Fox News guest Lars Larson made the spurious claims that a recently enacted New York gun law forces siblings to run background checks on each other when transferring weapons and would allow a mental health professional to report patients who they "don't trust" to prohibit them from purchasing a gun....
There was a great meeting last night. I think the methodology is sound in growing grassroots support for gun control. "Bowling for Columbine" is pure genius. Literally, it maps out exactly where two young men were traumatized with the economy they found themselves locked into in Littleton, Colorado. While this meeting was going on and Twitter was roaring as well as an audience participation live streaming, CNN's Don Lemon was asking some expert about the level of sociopaths we are finding in our teenagers these days. You've got to be joking. The genius of Moore was bringing a live event about the gun culture, the culture of fear and violence in the USA and CNN's response was to talk about a growing population of sociopaths in USA teenagers? What kind of mess is that? CNN's eyes should have been actively stating what a great event was transpiring in New York City to organize awareness to bring about gun control to prevent deaths. No respect. This movement has absolutely no respect from anyone. Everyone quakes in fear of the NRA while 56% of Americans want a ban on assault weapons. Are you all crazy? There is no escalation in sociopathic behavior in our teenagers. None. There are no psychopaths being churned out of our high schools. This is American media at it's best? You all ought to be ashamed. 03/23/13 10:31 PM ET EDT
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the ad buy Saturday – just days after Senate Democrats touted stronger background checks while acknowledging insufficient support to restore a ban on assault-style weapons to federal gun control legislation.
"These ads bring the voices of Americans – who overwhelmingly support comprehensive and enforceable background checks – into the discussion to move senators to immediately take action to prevent gun violence," Bloomberg said in a statement issued by the group he co-founded in 2006.
The two ads posted on the group's website, called "Responsible" and "Family," show a gun owner holding a rifle while sitting on the back of a pickup truck....
I told her it was uncertain. She stated, "But, we usually open the market the first week of April." I stated, I am grateful there are still limbs on the Cherry Trees after the glacial storm we had three weeks ago. It looks like it is going to be a late season this year.
You may adapt (click here) your wardrobe and activities to the seasons, grabbing a heavy coat and skis in winter or instead, a swimsuit and snorkel in summer. However, ecosystems, plants, and animals cannot adjust their wardrobe quite so easily but they do make changes that help them survive seasonal conditions caused by the annual dance of the sun and Earth.
You really had me going, wishing on a star But the black holes that surround you Are heavier by far
I believed in your confusion You were so completely torn Well it must have been that yesterday Was the day that I was born
There's not much to examine There's nothing left to hide You really can't be serious If you have to ask me why
I say good-bye
'Cause I am barely breathing And I can't find the air I don't know who I'm kidding Imagining you care, and I could stand here Waiting a fool for another day But I don't suppose it's worth the price Worth the price, the price that I would pay
Everyone keeps asking, what's it all about? I used to be so certain and I can't figure out What is this attraction? I only feel the pain There's nothing left to reason and only you to blame Will it ever change? 'Cause I am barely breathing And I can't find the air I don't know who I'm kidding Imagining you care, and I could stand here Waiting a fool for another day But I don't suppose it's worth the price Worth the price, the price that I would pay
But I'm thinking it over anyway But I'm thinking it over anyway
I've come to find, I may never know Your changing mind, is it friend or foe? I rise above or sink below With every time you come and go Please don't, you come and go 'Cause I am barely breathing And I can't find the air I don't know who I'm kidding Imagining you care, and I could stand here Waiting a fool for another day But I don't suppose it's worth the price Worth the price, the price that I would pay
The Qur'an strongly enjoins Muslims to treat animals with compassion and not to abuse them. The animals, together with all creatures, are believed to praise God, even if this praise is not expressed in human language. Let the prisoners ask for food for their pets. Let them ask for toys for the amusement of the pets. Pets are notorious for being spontaneous and a challenge to live with. Try it. Give the detainees a reason to think and appreciate the lives they now have in a way that gives care to a helpless animal. Young animals, too. Puppies, kittens. Dependence.
Guards from Guantánamo's communal camp 6 (click here)throw out lunch that every cellblock but one refused on March 20, 2013. Prison policy says the food must be trashed, not returned to the Navy base kitchen. MIAMI HERALD STAFF This is unconscionable. Entire cell blocks in Guantanamo are on hunger strikes. They are determined to die. Move them out of those camps into prisons in the USA where they have contact with other human beings. Their lives are going to end regardless of any effort otherwise. That is not a venue of acceptable treatment of prisoners of any kind. They need to be separated and incorporated into new surroundings. They can't simply be allowed to die and right now they are pledging to each other they will die than live like this forever.
...Only if a prisoner pulls shut a gate to a chute called a sally port can a soldier lock it remotely and send in the meals. And one by one, every block but Delta Block refuses. Some captives call out that they don’t want the food.
Over at Charlie Block, an angular looking detainee is stubbornly ignoring his guards, sitting at an empty, stainless-steel picnic table, watching footage from Mecca on Saudi TV....
Turn off the televisions and stop the behavior. They are longing for where they were. They haven't had trials and are ending their lives by securing their place in the after life. The weather at Guantanamo is always the same. It is hot and humid. If prisoners are not hydrating they become weak and can expire. This is crazy. They don't even know what a change in seasons are anymore. The entire experience at Guantanamo lacks stimuli. Day in and day out it is the same bland existence. They are used to at the very least a torturer to give their lives meaning. I am not stating they should be tortured, but, it gave them something to hold onto. Even the torture was a glimmer of hope if they resisted or relented. Even that is gone. They need to be in a communal environment where others think differently and challenge their minds. They have nothing except to end it. They are men. They are defining their purpose trapped within a strict religious method. They want it over already. They need the 'purpose' of their lives back, even if it means talking to other prisoners in a high security prison in the USA. At least give them the fight. At this point, they don't even have permission to think differently. They have a STANDARDIZED existence. It doesn't work and it won't work.
Howard Hamm is one of the most ruthless men in the petroleum industry. He is behind the completion of the southern section of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Enjoys the profits realized from hydraulic fracturing and could not care less if it destroys lands and pollutes waters. I am quite confident he and Cheney have close times. He hangs out with men like Pickens that lie and cheat the American people out of dignity. A country is suppose to emulate moral content that seeks higher purpose rather than groveling for ANY purpose and reason for wealth. It is men like Hamm that contaminate our democracy and turn reasonable US Senators into pandering politicians willing to corrupt the very reason they were elected to office. People didn't vote Democratic to put the Keystone XL Pipeline through the center of the country, they voted for a President that could deliver clean energy and stop the carbon emissions from destroying lands. Hamm is not a moral man. He is a man that worships money in it's worse possible content.