Powerful prayer to St. Michael the Archangel - video ~ link
Lord Stirling's news blog EUROPE
With BP, which leases the wrecked rig, no closer to capping the well, the White House adopted emergency measures to try to avoid the kind of disaster that Hurricane Katrina wrought on the Gulf Coast in 2005.Oil Spill Reaches Mississippi River ~ link ~ So far, way too little has been/is being done to stop the massive flow of oil.
USAF to spray oil-dispensing chemicals on slick ~ link ~ Big deal, they are going to use TWO C-130 Hercules cargo planes to spray. This is likely to be the biggest oil spill in history. It is going to take one hell of a lot more to stop this mess. The oil is still rushing out of the well head by the thousands of gallons; they don't even know when they can plug it. It could be days or weeks or months!
Drilling Process Called Cementing Attacks Scrutiny in rig Explosion ~ link ~ The process is supposed to prevent oil and natural gas from escaping by filling gaps between the outside of the well pipe and the inside of the hole bored into the ocean floor. Cement, pumped down the well from the drilling rig, is also used to plug wells after they have been abandoned or when drilling has finished but production hasn't begun.
In the case of the Deepwater Horizon, workers had finished pumping cement to fill the space between the pipe and the sides of the hole and had begun temporarily plugging the well with cement; it isn't known whether they had completed the plugging process before the blast.
Regulators have previously identified problems in the cementing process as a leading cause of well blowouts, in which oil and natural gas surge out of a well with explosive force. When cement develops cracks or doesn't set properly, oil and gas can escape, ultimately flowing out of control. The gas is highly combustible and prone to ignite, as it appears to have done aboard the Deepwater Horizon, which was leased by BP PLC, the British oil giant.
Concerns about the cementing process—and about whether rigs have enough safeguards to prevent blowouts—raise questions about whether the industry can safely drill in deep water and whether regulators are up to the task of monitoring them.
The scrutiny on cementing will focus attention on Halliburton Co., the oilfield-services firm that was handling the cementing process on the rig, which burned and sank last week. The disaster, which killed 11, has left a gusher of oil streaming into the Gulf from a mile under the surface.
A 2007 study by three U.S. Minerals Management Service officials found that cementing was a factor in 18 of 39 well blowouts in the Gulf of Mexico over a 14-year period. That was the single largest factor, ahead of equipment failure and pipe failure.Iran warns Israel against attacking Syria ~ link ~ will "cut off Israel's feet" if the Jewish state attacks Damascus, Iranian Vice President Mohammad Rida Rahimi vowed on Friday at the end of a two-day visit to key regional ally Syria.
"We will stand alongside Syria against any (Israeli) threat," Rahimi said at a news conference with Syrian Prime Minister Mohammad Naji Otri.
"If those who have violated Palestinian land want to try anything we will cut off their feet," he said in reference to the Jewish state.
Rahimi described Syria as a "strong country that is ready to confront any threat" and pledged that Tehran "will back Syria with all its means and strength."
On Tuesday, USaccused Iran and Syria of arming with increasingly sophisticated rockets and missiles which he said undermined stability in the region.
And on Thursday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against the risk of sparking a regional war if he supplies long-range Scud missiles to Hezbollah.warned DEBKA: US Gulf units may not fire on Iranian military without White House approval ~ link ~ Keep in mind that Debka is an Israeli site with close contacts to the IDF and Mossad.
The US Fifth Fleet and US aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower in the Gulf of Oman were not allowed to shoot at an Iranian Fokker F27 aircraft which on April 21 hovered for 20 minutes 900 meters over the carrier and no more than 250 meters away, even though they saw its flight crew gathering intelligence on the Eisenhower and its warship escorts.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly's military sources report that the US Persian Gulf command went public on the incident on April 28, a whole week later, only after Gulf military circles, amazed at the American naval and air units' passivity in the face of hostile surveillance, threatened to break the story to local media.
This striking restraint indicates that the US Gulf and Arabian fleets are under orders to take no action - certainly not to open fire - against Iranian naval or air units, with first obtaining permission directly from
DEBKA: Syria sends Hizballah Scuds in disassembled batches ~ link ~ Israel, which has massive numbers of nuclear weapons and air/missile/and sub based delivery systems for them, demands that Syria not supply Hizballah with "game-changing" Scud missiles or Israel may go to war. Scuds are approximately 40 years old technology.
DEBKA: The "New Hizballah" built by Syria sparks Middle East summer war fears ~ link ~ Israel is attempting to place the blame for the coming war on Syria and Hizballah and Iran. Israel is always the victim, or so they like to claim. Since the Gaza War nobody believes them anymore.
In actual fact, a Middle East war this summer depends on two actions which have nothing to do with the Palestinians: a decision by the
Also see: Iran, Syria, Hizballah gear up to provoke a summer war ~ link
Tories lead polls but with mountain to clime - Conservatives 'neck-to-neck' with Liberal Democrats ~ link ~ A Harris poll for the Daily Mail puts the Tories on 33%, the Liberal Democrats on 32% and Labour on 24%.
While a YouGov poll for The Sun puts the Conservative party on 34% with Labour and the Liberal Democrats trailing on 28%.
A poll for mumsnet, the website for mums, showed that 43% of users were planning to vote Liberal Democrat with Labour on 26% and the Tories on 22%.
The YouGov poll came as Labour received a big blow from the Guardian newspaper.
The broadsheet, traditional a Labour-backer, said it was switching allegiance to the Lib Dems.
The Times, which has supported Labour for 18 years, said it was switching to the Conservatives.
General Election 2010: The Liberal Democratic moment has come ~ link ~ If the Guardian had a vote it would be cast enthusiastically for the Liberal Democrats. But under our discredited electoral system some people may – hopefully for the last time – be forced to vote tacticallyCitizens have votes. Newspapers do not. However, if the Guardian had a vote in the 2010 general election it would be cast enthusiastically for the Liberal Democrats. It would be cast in the knowledge that not all the consequences are predictable, and that some in particular should be avoided. The vote would be cast with some important reservations and frustrations. Yet it would be cast for one great reason of principle above all.
After the campaign that the Liberal Democrats have waged over this past month, for which considerable personal credit goes to Nick Clegg, the election presents the British people with a huge opportunity: the reform of the electoral system itself. Though Labour has enjoyed a deathbed conversion to aspects of the cause of reform, it is the Liberal Democrats who have most consistently argued that cause in the round and who, after the exhaustion of the old politics, reflect and lead an overwhelming national mood for real change.
Proportional representation – while not a panacea – would at last give this country what it has lacked for so long: a parliament that is a true mirror of this pluralist nation, not an increasingly unrepresentative two-party distortion of it. The Guardian has supported proportional representation for more than a century. In all that time there has never been a better opportunity than now to put this subject firmly among the nation's priorities. Only the Liberal Democrats grasp this fully, and only they can be trusted to keep up the pressure to deliver, though others in all parties, large and small, do and should support the cause. That has been true in past elections too, of course. But this time is different. The conjuncture in 2010 of a Labour party that has lost so much public confidence and a Conservative party that has not yet won it has enabled Mr Clegg to take his party close to the threshold of real influence for the first time in nearly 90 years.
This time – with the important caveat set out below – the more people who vote Liberal Democrat on 6 May, the greater the chance that this will be Britain's last general election under a first-past-the-post electoral system which is wholly unsuited to the political needs of a grown-up 21st-century democracy.
Nick Clegg: We have taken Labour's place in UK politics ~ link ~ Nick Clegg today makes a bold pitch to Labour voters, claiming that the Liberal Democrats have supplanted Gordon Brown's party to become the natural home of progressive politics in Britain.
In a Guardian interview, Clegg accuses David Cameron of having no agenda for progressive reform of the country, and says the Lib Dems and Labour come from the same historical tradition.
He says he is rejecting all talk of tactical voting and is instead "going for broke" to maximise his party's share of the vote.
Clegg insists that the tectonic plates of politics are shifting, and the choice has distilled down to a vote for his party or a Conservative party that will "cast the country adrift".
Congress Is Abdicating Its Authority on Wars ~ link ~ The yearlong debate over health care reform legislation produced a tidal wave of criticism of the “dysfunctional” American Congress. In the same period, President Barack Obama dispatched more than 50,000 additional troops to Afghanistan with essentially no legislative debate. But hardly anyone has complained about Congressional dysfunction here.
This silence is amazing because it is widely accepted that past administrations, acting without Congressional input, made huge mistakes in America’s last two major wars. And these eventually proved devastating to the parties in power. Both Democrats and Republicans have acknowledged that interventions in Vietnam and Iraq were either misconceived or significantly mismanaged. After each, there was a sense that Congress could have done more to test flawed policy assumptions and hold decision-makers accountable, enlisting sustained public support for better policies. Yet despite different concerns about Afghanistan policy on both sides of the aisle, Congress has been re-enacting its performances in Vietnam and Iraq.Congressman Waxman sneaks anti-vitamin amendment into Wall Street reform bill ~ link ~
Democrats spark alarm with call for National ID Card ~ link ~ The corrupt political class is determined to force fascism on us all.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich: We have finite money for Americans but unlimited money for wars and Wall Street ~ link ~ Well said Dennis!
The CIA Coup That Kept America on the Road of Militarism ~ link ~ I see no mention of Meyer Lansky or the Mossad in this and they were a very key part, as were the global banking family overlords.
Poetic Justice in the Kingdom of the Blind ~ link ~ Another off-the-wall but right-on-the-mark post from Smoking Mirrors.
The crash of the American financial system at the hands of those in control of the money can surely be considered a major cause in the growing social unrest. It seems that the population is being intentionally squeezed until it riots outward from the pressure. All the financial systems in the world are connected to each other and when you place simultaneous attacks upon all of the major hubs, it doesn’t take an expert to tell you trouble is on the wing. Strangely enough, few experts seem to be presenting very much expert opinion. Instead, they seem to be reading from carefully prepared texts.
When one looks at the
The Official vs the Unofficial Story of the Early Retirement of Miami's Archbishop ~ link ~ Meanwhile, a group of lay Catholics in the archdiocese has revealed communications that they have had with the Vatican regarding an alleged gay cabal of priests that the group claims is veritably running the archdiocese, and suggests that this situation is the real cause of the early retirement. The group says that the Vatican has investigated its claims, and found them to be well-founded.
The Wonders of Vitamin K ~ link
Blind boy 'sees' using dolphin-style clicks - with video ~ link