Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Message from Gov. Dean about Bernie Sanders & the Progressive Movement

Christine -

I have known Bernie Sanders for more than 20 years. I have often worked with him in Vermont, but when he took to the floor of the Senate last week to stand up and denounce the extension of the Bush tax cuts for billionaires in an unconventional nine-hour filibuster, I'd never been more honored to call him my friend and my Senator.

Bernie is a progressive hero. He has spent his entire life fighting for the poor and the middle class, just as he is now in this tax cut fight.
(Bernies amazing speech; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5OtB298fHY)

Make no mistake about it; this tax cut deal that President Obama struck with Republicans may be good short-term politics, but it's not the best course for the country. It's not fiscally responsible in addressing the deficit, the biggest long-term threat to America. There is no shared pain in this agreement. Instead, this is the easy way out for everybody.

Bernie Sanders didn't back down against long odds -- he had the backbone to stand up and fight for what's right. Washington needs more bold leadership like Bernie's. Let's make sure that every Democrat in Washington gets the message: when you stand up and fight, we'll have your back.

Support a progressive hero -- Please contribute $5 right now; http://www.democracyforamerica.com/about

This isn't just about tax cuts for the rich either. The deal includes borrowing $120 billion from China and other sources in order to make up a shortfall in revenue for the Social Security Trust Fund caused by the additional payroll tax cut.

We all know Republicans are chomping at the bit to destroy Social Security. Cutting funding will only embolden them to step up their attacks to cut benefits, raise the retirement age, and privatize the program entirely.

Social Security is a cornerstone of the American middle class yet Republicans, who will control the House of Representatives in 2011, want to destroy it. This payroll tax cut sets us up to make it that much harder to stop them. So while most in Washington are ignoring the real damage this bill could cause in the years to come, Bernie has made it a central part of his opposition.

Today, we can send a message even Washington will understand by supporting a progressive hero for standing up for America.

Please contribute now.

Bernie stood up for us. Let's make sure everyone in Washington knows we have his back.

And thank you, Christine, for everything you do.


Gov. Howard Dean, M.D.
Founder, Democracy for America

Democracy for America relies on you and the people-power of more than one million members to fund the grassroots organizing and training that delivers progressive change on the issues that matter. Please Contribute Today and support our mission.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Message from Senator Sanders

Christine -

President Obama is right about one thing -- Republicans in Congress are holding the middle class hostage.

We have a $13.8 trillion national debt, a collapsing middle class and the most unequal distribution of wealth of any major country. With all this in mind, Republicans in Congress say they will block tax cuts to the middle class and block unemployment benefits to more than two million families unless the President gives huge tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires.

Their behavior is morally bankrupt. It is reprehensible.

But instead of challenging the Republicans for their absurd demands and their outrageous tactics, the President gave them virtually everything they wanted.

I cannot and will not support this deal. I will do everything I can to uphold the promise made to the American people to end the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

Join me and my friends at Democracy for America today and sign our pledge calling on Congress to reject this deal; http://www.democracyforamerica.com/activities/419?t=e1

One of the most underreported parts of this deal is a cut to the Social Security payroll tax. In just one year, over $120 billion of revenue will be cut from Social Security under the President's compromise plan, weakening the program and virtually guaranteeing benefit cuts in the future.

Make no mistake about it. Social Security has not added one dime to the national debt and this cut will only embolden Republican attempts to privatize the program and increase the age of retirement. Social Security is a vital safety net for all Americans and a cornerstone of our commitment to protect the middle class.

We are not alone in standing against this compromise. Republicans are holding the middle class hostage and the American people know it. I come from a small state and yesterday my office received more than 1,000 calls on this issue, with over 90% of them in opposition to this deal.

Last night, thousands of DFA members joined me on DFA Live where we had a lively discussion on this issue. One thing was clear to me during that call -- DFA members nationwide want Democrats to stop this deal and fight for the middle class, working people, senior citizens and the unemployed while making sure that millionaires and billionaires are not given massive tax breaks.

Make sure Congress gets the message -- Join the fight now and sign the petition opposing this so-called "compromise."

Thank you,


Bernie Sanders
U.S. Senator , (I) Vt

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cholera Epidemic in Haiti Worsens and Spreads, Thousands Sicken & Die

A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

In this update:
[1] Haiti: update
[2] Dominican Republic: update
[3] USA ex Haiti: 3rd case confirmed

[1] Haiti: update
Date: Tue 7 Dec 2010
Source: Haiti Libre [edited]

Since the beginning of the epidemic (19 Nov 2010), 93 222 people were
infected with cholera and treated, 44 157 were hospitalized and 2120
people died of the disease (latest figures of 4 Dec 2010 published by
the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) on 6 Dec 2010).

The epidemic spread throughout the territory. The south is seriously
affected and the partial assessment of the department of Grand Anse
looks very heavy, with a mortality rate of 58.1 percent.

Period from 30 Nov 2010 to 4 Dec 2010 (5 days)
Assessment at the national level (all ages)
Total cholera patients
30 Nov 2010: 84 391
4 Dec 2010: 93 222 (increase of 8831 cases or 10.46 percent)

Communicated by:

[The outbreak dramatically continues. - Mod.LL]

[A continually updated interactive map of the cholera situation in
Haiti is available from HealthMap at
. - Sr.Tech.Ed.MJ]

[2] Dominican Republic: update
Date: Tue 7 Dec 2010
Source: Dominican Today [edited]

The number of confirmed cases of cholera in the country climbed to
22, Public Health Ministry said Tuesday, 7 Dec 2010, reporting that
the 2 latest cases were detected in the western border province Elias

It said Santiago and Santo Domingo have reported the most cases, with
a Dominican farmer, 53, and a Haitian, 23, the most recent, being
treated in the hospital at Banica and in stable condition.

Communicated by:

[Exactly how many of the Dominican cases were acquired in the
Dominican Republic is not stated but it is likely that many of them
are locally acquired. - Mod.LL]

[The HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of the Dominican Republic
can be seen at
. - Sr.Tech.Ed.MJ]

[3] USA ex Haiti: 3rd case confirmed
Date: Mon 6 Dec 2010
Source: The Miami Herald, Associated Press (AP) report [edited]

Miami health officials say test results confirm that an American
Airlines passenger who became ill on a flight from the Dominican
Republic to Miami on Thanksgiving, 25 Nov 2010, had cholera. The
Miami-Dade Health Department released the results Monday, 6 Dec 2010.
Officials said the man was a doctor who had been treating cholera

This marks the 3rd confirmed case in Florida. State health officials
say a Collier County woman and an Orlando-area woman have recovered
from cholera linked to an outbreak in Haiti.

Communicated by:

[The HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of the US state of Florida
can be seen at
. - Sr.Tech.Ed.MJ]

[see also:
Cholera - Haiti (26): update 20101130.4311
Cholera - Haiti (25): update 20101127.4279
Cholera - Haiti (24): update, WHO 20101125.4256
Cholera - Haiti (23): update 20101122.4224
Cholera - Haiti (22): update 20101120.4204
Cholera - Haiti (21): USA (FL) 20101117.4171
Cholera - Haiti (20): update, Dom. Rep. conf. alert 20101117.4167
Cholera - Haiti (10): increased cases 20101103.3986
Cholera - Haiti: suspected, RFI 20101021.3818
Disease situation, post-earthquake - Haiti (02) 20100307.0750
Disease situation, post-earthquake - Haiti 20100207.0411]

ProMED-mail makes every effort to verify the reports that
are posted, but the accuracy and completeness of the
information, and of any statements or opinions based
thereon, are not guaranteed. The reader assumes all risks in
using information posted or archived by ProMED-mail. ISID
and its associated service providers shall not be held
responsible for errors or omissions or held liable for any
damages incurred as a result of use or reliance upon posted
or archived material.
Donate to ProMED-mail. Details available at:

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For assistance from a human being, send mail to:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

WikiLeaks Releases Diplomatic Bombshell


Small Farmers & Urban Growers Unite Against S. 510

As if not enough tonedeaf members of Congress were removed in the
recent mid term elections, yet AGAIN they are trying to push through
the same evil, phony food safety bill, S. 510, to in fact put
corporations and their lobbyists in charge of every aspect of our
food production. Please speak out again, while you still have the
breath to do so, to stop this horrible bill.

Stop S. 510 Action Page: http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum1057.php

We had a health care so-called reform bill this year that did nothing
as a bottom line but turn over our entire national health care system
to special interest corporations. The Supreme Court said corporations
can do whatever they want to tilt our elections without limit, and
Congress did absolutely nothing about it. Is anybody else noticing a
pattern here?

S. 510 is just another bill written by big corporations FOR big
corporations, so that small healthy farm operations can be persecuted
even more than they are now, while nothing of substance is done to
prosecute the real food adulteration criminals on big factory farms.
It's just another power play to use a real problem, dangerous
organisms in our food supply, and to do absolutely the wrong thing
about it.

But you can read the bill yourself, and some good supporting
reference links, if you just go to the action page now and make your
voice heard by using our server resource to send instant faxes to all
your members of Congress in real time.

Stop S. 510 Action Page: http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum1057.php

And after you submit the action page, please consider picking up one
of the new "Last War Crime" movie caps to help promote the new
feature film we will start shooting in just two more weeks. You can
help us promote the launch of this new movie by getting one of these
caps and starting a conversation about its upcoming release.

"The Last War Crime" is the story of what would have happened, and
what should still happen, if any member of the Justice Department had
the integrity to prosecute the war criminals who told knowing lies to
get us entrapped into endless and counterproductive occupations of
both Iraq and Afghanistan, using false confessions obtained by
torture to sell them.

Any donation you can make allows us to employ good progressive
activists as cast and crew to make this new creative media project a
reality. With your kind support we will have this destined to be
controversial new film playing in theatres all over the country in
the new yearas a policy advocacy action. So here is a link directly
to the page where you can get your own "Last War Crime" cap.

Last War Crime page: http://www.peaceteam.net/last_war_crime.php

Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed
to be ours, and forward this alert as widely as possible.

If you would like to get alerts like these, you can do so at

Or if you want to cease receiving our messages, just use the function
at http://www.usalone.net/out.htm


Friday, November 5, 2010

Currency Wars: Germany Upset w/ US Stimulus Plan

Berlin - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble sharply criticized on Friday the US central bank's new monetary stimulus plan aimed at shoring up the recovery in the world's biggest economy.

"With all respect, my impression is that the US is in the dark," Schaeuble said after the US Federal Reserve launched on Wednesday moves to pump 600 billion dollars to help lower interest rates and bolster economic growth.

His comments following criticism of the Washington-based monetary authorities' plan from around the world.

The Fed's capital-injection push also threatens to exacerbate the current conflict over world currency rates ahead of next week's summit of the Group of 20 (G20) leading industrialized and emerging economies in Seoul.

Schaeble described the US central bank's decision as incomprehensible, saying that the current problems facing the US had nothing to do with a shortage of liquidity.

"Saying now that we once again make an additional 600 billion dollars available will not solve the problem," the German finance minister said in Berlin.

One result of the Fed's new monetary stimulus measures was to help push up the euro against the dollar.

The euro was trading at more than 1.41 dollars Friday after breaching the 1.42-dollar mark on Thursday.

The common currency has gained about 20 per cent against the greenback since the start of June, consequently raising concerns about the outlook for exports from the 16-member eurozone.

In his remarks, Schaeuble also criticized Washington's current currency market policy. A conflict between the US and China over the value of the yuan lies at the heart of what has been dubbed a currency war.

Schaeuble said Europe would help to defuse the current currency dispute between China and the US.

He said there was an impression that the US acted as similar as it claimed China did.

The US has claimed for years that China maintained its currency at artificially low levels in order to boost its export advantage.
Posted by Earth Times Staff

U.S. War Contractor Settles Over-billing Case

Truth-Out Today;

The war contractor Louis Berger has agreed to pay a multi-million-dollar settlement for over-billing the U.S. government in Afghanistan. The settlement could reach as much as $65 million. In return, the U.S. Justice Department has agreed to drop a probe into whether Louis Berger intentionally overcharged taxpayers. According to McClatchy Newspapers, the company will also remain eligible for new lucrative contracts in Afghanistan.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dr. David Duke News & Updates

My Friend,

My new Video is: ***........................ How Zionists Divide and Conquer!...................................... ***

This is a fresh look at why the same powerful Jews who support Israel as a "Jewish State" do everything they can to create a fractured society in nations they live in outside of Israel.

Why Zionists preach one thing for Jews and the direct opposite for Gentiles.

Mass immigration, multiculturalism and diversity makes any society vulnerable to the most organized, aggressive, ethnic people on earth. Their leaders know that that their team effort gives a huge advantage over a fractured, atomized society. Diversity is a weapon.

in this video I give direct evidence of the Zionist technique for dominating a society.



And please take a moment to go to http://www.DavidDuke.com
and give us a gift that will enable us to fight back against the efforts to silence us!

Best to you,
David Duke


1. Watch it
2. Rate it
3. Favorite it
4. Comment on it
5. Send links to your email list
6. Post news of this video on forums and in chat rooms.
7. Help support my work with your generous contributions please.

Don't forget, it is your support that keeps our videos online! And your funds make this work possible!

Here's the link to contribute!


Thanks again!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Say Good-Bye to Light Bulb Production in the USA as Market Moves to China

Federal Light Bulb Ban Creating Jobs in China

A federal law banning ordinary incandescent light bulbs has already had a negative effect on the American economy — GE has closed its last major bulb producing factory in the United States, creating job opportunities in China.

Legislation enacted in 2007 orders the phase-out of incandescent light bulbs beginning with the 100-watt bulb in 2012 and ending with the 40-watt light in 2014. These bulbs cannot meet efficiency requirements dictated by law.

Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are the least expensive alternative. But the manufacture of CFLs is “labor intensive and too expensive to be done at U.S. wage rates,” according to a report from The Heartland Institute, which estimates that domestically produced CFLs would be 50 percent more expensive than bulbs manufactured in China.

So instead of retrofitting its plant in Winchester, Va., to produce CFLs, GE closed the plant in September and laid off 200 workers.

CFLs are already being manufactured in China, and increasing American demand will no doubt create new jobs there.

As the Insider Report disclosed earlier, while CFLs use about 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last far longer, they cost significantly more, take longer to turn on, can flicker, and contain small amounts of highly toxic mercury, which creates problems for users when they break or need to be disposed of after they burn out.

“Environmental activists and their allies in Washington were either too ignorant of basic economics to see these job losses coming, or they were simply too callous to really care,” said Heartland Institute science director Jay Lehr.

“Either way, compact fluorescent light bulbs in the real world fail to live up to environmental promises, unnecessarily subject American households to toxic mercury, produce poor-quality light, and are sending American workers to the unemployment line.”

And Sam Kazman, general counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said: “If the new energy-saving technologies being pushed by government are really that good, then we don’t need government to mandate them. And if they are being mandated, that’s a sure sign that they’re not very good.”

Three Republican members of Congress — Joe Barton, Marsha Blackburn and Michael Burgess — have introduced a bill that would repeal the ban on the incandescent bulb.

The three said in an article on The Daily Caller: “The unanticipated consequence of the ’07 act — layoffs in the middle of a desperate recession — is what sometimes happens when politicians think they know better than consumers and workers.”

Monday, July 26, 2010

No Funding for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

We are on the verge of winning a multiyear battle against one of Washington’s most intractable special-interest boondoggles, but I need your help today to succeed.

The House and Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittees will begin marking up their fiscal year 2011 Defense Appropriations bills this week, and I urge you to tell your U.S. Representative and Senators to oppose funding for the wasteful, unnecessary alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which is siphoning off billions of taxpayer dollars from other vital national defense priorities.

Both the Bush and Obama Administrations have tried to cancel the alternate engine because the Department of Defense has repeatedly said it does not want or need program. The U.S. Air Force and two independent panels have concluded that an alternate engine is “not necessary and not affordable” and that the alleged savings from creating a “mock competition” will never be achieved.

However, members of Congress with facilities in their states and districts where the alternate engine would be built have kept the program alive with $1.2 billion in self-serving earmarks since 2004!

Just completing testing and getting the alternate engine ready for production is estimated to cost $2.9 billion on top of what has previously been spent -- when the original engine contracted by the Pentagon for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has already received approval and is being manufactured and tested in aircraft right now.

The F-35 is designed to serve as the cornerstone of our nation’s future aerial defense capabilities by replacing the aging fighter and strike aircraft of the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marines. If the Department of Defense has to maintain two engines with different parts and technicians and requiring different upgrades over time, the overall cost of the F-35 program will climb dramatically, and America’s warfighters will get fewer of these vitally needed aircraft.

In fact, Air Force General Mark Shackelford testified before a Senate subcommittee last year that funding an alternate engine would mean cutting two to four aircraft in 2009 and as many as 53 in the next five years.

Christine, this could not be a more clear-cut case of members of Congress jeopardizing the safety of our troops and this nation so that they can "bring home the bacon"! The alternate engine is not only a catastrophic waste of tax dollars at a time when America can least afford it, it is also an obscene politicization of the Defense Budget.

CBS Evening News has called the alternate engine, “the engine no one wants.” The Houston Chronicle dubbed it, “pork with wings,” and both Politico and RedState have called it the new “Bridge to Nowhere.”

What’s more, a recent Clarus Research Group survey found that 87 percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement: “If America’s military leaders at the Pentagon determine that a multibillion-dollar defense contract with a private company is wasteful and unnecessary, Congress should NOT spend the money.”

Christine, in the face of record budget deficits, we have indications that members of Congress may be losing their appetite for this pork. That’s why I urge you right now to tell your tell your U.S. Representative and Senators to oppose any effort to fund the alternate engine in the fiscal 2011 Defense Appropriations Act.


Thomas A. Schatz

P.S. Retired General John Michael Loh, former Air Force vice chief of staff and a former commander of the Air Force’s aircraft and engine acquisition center, wrote in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “Alternate engines for military aircraft are not necessary…Alternate systems add cost, complexity and safety problems. They don’t pay economically or operationally. The F-35 alternate engine program flies in the face of smart acquisition policies. It is a contrived competition ginned up by special interests in Congress.” Tell your U.S. Representative and Senators today that you want them to put a stop to this wasteful boondoggle!

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), the nation's largest taxpayer watchdog organization with more than one million members and supporters nationwide. CCAGW is a 501(c)(4) nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that lobbies for legislation to eliminate waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Contributions to CCAGW are not tax-deductible for federal income tax purposes. For more information about CCAGW, visit http://www.ccagw.org/ Make a contribution today to help CCAGW wage and win this battle to stop this multibillion-dollar waste of Defense Budget funds.

US Appropriations Bill

Displayed below are new, updated, and passed items with their cost or savings per family.

H.R. 5822
The Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2011
Costs $1,734.94 per family

S. 3635
An original bill making appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2011, and for other purposes
Costs $441.55 per family

S. 3636
An original bill making appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, and Science, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2011, and for other purposes
Costs $667.08 per family

Friday, July 23, 2010

DISCLOSE This! Stipped of Rights Except for NRA

July 23, 2010

Dear Campaign for Liberty member,

Late last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid fired a shot directly at your free speech and moved to bring the DISCLOSE ACT (better named the "Establishment Protection Act") to a key vote to shut off debate next Monday night or Tuesday.

Contact Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at (202) 224-4451 and Senator Chuck Schumer at (202) 224-6542 right away and demand they OPPOSE DISCLOSE (S. 3628) on every vote – including cloture.

Senator Chuck Schumer has introduced a revised version and used Senate rules to bypass committee and go straight to the floor, meaning this so-called “transparency” bill will have as little transparency as Senate leaders can get away with.

We’ve fought this First Amendment-shredding, Big Labor-empowering infringement every step of the way, and we have a chance to strike a devastating blow and uphold the Bill of Rights by preventing cloture.

In fact, if the National Rifle Association and certain huge left-wing groups had not cut a deal to not be covered by DISCLOSE, the bill would have died in the House.

But if we don’t act now, we may not have the ability to in the future.

Contact Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at (202) 224-4451 and Senator Chuck Schumer at (202) 224-6542 right away and demand they OPPOSE DISCLOSE (S. 3628) on every vote – including cloture.

The statists would love nothing more than to silence C4L and like-minded organizations by going after our donors for opposing their agenda.

Harry Reid is doing everything he can to railroad the opposition. Let’s show him the freedom movement will never back down.

In Liberty,

John Tate


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dengue: A Global Epidemic

Dengue was one of the favorite zootonic germs used in experimental germ-warefare programs all across the world, including the USA;

On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 12:35 PM, ProMED-mail wrote:

A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

In this update:
[1] Honduras
[2] Costa Rica
[3] Venezuela (Barinas)
[4] Paraguay
[5] Brazil (Rio de Janeiro)
[6] Cambodia
[7] Philippines (Mountain province)
[8] India (Kerala)

[1] Honduras
Date: Sat 19 Jun 2010
Source: Prensa Latina [in Spanish, trans. Mod.TY, edited]

Honduran health authorities analyzed the possibility to decree a red
alert due to the increase of dengue fever in the nation, in which 10
people have already died among more than 11 000 infected. The
emergency plan is addressed to increase the number of beds in
hospitals, assign more medical personnel, and increase laboratory
capacity for blood tests.

According to Dr Mario Roberto Ramos, head of Internal Medicine at the
Seguro Social Hospital in Tegucigalpa, the wards are already filled
and they are not enough to take in so many patients. "Before, these
cases were coming sporadically, but now, we are receiving 10-15
patients daily," said Dr Ramos.

Public health personnel will request from the Permanent Commission for
Contingencies 10 camp tents with their respective stretchers, to be
installed around the hospitals to take care of patients in stable

Tomas Guevara, head of Epidemiologic Surveillance in the Honduran
Public Health Ministry reported that there is a total of 10 780 cases
of dengue fever in the country, and 461 of them are cases of DHF, with
people under 19 years of age as the main victims.

Communicated by:
HealthMap Alerts via ProMED-mail

A HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map showing the location of
Honduras in Central America can be accessed at
. - Mod.TY]

[2] Costa Rica
Date: Thu 17 Jun 2010
Source: Prensa Latina [in Spanish, trans. Corr.SB, edited]

The number of patients suffering from dengue fever in Costa Rica rose
to 7324. Health authorities warn that without the cooperation of
citizens it will be impossible to stem the epidemic.

The deputy minister of health, Ana Mourice, said the number of cases
exceeds by 382 percent the number recorded in the 1st half of last
year [2009], and the number of people infected threatens to get larger
by the onset of the rainy season. Similarly, she stressed that the
spraying by the Ministry of Health, to combat the mosquito vector of
the disease [virus] is inadequate if families do not contribute to the
elimination of mosquito breeding sites in their homes. "The mosquito
(_Aedes aegypti_) is having a party with the beginning of winter, as
it has an ally in the accumulation of trash, tires, and containers
where water accumulates," said the official, quoted today [17 Jun
2010] by the digital version of Diario Extra. According to Mourice,
the only way to stop the spread of the epidemic is the commitment of
all people to clean up the places where the insect is breeding.

A few days ago, the deputy minister expressed her concern about the
circulation of the 3 dengue [virus] serotypes present in the national
territory and whose identification cannot be done through clinical
exam, rather by virological studies.

The disease [virus], transmitted by the bite of the _Aedes aegypti_
mosquito, causes high fever, headache and joint pain, and the
hemorrhagic variant can be fatal.

Communicated by:
HealthMap Alerts via ProMED-mail

[A HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map showing the location of Costa
Rica in Central America can be accessed at
. - Mod.TY]

[3] Venezuela (Barinas)
Date: Wed 16 Jun 2010
Source: La Prensa de Barinas [in Spanish trans. Corr.SB, edited]

Dr Seham Yammoul, regional director of health, announced that the
authorities of the Ministry of Health, together with the regional
government, are carrying out a series of actions to cope with diseases
such as dengue that are occurring today as a result of the rains. So
far there have been 68 cases of dengue. He said the authorities were
present to assist families in the communities of Guanape, Caramuca,
Obispos, and Rojas.

He emphasized that ... fumigation is also maintained because there is
the proliferation of mosquitoes and problems with the basic sanitation
in the parish of El Carmen.

Dr Yammoul said that according to the figures used, 68 cases of dengue
have been reported in the last 2 weeks and Barinas is on alert due to

[Byline: Esthela Tamy]

Communicated by:
HealthMap Alerts via ProMED-mail

[An interactive map showing the locations mentioned in Barinas state
can be accessed at
A map showing the states of Venezuela can be accessed at
A HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of Venezuela can be accessed at
. - Mod.TY]

[4] Paraguay
Date: Fri 18 Jun 2010
Source: Portal Paraguayo de Noticias (PPN) [in Spanish, trans.
Corr.SB, edited]

Although the dengue epidemic in Paraguay is declining, the prevention
and vector control measures must continue and, in many cases, increase
because there are high levels of [vector mosquito] larval infestation
in many areas. To date, confirmed cases reached 9874. According to the
latest regional reports, active [virus] circulation of low intensity,
continues in the Departments [state or province equivalent] of Alto
Parana, Central, and Capital.

According to the epidemiological bulletin of the Directorate General
of Health Surveillance of the Ministry of Health, to date total
notifications of suspected dengue cases reported to the surveillance
system reached 19 378 and confirmed cases to 9874. "The epidemic is
considered of great intensity. 28.8 percent of all Health Regions
exceed the rate of 100 cases per 100 000 inhabitants," said the report
(of the General Directorate of Health).

The epidemic, according to the report, continues to decline with a
trend for circulation to be cut in certain regions of the country,
although the (departments of) Alto Parana, Central, and Capital remain
with active circulation of low intensity, according to the latest
regional reports. [The departments of] Alto Paraguay, Boqueron, and
Cordillera record a cut in virus circulation, taking into account that
there have been 3 consecutive weeks without notification of a case
after the last reported case.

On the other hand, the [Health] report indicated that there was
simultaneous circulation of dengue virus (more than one [virus]
serotype) in the departments of Concepcion, San Pedro, Alto Parana,
Central, Amambay, Presidente Hayes, and Capital (Asuncion).

Of the total of confirmed cases, 39.3 percent are young adults,
ranging from 20-39 years, and 16.5 percent are under 15 years of age.
Regarding gender distribution, the highest percentage of confirmed
cases affected women (58 percent).

According to the monitoring of hospitalized patients up to 5 percent
of severe cases of dengue were recorded and 39 percent of patients had
warning signs. The last confirmed [dengue] death was registered in
epidemiological week 19, representing a case fatality rate 0.15
percent (15/9874). The age group most affected was that of 60 years
and older.

Protect your family from dengue and mosquitoes if you have these
symptoms: fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, nausea/vomiting,
skin rash, and/or hemorrhagic manifestations.

As long as you have fever avoid mosquito bites, lay under a mosquito
net or in a room with wire mesh, use insect repellents and insecticide
sprays indoors when mosquitoes are present.

Communicated by:
HealthMap Alerts via ProMED-mail

[A map showing the states of Paraguay can be accessed at
A HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of Paraguay can be accessed at
. - Mod.TY]

[5] Brazil (Rio de Janeiro)
Date: Tue 15 Jun 2010
Source: O Dia [in Portuguese, trans. Mod.TY, edited]

Residents of Itaperuna, a municipality in the northeast of the state
[Rio de Janeiro], are terrified of the increased number of cases of
dengue in the city, already facing an epidemic of the disease. Just in
May [2010] there were 605 patients recorded. In the same month last
year [2009] there were 15. "Many people have dengue. 3 neighbors are
in bed [with it]. It is strange and it is cold," said a retired woman,
aged 60, who had had dengue.

The coordinator of Epidemiological Surveillance of the state
Secretariat of Health, Rita Vassoler, stated that one of the
possibilities which might explain the increase in the number of cases
of the disease in Itaperuna is the introduction of [dengue] virus type
1 or 2. "When a municipality goes for a time without strong
circulation of dengue, it becomes more susceptible [to dengue
outbreaks]. This explains why, when a virus enters [the area], it
encounters more people who are not immune and can become ill," the
physician explained.

According to the Secretariat of Health, despite the increased number
of dengue cases -- there are 1262 reported cases -- Itaperuna has not
recorded a death from the disease. In the state [Rio de Janeiro],
there are now 21 dengue deaths since the beginning of the year [2010].

Communicated by:
HealthMap Alerts via ProMED-mail

[A map showing the location of Itaperuna municipality in the state of
Rio de Janeiro can be accessed at
A map showing the states in Brazil can be accessed at
A HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of Brazil can be accessed at
. - Mod.TY]

[6] Brazil (Piaui)
Date: Tue 15 Jun 2010
Source: Clica Piaui [in Portuguese, trans. & summ. Mod.TY, edited]

According to the latest bulletin released by the FMS [Ministry of
Health], 543 dengue cases were reported this year [2010], 48 of which
are discarded and 495 confirmed after laboratory tests. According to
the bulletin, classical dengue is the predominant type [of disease] in
the Teresina population, and represents almost the total of the 478
reported cases. Up to now, only 2 cases of DHF and 15 of [cases] with
some complication were confirmed, but all properly treated, without
any recorded deaths.

Compared to the same period last year [2009], the municipality has
registered a remarkable decrease in cases; since [the beginning of]
2009 until the beginning of June, there were 1063 recorded [dengue]
cases in Teresina, representing a reduction of at least 54 percent in
2010. The regions of Dirceu Arcoverde, Monte Castelo, Renascenca,
Promorar, Nova Brasilia, Buenos Aires, Sao Joaquim Lourival Parente,
and Mocambinho are most affected by the mosquito _Aedes aegypti_, the
vector of the disease [virus] in this 22nd epidemiological week of 2010.

For the director of epidemiology of FMS, infectious disease physician
Amparo Salmito, the decline in the number of dengue cases in Teresina
has been increasing since 2007, when the FMS started to adopt
pioneering measures to control and fight mosquitoes. "This decline is
due to various factors, mainly the use of adult traps to attract
mosquitoes, among those females of _Aedes aegypti_, that carries the
virus, and aspirators used in areas where the outbreak has been
identified, " she explained.

The result of all these actions, according to Amparo Salmito, is that
last year [2009] Teresina was the only capital city where there were
no reports of epidemic dengue. "And the goal for this year [2010] is
the same," she says. "Therefore, we need to strengthen care and in
this sense, the collaboration of the population is key," emphasized
the infectious disease physician. Other recommendations to combat
dengue fever are: eliminate pools of water, tightly cover water tanks,
barrels, and drums used for water storage. The mosquito also breeds in
glasses, pots, plates, tires, tanks, tanks, bottles, cans, pots, roof
gutters, basins, and containers of water for animals.

Communicated by:
HealthMap Alerts via ProMED-mail

[An interactive map showing the location of Teresina in Piaui state
can be accessed at
. - Mod.TY]

[6] Cambodia
Date: Thu 17 Jun 2010
Source: The Phnom Penh Post [edited]

The total number of dengue fever cases recorded in the 1st 5 months of
the year [2010] was less than half the one recorded during the same
period last year [2009], but the number of deaths held steady at 7,
Health Ministry officials said Wednesday [16 Jun 2010].

Ngan Chantha, director of the National Anti-Dengue Programme at the
Ministry of Health, said there were 1111 cases of dengue fever between
January and May [2010].

"During the 1st 5 months last year [2009], there were 2431 cases, and
7 people died from dengue fever," he said. "So if we compare, we can
see that although the number of cases this year [2010] is lower, the
percentage of deaths is higher than last year [2009]."

In all of last year [2009], there were 11 699 cases and 38 deaths
recorded, with the disease most prevalent in the capital and in
Kampong Cham, Kandal, Siem Reap, and Banteay Meanchey provinces.

The mosquito-borne infection spreads more rapidly in June, July, and
August, Ngan Chantha said.

Officials plan to distribute 102 tonnes of abate -- a mosquito
larvicide -- as part of this year's [2010] anti-dengue campaign, he

"I suggest that all people be vigilant in trying to prevent dengue
fever, because mosquitoes are everywhere and bite us any time we are
careless," he said.

By way of treatment [prevention] tips, he suggested wearing long
trousers and long-sleeve shirts, using abate, and seeking speedy
treatment for anyone exhibiting symptoms of dengue.

[Byline: Mom Khunthear]

Communicated by:

[According to the newswire above, the number of cases of dengue fever
in Cambodia between January and May 2010 is 1111 and 7 deaths, whereas
the number of cases during the same period in 2009 was 2431 and 7
deaths. Although there is a decrease in the number of dengue cases in
2010 compared to 2009, the case fatality rate (CFR) has been higher in
2010 (0.63) than in 2009 (0.29).

The total number of dengue fever cases in 2009 was 11 699 cases and 38
deaths; 9245 cases and 65 deaths in 2008; and 39 851 cases and 407
deaths in 2007 (see prior PRO/MBDS posting Dengue - Cambodia

According to the number of reported cases of dengue fever and dengue
hemorrhagic fever (DF/DHF) in the Western Pacific region by country
from WHO's Regional Office for the Western Pacific (WHO/WPRO) dated 30
Mar 2010 (available at
), there were 278
cases and 2 deaths of dengue fever (DF) and dengue hemorrhagic fever
(DHF) in Cambodia in the 1st 3 months of 2010, with a CFR 0.72.

For a map of Cambodia with provinces, see
For the interactive HealthMap/ProMED-mail map of Cambodia see
. - Mod.SCM]

[7] Philippines (Mountain province)
Date: Tue 15 Jun 2010
Source: Chen QI [edited]

Last week [week of 7 Jun 2010] in Bontoc, 2 girls stricken with dengue
passed away, prompting provincial health officials to raise over the
weekend [12-13 Jun 2010] a heightened alert for the dreaded
mosquito-borne disease [virus]. The Provincial Health Office (PHO) [in
Bontoc] said that one was a 7-year-old girl from Barangay Samoki, this
town, while the other was a 13-year-old girl from Barangay Lanao, same

In raising the dengue alert in this province, the PHO cited an
increase by 87 percent in the number of cases of the disease this year
[2010] compared to last year [2009]. Bontoc General Hospital officials
revealed yesterday [14 Jun 2010] that the medical facility was packed
with suspected dengue patients.

During the dry months aggravated by El Nino, the PHO warned residents
against storing water that could be the breeding ground of
dengue-causing [virus carrying] mosquitoes. This time, residents are
being warned against allowing rainwater to settle in puddles and other
household stuff that could hold water as these are the favorite places
for mosquitoes to lay their eggs.

Communicated by:

[A map showing the location of Bontoc in the Mountain Province can be
accessed at
A HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of the Philippines can be accessed at
. - Mod.TY]

[8] India (Kerala)
Date: Sun 20 Jun 2010
Source: AsianetIndia [edited]

One person has died of dengue fever in Kozhikode district today [20
Jun 2010]. The deceased has been identified as a resident of Meppayoor
and is a school teacher. The number of fever-affected patients in the
State is increasing day by day, the death toll is also increasing.

Communicated by:

[It is not clear from this report how many individuals have been
reported as dengue cases or if this constitutes an outbreak or just
scattered cases.

A map showing the location of Kozhikode district in Kerala can be accessed at
A HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of India can be accessed at
. - Mod.TY]

[see also:
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (28) 20100618.2043
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (27) 20100616.2009
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (26) 20100607.1903
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (25) 20100601.1821
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (24) 20100524.1722
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (23) 20100517.1620
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (22) 20100510.1528
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (21) 20100503.1439
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (20) 20100426.1347
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (19) 20100420.1279
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (18) 20100412.1190
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (17) 20100405.1094
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (16) 20100329.0982
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (15) 20100323.0922
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (14) 20100322.0910
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (13) 20100316.0840
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (12) 20100315.0835
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (11) 20100308.0753
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (10) 20100304.0707
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (09) 20100302.0685
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (08) 20100222.0597
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (07) 20100216.0537
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (06) 20100208.0426
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (05) 20100201.0346
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (04) 20100125.0277
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (03) 20100119.0211
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (02) 20100111.0131
Dengue/DHF update 2010 (01) 20100104.0038]
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

DOIs Long History of Scandal


Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall was implicated in the Teapot Dome scandal of the 1921. He was convicted of bribery in 1929, and served one year in prison, for his part in the controversy. A major factor in the scandal was a transfer of certain oil leases from the jurisdiction of the Department of the Navy to that of the Department of the Interior, at Fall's behest.

Secretary of the Interior James G. Watt — already facing criticism related to his alleged hostility to environmentalism and his support of the development and use of federal lands by foresting, ranching, and other commercial interests, and for banning The Beach Boys from playing a 1983 Independence Day concert on the National Mall out of concerns of attracting "an undesirable element" — resigned abruptly after a September 21, 1983, speech in which he said about his staff: "I have a black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple. And we have talent."[2] Within weeks of making this statement, Watt submitted his resignation letter.[2][3]

Under the Administration of U.S. President George W. Bush, the Interior Department's maintenance backlog climbed from $5 billion to $8.7 billion, despite Bush's campaign pledges to eliminate it completely. Of the agency under Bush's leadership, Interior Department Inspector General Earl Devaney has cited a "culture of fear" and of "ethical failure." Devaney has also said, "Simply stated, short of a crime, anything goes at the highest levels of the Department of Interior."[4]

Gale Norton, Interior Secretary under George W. Bush from 2001-2006, resigned due to connections with the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. Julie A. MacDonald, deputy assistant secretary at the Interior Department appointed by Norton in 2002, also resigned after an internal review found that she had violated federal rules by giving government documents to lobbyists for industry.[5][6] On July 20, 2007, MacDonald's "inappropriate influence" led H. Dale Hall, director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, to order a review of eight endangered species decisions in which the former deputy assistant secretary was involved. Hall has called MacDonald's disputed decisions "a blemish on the scientific integrity of the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of the Interior."[7] On 17 September 2008, the US Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to more than triple the habitat of the California red-legged frog, citing political manipulation by Julie MacDonald.[8] In a government report released in December 2008,[9] Inspector General Devaney called MacDonald's management "abrupt and abrasive, if not abusive,"[10] and U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, who commissioned the report, attributed the "untold waste of hundreds of thousands of taxpayers' dollars" to MacDonald's actions.[11]

On September 10, 2008, Inspector General Devaney found wrongdoing by a dozen current and former employees of the Minerals Management Service. In a cover memo, Devaney wrote “A culture of ethical failure” pervades the agency. According to the report, eight officials accepted gifts from energy companies whose value exceeded limits set by ethics rules — including golf, ski, and paintball outings; meals; drinks; and tickets to a Toby Keith concert, a Houston Texans football game, and a Colorado Rockies baseball game. The investigation also concluded that several of the officials “frequently consumed alcohol at industry functions, had used cocaine and marijuana, and had sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives.” According to the New York Times, "The reports portray a dysfunctional organization that has been riddled with conflicts of interest, unprofessional behavior and a free-for-all atmosphere for much of the Bush administration’s watch."

This article may need to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information, and remove this template when finished. Please see the talk page for more information.

The previous Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne is criticized for not placing any plants or animals on the federal endangered species list since his confirmation on May 26, 2006, until September 2007. As of that date, Kempthorne held the record for protecting fewer species over his tenure than any Interior Secretary in United States history, a record previously held by James G. Watt for over 20 years.[22]

On December 16, 2008, the Center for Biological Diversity announced intent to sue the Interior Department under Kempthorne for introducing "regulations...that would eviscerate our nation’s most successful wildlife law by exempting thousands of federal activities, including those that generate greenhouse gases, from review under the Endangered Species Act." The lawsuit, which is critical of policy advocated by Kempthorne and President George W. Bush, was filed in the Northern District of California by the CBD, Greenpeace and Defenders of Wildlife. According to the CBD, "The lawsuit argues that the regulations violate the Endangered Species Act and did not go through the required public review process. The regulations, first proposed on August 11th, were rushed by the Bush administration through an abbreviated process in which more than 300,000 comments from the public were reviewed in 2-3 weeks, and environmental impacts were analyzed in a short and cursory environmental assessment, rather than a fuller environmental impact statement."

1.^ http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/utley-mackintosh/index.htm retrieved 2010-05-20
2.^ a b 556. James G Watt, US Secretary of the Interior. Simpson’s Contemporary Quotations. 1988
3.^ RMOA - Document
4.^ Bush legacy leaves uphill climb for U.S. parks
5.^ Matthew Daly (May 1, 2007). "Embattled Interior official resigns post". Associated Press. http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2007/05/01/interior_official_quits_ahead_of_hearing/.
6.^ New York Times, "U.S. Agency May Reverse 8 Decisions on Wildlife", July 21, 2007.
7.^ Broder, John M (2007-07-21). "U.S. Agency May Reverse 8 Decisions on Wildlife". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/21/washington/21interior.html?_r=1&ref=us&oref=slogin.
8.^ A California frog may be about to get room to stretch its red legs
9.^ Report Finds Meddling in Interior Dept. Actions
10.^ Investigative Report of the Endangered Species Act and the Conflict Between Science and Policy Redacted
11.^ Wyden-Requested IG Report on Interior Corruption Uncovers "Contempt for the Public Trust" and "Untold Waste" - Senator praises Devaney's investigation into political interference in ESA decisions.
12.^ Charlie Savage (September 10, 2008). Sex, Drug Use and Graft Cited in Interior Department. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/11/washington/11royalty.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
13.^ Kravitz, Derek (September 11, 2008). "Report Says Oil Agency Ran Amok: Interior Dept. Inquiry Finds Sex, Corruption". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/10/AR2008091001829.html. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
14.^ Savage, Charlie (September 11, 2008). "Sex, Drug Use and Graft Cited in Interior Department". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/11/washington/11royalty.html. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
15.^ "Oil companies gave sex, drinks, gifts to federal overseers". McClatchy Newspapers. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/226/story/52243.html. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
16.^ "Memorandum [cover letter by inspector general"]. http://media.mcclatchydc.com/smedia/2008/09/10/18/Gordon-OIG-Cover-Letter.source.prod_affiliate.91.pdf. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
17.^ "Investigative Report of Gregory W. Smith (Redacted)". The Washington Post. http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/investigative/documents/smith-080708.pdf. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
18.^ "Investigative Report of MMS Oil Marketing Group - Lakewood (Redacted)". The Washington Post. http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/investigative/documents/mmsoil-081908.pdf. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
19.^ "Government Officials Tried To Rewrite Ethics Rules To Accommodate Their Partying". http://thinkprogress.org/2008/09/10/rik-ethics-rules. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
20.^ "Official increased employee’s ‘performance award’ for providing him with cocaine". http://thinkprogress.org/2008/09/10/smith-cocaine. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
21.^ Simon, Dan; David Fitzpatrick (October 14 2008). "Whistleblower: Oil watchdog agency 'cult of corruption'". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/10/14/oil.whistleblower/index.html.
22.^ Kempthorne Wins 2007 Rubber Dodo Award: Protects Fewer Species Than Any Interior Secretary in History
23.^ Bush Administration Regulations Gutting Protections for Nation's Endangered Species Published Today - Conservation Groups' Challenge to 11th Hour Reductions in Protections for Nation’s Wildlife Moves ForwarD

Monday, June 14, 2010

Last week, Democrat Congressman Bob Etheridge (D-NC2) attended a fundraiser headlined by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He was asked by some students on the street whether he supported the “Obama Agenda.” He didn’t take it too well.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

The flotilla's lessons for Mideast peace advocates


By Jeremy Ben-Ami, Special to CNN

I had the good fortune of spending last week with Ami Ayalon, former commander of Israel's Navy and former director of the Shin Bet (Israel's internal security service), as I processed the lessons and consequences of the Gaza flotilla.

Who better to help reflect on the deeply troubling events than one of Israel's most decorated military heroes - who happens to have commanded the very naval commando unit that carried out last week's raid.

Here are some important lessons I learned.

One, distinguish between victory and revenge. If your enemy hits you (rockets from Gaza, metal pipes on a ship deck) it may be satisfying to hit back harder (Operation Cast Lead, taking over a civilian boat with commandos), but ask whether such actions bring you closer to real victory.

"Winning" for Israel should mean achieving a safe, Jewish and democratic Israel. Perpetuating the occupation and relying only on force and power against Hamas is a losing strategy.

Two, don't look at Hamas solely as a military threat. While we see Hamas as a terrorist organization, Palestinians see it as an "idea," offering hope of achieving what they want - an end to occupation, freedom and independence. You can't beat an idea with brute force, only a better idea.

Immediate, bold pursuit of a diplomatic end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the only way to beat Hamas. Provide Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and other Palestinians who still favor two states with tangible proof that their approach works, and they (and we) will win. Deny them, and those who promote terror and violence win.

Three, recognize that reliance solely on force and power to advance interests in the Middle East is counterproductive. Strength is important, but not useful if exercised in the absence of meaningful diplomacy.

Four, recognize that we aren't in some great Huntingtonian clash of civilizations, in which the forces of light (us) line up against the forces of darkness (them). Rather, recognize that we are witnessing a clash within civilizations between moderates and fundamentalists. Misunderstanding the battlefield dooms you to lose the war.

Five, the United States has the pivotal role to play. The gap in how Israelis and Palestinians see the situation is too large: Israelis believe they offered everything and got only rockets; Palestinians believe they've engaged in a peace process for eighteen years and gotten only settlements.

President Obama must step forward with a clear vision of the "end game" - what exactly each side will get in a final peace deal. Prior approaches that depended on step-by-step confidence building while delaying hard choices will fail. Drawing on his years at sea, Ayalon reminded me that there's no wind strong enough to take you where you're going when you have no idea where you're headed.

The bottom line: it is time for a dramatic course correction in Israeli and American policy in the Middle East and for President Obama to turn this crisis into an opportunity for a bold, new diplomatic push to end the conflict.

In response to the events of the past week, the American Jewish establishment and other "friends" of Israel have lined up, as expected, in unquestioning defense of Israel's actions at sea, and its policy toward Gaza, Hamas and the Palestinians generally.

They've tried to steer conversations toward the behavior of a few passengers on the Mavi Marmara or to how the world's reaction to the events is part of an effort to delegitimize the state of Israel.

Anything but focus on whether Israel's larger strategy or policy is actually fatally flawed.

My wish for America's Jewish establishment: spend even a few hours with Ami Ayalon. Perhaps he can help you re-conceive what it means to be a friend of Israel at this critical moment in the country's history and to realize that what Israel needs from its friends has changed over time. To support Israel in the past, we were asked to send money, to visit, and even to consider making "aliyah" (moving to Israel).

Today, says Ayalon, there is one imperative for friends of Israel: tell us the truth - even if it's painful. As it becomes increasingly isolated, insecure and scared, Israel is finding it harder to see for itself what is happening - how its actions are deepening its isolation and dooming the chances of maintaining a Jewish and democratic Israel.

Israel's future hangs in the balance. Without a major course correction, American friends of Israel are poised to witness, on our watch, a tragic fate for the Jewish, democratic state we've loved and supported over the past century.

It's a true act of friendship for us to help Israel see how critical it is to end the occupation and create two states, to make this the centerpiece of American and Israeli policy, and to rely again on our people's moral compass to guide the way.


R. C. Hoiles and Public Schooling

June 1, 2010
Wendy McElroy
The Freeman

In a letter dated May 23, 1946, the libertarian publisher R. C. Hoiles wrote to Leonard E. Read, who would establish the Foundation for Economic Education later that same year. Hoiles advised Read on what he believed was the underlying cause of America’s alarming shift from individual liberty toward socialism:

I am inclined to think that the grass roots of our trouble is our tax-supported school system. It is teaching by example that might makes right; that the end justifies the means; that there is no law superior to the will of the majority. How can we expect the youth of the land, when the public generally believes in tax-supported schools, to believe in freedom, the American way, or a definite limited government?
In place of a tax-funded and compulsory school monopoly, Hoiles argued passionately for a voluntary, private system. It was an argument he sustained throughout his long, remarkable life.

Raymond Cyrus Hoiles (1878–1970) epitomizes the American dream. Born into comfortable but modest circumstances, he rose through hard work and merit. At his death at the age of 91, his corporation, Freedom Newspapers, Inc., owned 16 daily newspapers, including the influential Orange County Register (originally the Santa Ana Register), with a collective circulation of over half a million. The California Press Association honored him posthumously as a “Great Crusader for Individual Freedom” who was respected for “his conservatism.”

Hoiles is often mischaracterized as conservative. At a quick glance the confusion is understandable. For one thing, Orange County, California, became a center of conservatism in the decades following World War II. As the county’s foremost newspaper, the Register often ran conservative columnists and letters to the editor. But it was Hoiles’s libertarian voice that dominated through editorials.

Hoiles insisted the editorial page was “a daily school room made available to its subscribers.” In that schoolroom Hoiles taught what he called “voluntaryism.” A November 1953 editorial, “Articles of Faith,” distilled its essence: “[A] government is a good government that only does what each and every individual has the moral and ethical and just right to do.” If it was not right for an individual to take money by force, then it was not right for a government to do so in the name of “taxation.” Another of the “Articles” stated, “I have faith that our government would better protect every person’s inalienable rights if it was supported on a voluntary basis rather than by taxes.”

Perhaps no single issue better captures the libertarian spirit of Hoiles than his feisty stand on education. The “Articles” declared, “I have faith that we will be better educated by voluntary, competitive schools than by government schools.” This statement must have startled conservatives who viewed the public schools as a success story. Indeed, a then-favored conservative strategy was to enter school board races. By contrast, Hoiles insisted he had no more right to vote for a school official than he did to vote for a trustee within a government-owned brothel. (Perhaps for shock value, Hoiles repeatedly compared public schooling to prostitution; he once declared, “A house of prostitution is voluntary, grade school is not.”)

Opposition to tax-supported schools became a dominant theme in Hoiles’s writing; his last editorial in the Register dealt with “something-for-nothing schools that have had a great influence in conditioning pupils to believe in something for nothing.” On occasion, Hoiles even found it necessary to defend the considerable amount of space school issues occupied in his paper. On October 15, 1945, he wrote, “The amount of space the Register is devoting to the junior college bond issue might cause some to think we are overestimating the importance of the issue. There is nothing more important than the principles back of the issue.”

An Integrated System of Beliefs

The “principles back of the issue” involved an integrated system of beliefs about government, society, morality, and human nature.

Hoiles rooted his theory of government in the Declaration of Independence—a document he quoted frequently—namely, that government derives its just power from the consent of the people and ultimately from the consent of the individual himself, who possesses inalienable rights.

“Articles of Faith” expressed this theory of society: “[G]aining understanding of nature’s laws is the best way to be useful to one’s self and to his fellow man.” One of nature’s fundamental laws was “the superiority of voluntary, competitive human endeavor over compulsory activity.” Freedom of association, including a free market, fueled the goodwill that civil society depended on; forced association destroyed it.

Hoiles based his morality largely on the Ten Commandments and insisted on “a single standard”: Everyone without exception should act according to the same moral code. What was wrong for a private individual was equally wrong for a government official. In a later policy statement, Hoiles offered the essence of this universal code: the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, and the Declaration of Independence.

His theory of human nature stressed the perfectibility of man through effort and the exercise of moral character. He believed this perfectibility resided in each human being, which seemed to make him somewhat blind to differences of race, gender, and social status. Former employees often commented on how he would engage a janitor in intellectual discussion as quickly as he would a writer.

Hoiles’s evolution on education began in a “little red schoolhouse” across from his family’s large farmhouse in Alliance, Ohio, where, he later explained, he learned “that the State, or a majority of citizens, had the right to use taxation to support the public school system.” His school texts exposed the political “error” of the divine right of kings but “they never explained the error in the divine right of the majority. It simply substituted the divine right of the majority for the divine right of kings.” Nor did his school books explain “the basic principle that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the individual; that the government had no right to do anything that each and every individual did not have the right to do. Instead, they had to teach that the government or the local school district, if the majority so willed, had a right to force a Catholic parent, or a childless person, or an old maid, or an old bachelor to help pay for government schools. . . .”

At the same time as they legitimized taxation, however, Hoiles’s teachers spoke of the Ten Commandments, including “Thou shalt not steal” and “Thou shalt not covet.” He observed wryly, “[T]he government school I attended made no attempt to be consistent and teach me to recognize contradictions.” The contradictions did not surprise Hoiles, who explained, “They cannot teach the single standard of rightness because they are practicing a double standard.” They could not teach moral values “any more than a robber can teach honesty.”

Hoiles’s higher education must have also imbued him with skepticism about government education. The knowledge he valued most had been self-taught and came from experience. While studying electrical engineering at the Methodist Mt. Union College (Alliance), Hoiles worked part time at his brother Frank’s daily paper, the Alliance Review, and discovered what became a lifelong passion for the newspaper business. Hoiles must have wondered if his college education had been wasted. Later in life he complained of the common perception that “going through the public schools and colleges is education.”

In 1932 Hoiles temporarily left the newspaper business and began to read insatiably. Even though he had shown little interest in philosophy to date, he acquired the background to sprinkle future writing with quotations from an amazing range of authors: from Frédéric Bastiat to Ayn Rand, from John Locke to Spinoza.

The most influential was Bastiat. In a 1955 editorial Hoiles wrote, “He was the first man who awakened me to the errors, taught in government schools and more Protestant colleges, that the state doing things that were immoral if done by an individual made these acts become moral. In other words, he was the first man that pointed out that there was only one standard of right and wrong.”

In 1935, at 56, Hoiles arrived in Orange County, where he had purchased an established newspaper. With him, Hoiles brought not only his family but also an evolved philosophy of freedom, which he aggressively applied, especially to public education.

A September 3, 1946, editorial in the Register titled “Most Sacred of All Popular Idols, Government Education,” typifies both Hoiles’s style and content in approaching the issue. The editorial is clearly answering critics who argued that public education is a necessary good because it leads to a literate population.

Hoiles opened by quoting an anonymous “lover of freedom” (Leonard Read) who defined the proper role of government as a “restraining force rather than a force to compel people to do good.” Considering government education from this angle, the “lover of freedom” concluded “it has all the characteristics of other forms of socialism.”

Some people, Hoiles continued, may see little difference between the earliest “red schoolhouses” that were voluntarily supported and the subsequent tax-funded ones. “True,” he stated, “the socialism incident to the ‘little red school’ was only a slight departure from the procedure of a few neighbors pooling their resources, voluntarily, to employ a teacher to instruct their children. But once the socialistic principle is admitted, once the idea is sanctioned of using government’s powers of coercion to take the fruits of the individual’s labor for the ‘collective good,’ there is no logical stopping point.”

Hoiles went on to quote Isabel Paterson’s The God of the Machine: “There can be no greater stretch of arbitrary power than is required to seize children from their parents, teach them whatever the authorities decree they shall be taught, and expropriate from the parents the funds to pay for the procedure.” Thus, continuing the quote, “[n]eighborly, small-scale socialism in education has expanded and developed until today we are faced with the disaster of national socialism in education.”

The “disaster” was partly economic. Hoiles cited statistics showing how the costs of educating one individual had increased more than ten times from 1880 to 1940, with no corresponding increase in quality. Indeed, quality had declined—partly due to increased bureaucratization, partly to the severing of connection between a teacher’s wages and his or her need to satisfy customers (the parents and children). Modern teachers needed only to satisfy the government, their new source of income.

“Government educators are becoming less and less servants of those from whom revenues are extracted or from whom their pupil raw material is conscripted,” Hoiles wrote. “More and more they are becoming vested interests, concerned with their own employment and tenure. More and more they are allying themselves as a pressure group with other bureaucratic interests. More and more they are using their strategic position to turn the minds of the young towards statism and interventionism.”

Attacking on yet another front, Hoiles explained the terrible impact that government teachers have on the character development of children. “I take the stand against tax-supported education because I believe . . . that the advantage of being able to read and write is far outweighed by the destruction of individual initiative, enterprise and responsibility brought about by government education’s poison of statist psychology. Practically every youth in the land is a socialist at heart. How can he help but be unless he comes from a family that is steeped in the belief in true liberty and the dignity of man and recognizes that multiplying a robbery does not make it right?”

It is not possible to understand the passion with which Hoiles and other advocates of individual freedom addressed public education without establishing the context. In the early twentieth century, education in America underwent a political revolution, becoming the lynchpin of the Progressive Era—a period of social reform, from the 1880s to the 1920s. A central tenet was that government needed to play a larger role in solving social problems and in promoting the “social good.” “Popular,” or public, education was viewed as a prerequisite and the key to reconstructing society by molding generations to come. In his watershed book, Democracy and Education (1916), John Dewey advocated using popular education as a conscious tool to remove social evil and promote social good. Slowly, the classical curricula that aimed at rigorous education—such as familiarity with Latin, a stress on history—were replaced by programs aimed at creating “good citizens.”

Hoiles was outraged by his children’s curriculum. In a 1961 editorial he reminisced about an incident involving his daughter Jane. After reviewing one of her school textbooks, he appeared before the directors of the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce to protest against school books that “set forth the principles of Karl Marx.” Hoiles’s purpose was not to ban or censor but to assert a parent’s right to guide his children’s education. Nevertheless, the book was pulled. Why, then, did Hoiles’s children attend public school? He told a Newsweek reporter, “There was no place else to send them.”

A particularly provocative strategy of his was spelled out in the May 23 letter to Read. Hoiles explained, “I have repeatedly offered a member of the Board of Education in Santa Ana, who is a preacher, $100 if he would publicly attempt to harmonize tax-supported schools with quotations from Jesus. He will not undertake it. I also made the offer to the superintendent of schools. He will not undertake it.” Hoiles wondered if he should up the ante to $500 and construct the discussion as a debate, perhaps with Isabel Paterson, Rose Wilder Lane, or Read himself. Hoiles considered the offer a fail-proof maneuver. If the preacher accepted, the flaws in his argument would be exposed. If he refused, then the refusal would “cause the people of the community to wonder . . . whether tax-supported schools are doing what they think they are doing.”

R. C. Hoiles died on October 30, 1970, at 91. Within his lifetime he made no lasting impact on public schooling. But times change. Current discontent with government education is so deep and widespread that homeschooling has become a phenomenon and others grasp at any route out. I can only imagine Hoiles’s response to a revival of his moral crusade against public schooling.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Freedom's Real Enemies

By Chuck Baldwin
June 11, 2010

This column is archived at

Politicians in Washington, D.C., love to manufacture a crisis. The crisis
generates fear within the citizenry, thereby allowing the federal government
to centralize more and more power. During a crisis, the citizenry becomes
much more forgiving of federal abuses and accommodating of federal
encroachments than it otherwise would be without a crisis. Hence, we have a
federal "war on drugs," and a "war on poverty," and a "war on terror," and
an "oil crisis," and an "energy crisis," and a "domestic terrorism crisis,"
and an "education crisis," and a "border crisis," and an "economic
crisis"--Blah! Blah! Blah!

You can mark it down: every major crisis that America has faced over the
last several decades has been either manufactured or facilitated by policies
and activities originating in Washington, D.C. But at the same time that DC
is creating these crises, it categorizes any ideological group it finds
distasteful as a convenient scapegoat. These convenient scapegoats can
include "angry white guys," "tea party extremists," "a vast right-wing
conspiracy," Constitution Party or Libertarian Party "extremists," "Second
Amendment extremists" (gun owners), "pro-life extremists," ad infinitum, ad

Yet, while DC's elitists are plotting America's next crisis and figuring out
whom to categorize as America's next "extremist," some real enemies are
waging war against the freedoms and liberties of our once-great republic.
And, ladies and gentlemen, these enemies are much more subtle, a lot closer,
and much more dangerous than almost anything you are being told about.

Here are some of freedom's real enemies:

Big Cities

When the United States was a much smaller--much more agricultural--nation,
our freedoms were mostly intact. The mass exodus out of rural America into
urban America has been a bane of freedom--and it will continue to be so.

Thomas Jefferson addressed this issue astutely when he wrote in a letter to
James Madison, "When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in
Europe, we shall become corrupt as in Europe." (Source: The Jeffersonian
Cyclopedia, A Comprehensive Collection of the Views of Thomas Jefferson)

Jefferson spoke again of this danger in a letter to Benjamin Rush. He wrote,
"I view great cities as pestilential to the morals, the health, and the
liberties of man. True, they nourish some of the elegant arts, but the
useful ones can thrive elsewhere, and less perfection in the others, with
more health, virtue and freedom, would be my choice." (Source: Ibid.)

Big cities are most always more liberal, more socialistic, more utopian, and
more centralist. Citizens living in big cities readily submit to the
machinations and designs of Big Government with much greater regularity than
do their rural counterparts. In states where a handful of big cities
dominate State politics, Big-Government policies almost always take over the
politics of the entire State. If you doubt that, just speak with
freedom-loving citizens in New York, Illinois, or Maryland.

Consider, specifically, the freedom most necessary to preserve our
liberties: the right of the people to keep and bear arms. People in states
that are less populated enjoy much greater liberty than do people in heavily
populated states. For example, Boston's Gun Bible (BGB) ranks the states
according to the degree of gun ownership (and possession) protection in each
State. It is no coincidence that the states with sparser populations are
much freer than states with denser populations.

Here is BGB's breakdown of the most and least free gun ownership states:

Most Free States:

1. Vermont
2. Idaho and Kentucky (tie)
3. Louisiana and Alaska (tie)
4. Wyoming
5. Montana

Least Free States:

1. New Jersey
2. Illinois
3. Hawaii
4. Massachusetts
5. New York

Population density in the "most free" states is less than 50 persons per
square mile, while in the "least free" states it is more than 460 persons
per square mile. Case closed!

While big cities will typically tolerate much more in the way of
licentiousness and sexual perversion, they are also the first to tolerate
Big-Government socialism. Without a doubt, Thomas Jefferson was right: big
cities are "pestilential to the morals, the health, and the liberties of

If you want to live free in the future, you will probably need to leave the
big city--and perhaps the states that are dominated by big cities.

The National News Media

For the most part, the national news media is no friend of freedom. About
all most of them know of the US Constitution is the part about the "freedom
of the press" (from the First Amendment, of course). Watch any of the Big
Three television network newscasts on any weekday evening, and what will you
see? You will see the exact same stories regurgitated over and over
again--even with the exact same spin! And that spin is most always tilted
toward bigger and bigger government. This goes on night after night, week
after week, month after month, and year after year. But this is all just
coincidental, right? Get real!

The cable news networks are not much better. About the only difference
between cable networks is that CNN will provide cover for Big Government
Democrats while viciously attacking all things Republican, and FOX NEWS will
provide cover for Big Government Republicans while viciously attacking all
things Democrat.

Face it: the national news media is intoxicated with Two Party Politics.
They really don't care nearly as much about the fundamental tenets and
principles of liberty as they do about whether a Democrat or Republican wins
office. Washington's media elite are wined and dined by the same party
politicians that they cover on television or in the newspaper. (What a
racket!) Do you really think any major media news personality is going to
risk losing his or her job (which is exactly what would happen) by asking
too many questions, or boring too deeply, or straying too far off the
reservation? Once again, get real! All of these guys and gals know exactly
where the line--and the "third rail"--is located. And they all will stay
clear of both! It's not about reporting the news, or defending liberty, or
anything of the sort. It is about pleasing their big corporate
sponsors--corporate sponsors who are in bed with the elites from both major
political parties, by the way!

As long as the American people continue to allow the national news media to
manipulate and spin the news, our liberties will continue to erode.

Big Business

In fact, Big Anything can be freedom's enemy: Big Business, Big Labor, Big
Media, Big Cities, and Big Religion. Big Anything!

However, the rate and degree to which Big Business has been able to advance
during the last half of the twentieth century--and now into the twenty-first
century--is especially problematic for the survival of liberty. Dear friend,
it is a mistake to equate Big Business with freedom. Big Business has little
to do with capitalism and free enterprise and much to do with monopolism and
globalism. Big Business does not want to compete with private enterprise; it
wants to crush it! Big Business sees Big Government as a friend and partner.
In fact, Big Business and Big Government are conjoined twins. They grow and
live as one.

Accordingly, it is no accident that when the Bilderbergers got together a
few days ago at the Hotel Dolce in Sitges, Spain, for their super-secret
meeting, the list of attendees included the cabal of super-elites from Big
Government, Big Business, Big Academia, and Big Media. People such as Bill
Gates (Microsoft), Roger Altman (former Deputy Secretary of the US
Treasury), Martin Feldstein (Harvard University), Niall Ferguson (Harvard
University), Philip Gordon (Assistant Secretary of State for European and
Eurasian Affairs), Donald Graham (The Washington Post), Richard Holbrooke
(Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan), Robert Hormats (Under
Secretary for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs), Henry Kissinger
(former Secretary of State), Klaus Kleinfeld (Chairman and CEO, Alcoa),
Craig Mundie (Microsoft), Peter Orszag (Director, Office of Management and
Budget), Charlie Rose (Producer, Rose Communications), Robert Rubin
(Co-Chairman, Council on Foreign Relations; former Secretary of the
Treasury), Eric Schmidt (CEO and Chairman of the Board, Google), James
Steinberg (Deputy Secretary of State), Lawrence Summers (Director, National
Economic Council), Christine Varney (Assistant Attorney General for
Antitrust), and Paul Volcker (Chairman, Economic Recovery Advisory Board).
And please remember that these are only the names of those that were
published. The complete list of attendees is top secret and never released.
For example, was Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner there? He is a
Bilderberg (and CFR) member.

But of course, this meeting--complete with the tightest security and secrecy
possible--is only for the purpose of social fellowship and clubmanship,
right? That the world's most interconnected business, governmental, and
media elites would meet outside the viewing and listening of everyone is
supposed to be dismissed as irrelevant and insignificant, right? Well, if
you get your news from ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, or FOX NEWS, that is exactly what
you are being led to believe.

Yet, Big Business has been conspiring with Big Government for the purpose of
personal aggrandizement (at the cost of liberty, of course) for
decades--probably centuries. Remember, it took an act of Congress to stop
old Prescott Bush (George H.W. Bush's father and G.W. Bush's grandfather)
from sending financial assistance to Nazi Germany. Know, too, that
international bankers today are supporting governments (some that are openly
hostile to the United States) in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Again,
Big Business and Big Government are conjoined twins--an interconnected body
that grows in unison at the expense of our liberties.

Freedom has many more real enemies that could be added to this list, of
course; and maybe in the future we can talk more about them. For now,
recognize that our liberties are hanging by a thread in this country. And
the next time you hear someone in Washington, D.C., or the national news
media railing against the latest "crisis" that requires Big Government to
fix, please remember who the real enemy is.

*If you appreciate this column and want to help me distribute these
editorial opinions to an ever-growing audience, donations may now be made by
credit card, check, or Money Order. Use this link:


(c) Chuck Baldwin


Chuck Baldwin is a syndicated columnist, radio broadcaster, author, and
pastor dedicated to preserving the historic principles upon which America
was founded. He was the 2008 Presidential candidate for the Constitution
Party. He and his wife, Connie, have been married for 37 years and have 3
children and 7 grandchildren. See Chuck's complete bio at:


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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Blow Outs: A Short History

A blowout is the uncontrolled release of crude oil and/or natural gas from an oil well after pressure control systems have failed.[1]

Prior to the advent of pressure control equipment in the 1920s, the uncontrolled release of oil and gas from a well whilst drilling was common and was known as an oil gusher, gusher or wild well.

Gushers were an icon of oil exploration during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During that era, the simple drilling techniques such as cable-tool drilling and the lack of blowout preventers meant that drillers could not control high-pressure reservoirs. When these high pressure zones were breached the hydrocarbon fluids would travel up the well at a high rate, forcing out the drill string and creating a gusher. A well which began as a gusher was said to have "blown in": for instance, the Lakeview Gusher blew in in 1910. These uncapped wells could produce large amounts of oil, often shooting 200 feet (60 m) or higher into the air.[2] A blowout primarily composed of natural gas was known as a gas gusher.

Despite being symbols of new-found wealth, gushers were dangerous and wasteful. They killed workmen involved in drilling, destroyed equipment, and coated the landscape with thousands of barrels of oil. In addition, the free flowing oil was in danger of igniting.[3] One dramatic account of a blowout and fire reads,

"With a roar like a hundred express trains racing across the countryside, the well blew out, spewing oil in all directions. The derrick simply evaporated. Casings wilted like lettuce out of water, as heavy machinery writhed and twisted into grotesque shapes in the blazing inferno."[4]
The development of rotary drilling techniques where the density of the drilling fluid is sufficient to overcome the downhole pressure of a newly penetrated zone meant that gushers became avoidable. If however the fluid density was not adequate or fluids were lost to the formation, then there was still a significant risk of a well blowout.

In 1924 the first successful blowout preventer was brought to market.[5] The BOP valve affixed to the wellhead could be closed in the event of drilling into a high pressure zone, and the well fluids contained. Well control techniques could be used to regain control of the well. As the technology developed, blowout preventers became standard equipment, and gushers became a thing of the past.

In the modern petroleum industry, uncontrollable wells became known as blowouts and are comparatively rare. There has been a significant improvement in technology, well control techniques and personnel training that has helped to prevent them occurring.[1] From 1976 to 1981, 21 blowout reports are available.[1]

[edit] Notable gushers
The Lucas Gusher at Spindletop in Beaumont, Texas in 1901 flowed at 100,000 barrels (16 000 m³) per day at its peak, but soon slowed and was capped within nine days. The well tripled U.S. oil production overnight and marked the start of the Texas oil industry.[6] Masjed Soleiman, Iran in 1908 marked the first major oil strike recorded in the Middle East.[7] The Lakeview Gusher on the Midway-Sunset Oil Field in Kern County, California of 1910 is believed to be the largest-ever U.S. gusher.

At its peak, more than 100,000 barrels (16 000 m³) of oil per day flowed out, reaching as high as 200 feet (60 m) in the air. It remained uncapped for 18 months, spilling over nine million barrels (378 million gallons/1.4 million m³) of oil, less than half of which was recovered.[2] A short-lived gusher at Alamitos #1 in Signal Hill, California in 1921 marked the discovery of the Long Beach Oil Field, one of the most productive oil fields in the world.[8] The Barroso 2 well in Cabimas, Venezuela in December 1922 flowed at around 100,000 barrels (16 000 m³) per day for nine days, plus a large amount of natural gas.[9]

Baba Gurgur near Kirkuk, Iraq, an oilfield known since antiquity, erupted at a rate of 95,000 barrels (15 000 m³) a day in 1927.[10] The Wild Mary Sudik gusher in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1930 flowed at a rate of 72,000 barrels (11 500 m³) per day.[11] The Daisy Bradford gusher in 1930 marked the discovery of the East Texas Oil Field, the largest oilfield in the contiguous United States.[12] The largest known 'wildcat' oil gusher blew near Qom, Iran on August 26, 1956. The uncontrolled oil gushed to a height of 52 m (170 ft), at a rate of 120,000 barrels per day. The gusher was closed after 90 days' work by Bagher Mostofi and Myron Kinley (USA).[13].

The largest underwater blowout in U.S. history occurred on April 20, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico at the Macondo Prospect oil field. The blowout caused the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, a mobile offshore drilling platform owned by Transocean and under lease to British Petroleum at the time of the blowout. While the exact volume of oil spilled is unknown, as of June 3, 2010, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Flow Rate Technical Group has placed the estimate at between 12,000 to 19,000 barrels per day.[14]

A petroleum trap. An irregularity (the trap) in a layer of impermeable rocks (the seal) retains upward-flowing petroleum, forming a reservoir.Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights, and other organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Because most hydrocarbons are lighter than rock or water, they often migrate upward through adjacent rock layers until either reaching the surface or becoming trapped within porous rocks (known as reservoirs) by impermeable rocks above. However, the process is influenced by underground water flows, causing oil to migrate hundreds of kilometres horizontally or even short distances downward before becoming trapped in a reservoir. When hydrocarbons are concentrated in a trap, an oil field forms, from which the liquid can be extracted by drilling and pumping. The down hole pressures experienced at the rock structures change depending upon the depth and the characteristic of the source rock.

Formation kick

The downhole fluid pressures are controlled in modern wells through the balancing of the hydrostatic pressure provided by the mud used. Should the balance of the drilling mud pressure be incorrect then formation fluids (oil, natural gas and/or water) begin to flow into the wellbore and up the annulus (the space between the outside of the drill string and the walls of the open hole or the inside of the last casing string set), and/or inside the drill pipe. This is commonly called a kick. If the well is not shut in (common term for the closing of the blow-out preventer valves), a kick can quickly escalate into a blowout when the formation fluids reach the surface, especially when the influx contains gas that expands rapidly as it flows up the wellbore, further decreasing the effective weight of the fluid.

Additional mechnical barriers such as blowout preventer (BOP) can be closed to isolate the well whilst the hydrostatic balance is regained through circulation of fluids in the well.

A kick can be the result of improper mud density control, an unexpected overpressured gas pocket, or may be a result of the loss of drilling fluids to a formation called a thief zone. If the well is a development well, these thief zones should already be known to the driller and the proper loss control materials would have been used. However, unexpected fluid losses can occur if a formation is fractured somewhere in the open-hole section, causing rapid loss of hydrostatic pressure and possibly allowing flow of formation fluids into the wellbore. Shallow overpressured gas pockets are generally unpredictable and usually cause the more violent kicks because of rapid gas expansion almost immediately.

The primary means of detecting a kick is a relative change in the circulation rate back up to the surface into the mud pits. The drilling crew or mud engineer keeps track of the level in the mud pits, and an increase in this level would indicate that a higher pressure zone has been encountered at the bit. Conversely, a drop in this level would indicate lost circulation to a formation (which might allow influx of formation fluids from other zones if the hydrostatic head at depth is reduced from less than a full column of mud). The rate of mud returns also can be closely monitored to match the rate that is being pumped down the drill pipe. If the rate of returns is slower than expected, it means that a certain amount of the mud is being lost to a thief zone, but this is not necessarily yet a kick (and may never become one). In the case of a higher pressure zone, an increase in mud returns would be noticed as the formation influx pushes the drilling mud toward the surface at a higher rate.

Well control

The first response to detecting a kick would be to isolate the wellbore from the surface by activating the blow-out preventers and closing in the well. Then the drilling crew would attempt to circulate in a heavier kill fluid to increase the hydrostatic pressure (sometimes with the assistance of a well control company). In the process, the influx fluids will be slowly circulated out in a controlled manner, taking care not to allow any gas to accelerate up the wellbore too quickly by controlling casing pressure with chokes on a predetermined schedule.

In a simple kill, once the kill-weight mud has reached the bit the casing pressure is manipulated to keep drill pipe pressure constant (assuming a constant pumping rate); this will ensure holding a constant adequate bottomhole pressure. The casing pressure will gradually increase as the contaminant slug approaches the surface if the influx is gas, which will be expanding as it moves up the annulus and overall pressure at its depth is gradually decreasing.

This effect will be minor if the influx fluid is mainly salt water. And with an oil-based drilling fluid it can be masked in the early stages of controlling a kick because gas influx may dissolve into the oil under pressure at depth, only to come out of solution and expand rather rapidly as the influx nears the surface. Once all the contaminant has been circulated out, the casing pressure should have reached zero.

Sometimes, however, companies drill underbalanced for better, faster penetration rates and thus they "drill for kicks" as it is more economically sound to take the time to kill a kick than to drill overbalanced (which causes slower penetration rates). In this case, calling a well-control specialist is usually unnecessary as qualified personnel are already on site.

Types of blowouts

Ixtoc I oil well blowoutWell blowouts can occur during the drilling phase, during well testing, during well completion, during production, or during workover activities.[1]

Surface blowouts

Blowouts can eject the drill string out of the well, and the force of the escaping fluid can be strong enough to damage the drilling rig. In addition to oil, the output of a well blowout might include sand, mud, rocks, drilling fluid, natural gas, water, and other substances.

Blowouts will often be ignited by an ignition source, from sparks from rocks being ejected, or simply from heat generated by friction. A well control company will then need to extinguish the well fire or cap the well, and replace the casing head and hangars. The flowing gas may contain poisonous hydrogen sulfide and the oil operator might decide to ignite the stream to convert this to less hazardous substances.

Sometimes, blowouts can be so forceful that they cannot be directly brought under control from the surface, particularly if there is so much energy in the flowing zone that it does not deplete significantly over the course of a blowout. In such cases, other wells (called relief wells) may be drilled to intersect the well or pocket, in order to allow kill-weight fluids to be introduced at depth. Contrary to what might be inferred from the term, such wells generally are not used to help relieve pressure using multiple outlets from the blowout zone.

Subsea blowouts

Deepwater Horizon drilling rig blowout, 21 April 2010 Subsea wells have the wellhead and pressure control equipment located on the seabed. They vary from depths of 10 feet (3.0 m) to 8,000 feet (2,400 m). It is very difficult to deal with a blowout in very deep water because of the remoteness and limited experience with this type of situation.[15]

The Deepwater Horizon well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, in 5,000 feet (1,500 m) water depth, is the deepest subsea well blowout to date.

Underground blowouts

An underground blowout is a special situation where fluids from high pressure zones flow uncontrolled to lower pressure zones within the wellbore. Usually this is from deeper higher pressure zones to shallower lower pressure formations. There may be no escaping fluid flow at the wellhead. Underground blowouts can be very difficult to bring under control, and if left unchecked the fluids may find their way to the surface or ocean floor nearby.

Blowout control expertise

Myron M. Kinley was a pioneer in fighting oil well fires and blowouts. He developed many patents and designs for the tools and techniques of oil firefighting. His father, Karl T. Kinley, attempted to extinguish an oil well fire with the help of a massive explosion — a method that remains a common technique for fighting oil fires. The first oil well put out with explosives by Myron Kinley and his father was in 1913.[16] Kinley would later form the M.M. Kinley Company in 1923.[16]

Paul N. "Red" Adair joined the M.M. Kinley Company in 1946, and worked 14 years with Myron Kinley before starting his own company, Red Adair Co., Inc., in 1959. Asger "Boots" Hansen and Edward Owen "Coots" Matthews also begin their careers under Kinley.

Red Adair has helped in controlling many offshore blowouts, including;

CATCO fire in the Gulf of Mexico in the 1959
"The Devil's Cigarette Lighter" in 1962 in in Gassi Touil, Algeria, in the Sahara Desert
The Ixtoc I oil spill in Mexico's Bay of Campeche in 1979
The Piper Alpha disaster in the North Sea in 1988
The Kuwaiti oil fires following the Gulf War in 1991.[17]
In 1994, Adair retired and sold his company to Global Industries. Management of Adair's company left and created International Well Control. In 1997, they would buy the company Boots & Coots International Well Control, Inc., which was founded by two former lieutenants of Red Adair in 1978.

Notable offshore well blowouts
Data from industry information.[1][18]

Year Rig Name Rig Owner Type Damage / details

1955 S-44 Chevron Sub Recessed pontoons Blowout and fire. Returned to service.
1959 C. T. Thornton Reading & Bates Jackup Blowout and fire damage.
1964 C. P. Baker Reading & Bates Drill barge Blowout in Gulf of Mexico, vessel capsized, 22 killed.
1965 Trion Royal Dutch Shell Jackup Destroyed by blowout.
1965 Paguro SNAM Jackup Destroyed by blowout and fire.
1968 Little Bob Coral Jackup Blowout and fire, killed 7.
1969 Wodeco III Floor drilling Drilling barge Blowout
1969 Sedco 135G Sedco Inc Semi-submersible Blowout damage
1969 Rimrick Tidelands ODECO Submersible Blowout in Gulf of Mexico
1970 Stormdrill III Storm Drilling Jackup Blowout and fire damage.
1970 Discoverer III Offshore Co. Drillship Blowout (S. China Seas)
1970 Discoverer II Offshore Co. Drillship Blowout (Malaysia)
1971 Big John Atwood Oceanics Drill barge Blowout and fire.
1971 Unknown Floor Drilling Drill barge Blowout and fire off Peru, 7 killed.
1972 J. Storm II Marine Drilling Co. Jackup Blowout in Gulf of Mexico
1972 M. G. Hulme Reading & Bates Jackup Blowout and capsize in Java Sea.
1972 Rig 20 Transworld Drilling Jackup Blowout in Gulf of Martaban.
1973 Mariner I Sante Fe Drilling Semi-sub Blowout off Trinidad, 3 killed.
1974 Meteorite Offshore Co. Jackup Blowout of Nigeria[citation needed]
1975 Topper III Zapata Offshore Jackup Blowout and sinking.[citation needed]
1975 Mariner II Sante Fe Drilling Semi-submersible Lost BOP during blowout.
1975 J. Storm II Marine Drilling Co. Jackup Blowout in Gulf of Mexico.[citation needed]
1976 Petrobras III Petrobras Jackup No info.
1976 W. D. Kent Reading & Bates Jackup Damage whilst drlling relief well.
1977 Maersk Explorer Maersk Drilling Jackup Blowout and fire in North Sea
1977 Ekofisk Bravo Phillips Petroleum Platform Blowout during well workover.[19]
1978 Scan Bay Scan Drilling Jackup Blowout and fire in the Persion Gulf.
1979 Salenergy II Salen Offshore Jackup Blowout in Gulf of Mexico
1979 Sedco 135F Sedco Drilling Semi-submersible Blowout and fire in Bay of Campeche Ixtoc I well.[19]
1980 Sedco 135G Sedco Drilling Semi-submersible Blowout and fire of Nigeria.
1980 Discoverer 534 Offshore Co. Drillship Gas escape caught fire.
1980 Ron Tappmeyer Reading & Bates Jackup Blowout in Persian Gulf, 5 killed.
1980 Nanhai II Peoples Republic of China Jackup Blowout of Hainan Island.[citation needed]
1980 Maersk Endurer Maersk Drilling Jackup Blowout in Red Sea, 2 killed.[citation needed]
1980 Ocean King ODECO Jackup Blowout and fire in Gulf of Mexico, 5 killed.
1980 Marlin 14 Marlin Drilling Jackup Blowout in Gulf of Mexico[citation needed]
1981 Penrod 50 Penrod Drilling Submersible Blowout and fire in Gulf of Mexico.[citation needed]
1985 West Vanguard Smedvig Semi-submersible Shallow gas blowout and fire in Norwegian sea, 1 fatality.
1981 Petromar V Petromar Drillship Gas blowout and capsize in S. China seas.[citation needed]
1988 Ocean Odyssey Diamond Offshore Drilling Semi-submersible Gas blowout at BOP and fire in the UK North Sea, 1 killed.
1989 Al Baz Sante Fe Jackup Shallow gas blowout and fire in Nigeria, 5 killed.[20]
2001 Ensco 51 Ensco Jackup Gas blowout and fire, Gulf of Mexico, no casualties[21]
2004 Adriatic IV Global Sante Fe Jackup Blowout and fire at Temsah platform, Mediterranean Sea[22]
2007 Usumacinta PEMEX Jackup Storm force rig to move, causing well blowout on Kab 101 platform, 22 killed.[23]
2010 Deepwater Horizon Transocean Semi-submersible Blowout and fire on the rig, subsea well blowout, killed 11 in explosion.

[edit] See also