Thursday, March 28, 2013

March 28

Leaving for a few days. Enjoy yourselves!




A new study in the journal Geology is the latest to tie a string of unusual earthquakes, in this case, in central Oklahoma, to the injection of wastewater deep underground. Researchers now say that the magnitude 5.7 earthquake near Prague, Okla., on Nov. 6, 2011, may also be the largest ever linked to wastewater injection. Felt as far away as Milwaukee, more than 800 miles away, the quake -- the biggest ever recorded in Oklahoma--destroyed 14 homes, buckled a federal highway and left two people injured. Small earthquakes continue to be recorded in the area.

The recent boom in U.S. energy production has produced massive amounts of wastewater. The water is used both in hydrofracking, which cracks open rocks to release natural gas, and in coaxing petroleum out of conventional oil wells. In both cases, the brine and chemical-laced water has to be disposed of, often by injecting it back underground elsewhere, where it has the potential to trigger earthquakes. The water linked to the Prague quakes was a byproduct of oil extraction at one set of oil wells, and was pumped into another set of depleted oil wells targeted for waste storage.


The Man Called Petraeus is very sorry for his adultery. No word yet on whether he regrets torturing Iraqis.

by digby

It was awfully heartwarming to see The Man Called Petraeusapologize for the sin of committing adultery, something which every person in American has a stake and an interest.  It's all good now. He's a fine upstanding citizen again. 

Luckily nobody will ever ask for an apology for this:

The Pentagon sent a US veteran of the "dirty wars" in Central America to oversee sectarian police commando units in Iraq that set up secret detention and torture centres to get information from insurgents. These units conducted some of the worst acts of torture during the US occupation and accelerated the country's descent into full-scale civil war.

Colonel James Steele was a 58-year-old retired special forces veteran when he was nominated by Donald Rumsfeld to help organise the paramilitaries in an attempt to quell a Sunni insurgency, an investigation by the Guardian and BBC Arabic shows.

After the Pentagon lifted a ban on Shia militias joining the security forces, the special police commando (SPC) membership was increasingly drawn from violent Shia groups such as the Badr brigades.

A second special adviser, retired Colonel James H Coffman, worked alongside Steele in detention centres that were set up with millions of dollars of US funding.

Coffman reported directly to General David Petraeus, sent to Iraq in June 2004 to organise and train the new Iraqi security forces. Steele, who was in Iraq from 2003 to 2005, and returned to the country in 2006, reported directly to Rumsfeld.

The allegations, made by US and Iraqi witnesses in the Guardian/BBC documentary, implicate US advisers for the first time in the human rights abuses committed by the commandos. It is also the first time that Petraeus – who last November was forced to resign as director of the CIA after a sex scandal – has been linked through an adviser to this abuse.

Coffman reported to Petraeus and described himself in an interview with the US military newspaper Stars and Stripes as Petraeus's "eyes and ears out on the ground" in Iraq.

"They worked hand in hand," said General Muntadher al-Samari, who worked with Steele and Coffman for a year while the commandos were being set up. "I never saw them apart in the 40 or 50 times I saw them inside the detention centres. They knew everything that was going on there ... the torture, the most horrible kinds of torture."

You can see the documentary here. But don't watch it on a full stomach. It will make you sick.



Looks like you meat eaters are eating dog, horse, and humans. Yum!


Three same-sex couples yesterday filed lawsuits against Utah's ban on gay marriage. 
The complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Utah argues that the constitutional amendment passed in 2004 denies gay and lesbian citizens the basic right to marriage as affirmed in the interracial marriage case Loving vs. Virginia. Plaintiffs in the Utah case include gay and lesbian couples who want to get married, along with a lesbian couple whose Iowa marriage isn't recognized by Utah.

Utah Attorney General John Swallow said the U.S. Supreme Court will probably avoid making a broad ruling. Swallow said marriage is for states to define. "I believe that under our federal constitution the individual states retained the sole right to define the marriage relationship," Swallow said Tuesday in a statement. "As Attorney General, I swore an oath to defend the Utah Constitution and will do so by defending against this lawsuit with every resource at my disposal."
The suit names the state attorney general, the governor, and the Salt Lake county clerk as defendants.


The Kansas legislature is expected to pass a bill that provides for quarantining people living with HIV and AIDS. This story is NOT from thirty years ago. The bill is allegedly meant to help emergency response workers (firefighters, EMTs, etc) who presently must get a court order to test the blood of patients to whom they have been exposed. 
Kansas banned quarantining those with AIDS back in 1988, but if this law is passed, those in the LGBT community fear health officials — especially those in rural areas — will begin intimidating those with HIV by threatening to quarantine them. Lawmakers say that is not the intent of this law, that they want to give health officials the ability to quarantine those with infectious diseases if need be. But since the way people are infected with HIV is so different from many other infectious diseases like TB and Hepatitis, AIDS activists don't believe HIV patients should ever be threatened by health officials.
From the bill, which includes people infected with tuberculosis, hepatitis B & C, and HIV. 
The secretary of health and environment is authorized to issue such orders and adopt rules and regulations as may be necessary to prevent the spread and dissemination of diseases injurious to the public health, including, but not limited to, providing for the testing for such diseases and the isolation and quarantine of persons afflicted with or exposed to such diseases. No later than January 1, 2014, the secretary shall develop and adopt rules and regulations providing for the protection of individuals who provide medical or nursing services, clinical or forensic laboratory services, emergency medical services and firefighting, law enforcement and correctional services, or who provide any other service {or individuals who receive any such services} or are in any other employment where the individual may encounter occupational exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials.

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