“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, May 28, 2010

Long Term Ecological Impacts of Marine Oil Spills

It has been apparent that the Obama Administration misread the consequences to the BP oil spill. Obama will use any excuse to cover up his poor judgement and reaction to the calamity. The consequences to marine oil spills has been well documented and known for some time.

We will see where we go from here.


Long Term Impacts of Marine Oil Spills

Torrey Canyon, 1967 - The impacts of the clean-up of rocky shores following the Torrey Canyon spill are now legendary. The large volumes of highly toxic first generation dispersants caused massive mortality of the shore life and tainted (pun intended!) the name of dispersants to this day. Rapid recovery from the oil was recorded from the un-treated shores, but disruption of the treated shore communities was reported to last at least 10 years and possibly as much as 15 years (Hawkins
and Southward1992).

This is all the more remarkable because the disruptions continued in the absence of oil and without any physical clean-up damage to the shore – i.e. only through the natural recovery processes. This is far longer than any other example found, although at least some of the disruptions described were in the form of unusually large fluctuations in abundance of the dominant species. Reductions in biodiversity of the affected shores is only apparent by the very protracted return of one limpet species (Patella depressa), which took 10 years. This limpet was at the edge of its geographical range, which will have limited its recruitment potential. Abundances of the other species documented all rose rapidly and many then fluctuated even more than typical natural variability.
Florida, 1969 - Although relatively small, this fuel oil spillage caused heavy oiling of significant areas of saltmarsh. After 7 years, oil remaining in the sediment was still having notable effects (poor recruitment, survival and abundance and abnormal behaviour) on populations of burrowing fiddler crabs. Signs of recovery were correlated with sediment naphthalene removal (Krebs and Burns 1978). High concentrations of oil still remain in sub-surface sediments (below 6 cm) at the monitoring sites (Reddy et al. 2002) and studies after twenty years (Teal et al. 1992) showed that crabs from the heavily oiled sites had much higher oil concentrations in their tissues and that detoxification enzyme indicators (EROD activity) were significantly higher in marsh fish from those sites. Continued ecological effects do not appear to have been studied beyond the first 7 years.

Arrow, 1970 - Thomas (1978) describes effects on sediment infauna from a spill of heavy fuel oil into a very sheltered bay. Six years after the spill, toxic levels of oil still remained in the sediment and analysis of clam (Mya arenaria) growth rates (from length and weight frequency data) from oiled and unoiled sites showed significant reduction at oiled sites. Lee et al. (1999) have carried out bioassay studies in more recent years (last in 1999) on sediments from the same area. They showed that sediments from the oiled sites (which were still conspicuously contaminated by oil) had low toxicity, as measured by bioassays using amphipods.

Metula, 1974 - thick and extensive deposits of tar and asphalt pavement still remain on areas of saltmarsh and upper intertidal mixed-sediment beaches at this classic oil spill site (Owens et al. 1999). Recovery of the marsh vegetation is likely to take many more decades, but chemical composition of the oil’s toxicity is now low and breaking up the deposits would accelerate recolonisation (Wang et al. 2001).

Amoco Cadiz, 1978 – this very large spill severely affected a wide variety of coastal resources around Brittany, but its ecological impact is now best known for the erosion and slow re-growth of trampled saltmarsh areas; while similarly oiled but uncleaned marsh returned to natural vegetation in less than 5 years (Baca et al. 1987). The physical alteration of the marsh was therefore the primary cause of long term effects in this case.

The Amoco Cadiz spill also impacted subtidal sediments in the Bay of Morlaix and Dauvin (1998) has suggested that impacts to the benthos lasted for up to 12 years (and in the absence of any oil). He has shown that densities of tubiculous amphipods (primarily Ampelisca - which are well known to be extremely sensitive to oil in water) in a fine sand seabed habitat (17m depth) were much reduced for that period, even though they have a high fecundity. He suggests that Ampelisca populations in this habitat and location are naturally at a stable ‘climax’ state but that
this state was severely disturbed and that recovery was slow because the population was geographically isolated.
Esso Bernicia, 1978 - fuel oil from this spill contaminated shores within Sullom Voe and outside and is still present as patches of tar and asphalt pavement on some very sheltered rocky and mixed sediment shores. Annual monitoring showed rapid return of the communities of epibiota at most of the affected sites except some boulder/shingle shores where aggressive physical clean-up (with bulldozers) caused long-term instability of the substrata (Moore et al. 1995). This instability resulted in continued depression of both species richness and abundance of some algae and molluscs on those shores for at least nine years, presumably by reducing recruitment and survival. By 1989 species richness had returned and abundances had also returned to normal levels, but substratum levels were still surprisingly changeable for many more years and abundances still fluctuated greatly (annual reports and personal observations).

The Esso Bernicia spill also killed large numbers of wintering birds. Frequent monitoring showed that most of the local populations affected quickly returned to pre-spill numbers except for the great northern diver (Gavia immer). Heubeck (1997 and pers. comm.) showed that abundances in Yell Sound were still much reduced from their pre-spill levels. He suggests that the Yell Sound wintering population may also all breed in the same location (somewhere in the Nearctic) and that the cause of the poor recruitment may be due to environmental factors affecting that location.

TROPICS experiment, 1984 - Baca et al. 2005 review 20 years of results from this study on the effects of chemically dispersed crude oil on mangroves. They show that the oil did not persist and no long term impacts were detected at the dispersed oil and reference sites; while the undispersed oil site was still characterised by persistent oil residues, significantly reduced mangrove condition (smaller tree size) and substratum erosion.

Vivita, 1986 - A tropical example of the long term impacts of tar residues has been shown by Nagelkerken and Debrot (1995). They found that substantial tar cover in rubble shores of Curacao, still present more than 7 years after oiling despite moderate wave exposure, was causing a 35% reduction in species richness of molluscs (snails, limpet and chitons). They suggested that this reduction was in large part due to the loss of micro-habitats (under, between and within the rubble) caused by the cementation of rubble by the tar deposits.

Galeta, 1986 - Five years after this crude oil spill there were still severe impacts on biodiversity and productivity of red mangroves (Garrity et al.1994, Levings et al. 1994) and the structure of the mangrove had been so badly altered that recovery would clearly take a long time, even if oil had not still been present. Relatively undegraded oil was present in the anoxic muds and were expected to remain toxic for at least 20 years (Burns et al. 1994). Unfortunately no follow up studies appear to have been published. Recovery of corals on reef edge and reef flat habitats was also very slow (Cubit and Connor 1993), although complicated by natural stresses.

Exxon Valdez, 1989 - there is still a lack of consensus between researchers with different perspectives on the impacts of the Exxon Valdez spill of crude oil (Shigenaka 2005). Appreciable quantities of oil still persist on and beneath the surface of some sheltered boulder/cobble and coarse gravel shores (Short et al. 2004) and elevated tissue concentrations in some bivalves is correlated with oiled shores, but the long-term effect that it is having on ecology, beyond some localised
smothering, is confused by conflicting claims. The very limited pre-spill data and many confounding factors has made it difficult to detect impacts in populations of mobile species (fish, birds, mammals), and many studies that link sublethal effects (e.g. biomarkers) to heavily oiled sites may not have taken sufficient account of background oil. Page et al. (2004) have shown that substantial background levels of hydrocarbons from a variety of sources, including Exxon Valdez oil, are present in seabed sediments. Detoxification enzyme indicators (EROD activity) in coastal rock fish were induced by those background levels but were no more elevated at Exxon Valdez contaminated sites than at other sites. There are many ecological studies that suggest that biodiversity and productivity of the majority of affected communities and populations quickly returned to normal levels (e.g. Gilfillan, 1995, Wiens et al., 1999).

Effects of aggressive clean-up activity (hot water washing) on sheltered shore epibiota were described by Houghton et al. (1997). They showed that large fluctuations in abundance of the community dominants were still occurring at the cleaned sites (but were not so great at unoiled sites and oiled uncleaned sites) seven years after the spill. These population fluctuations were therefore similar to those described from the Torrey Canyon spill; but it also seems that the period when species richness and species abundances were continuously reduced was much shorter (apparently only 2 or 3 years).

Gulf War, 1991 - Tar and asphalt pavement still smothers extensive areas of the intertidal sand flats, halophyte zones and mangrove of the Saudi Arabian coast (Michel et al. 2005 and personal observations). Ecological impacts (particularly to halophytes and burrowing crab populations) in the upper intertidal and supratidal are severe and there are few signs of recovery (Getter et al. 2005 and personal observations).

Haven, 1991 - Considerable deposits of soft tar and hard burnt residues from the Haven spill are still present on the seabed off Genoa. Studies on sublethal effects in fish (genotoxic and hepatic tissue damage, Pietrapiana et al. 2002) and PAH concentrations in some sediment samples (Amato et al. 2002) have been linked to the contamination, but no effects were detected in the macrobenthos (Guidetti et al. 2000). Without better evidence of ecological effects (i.e. reduced species richness, population abundance or growth rates) it is not yet possible to show a long term impact, although some small smothering effects are likely just from the presence of the deposits.

Braer, 1993 - even acute impacts of the Braer spill were much less than might have been expected from the size of this spill in coastal waters; but the rapid natural dispersal of the oil and strong downward currents did result in unusually high seabed deposition. Very high concentrations (>1000ppm) of oil were found in muddy sediment sinks south of Shetland in deep water (Kingston et al. 1997) but impacts were mostly limited to reduced abundance and species richness of amphipods. Follow-up studies did not go beyond 1 year.

Sea Empress, 1996 – no significant residues of Sea Empress oil remain and a recent review of all available information, on its ten year anniversary, (Moore 2006) found very little evidence of long term impacts. This is not due to a paucity of data, as the local environment of the oil port and extremely rich coastal habitats were already very well described and monitored. However, the review did identify a few notable impacts:
While no significant long-term impacts on local seabird populations were detected, some localised long-term effects did occur, as can be shown from detailed inspection of seabird monitoring data. For example, one small breeding colony of guillemots was apparently wiped out and the site not reoccupied in 10 years – probably because first time breeders are not attracted to empty cliff sites and older birds habitually return to the same nests (Haycock pers. comm.). Of greater significance, Votier et al. (2005) have shown that the spill did kill many individual guillemots that they were monitoring in breeding colonies on Skomer Island, and that this had a notable effect on the demographics of the population. The long-term effects of this are unclear. Their results also suggested that available nest sites were reoccupied by a pool of birds that might otherwise not have been able to breed. Productivity and population numbers were therefore buffered by the substantial number of non-breeders in the population.

The spill also threatened the survival of a well studied population of the rarely recorded cushion starfish (Asterina phylactica) in shallow rockpools that were severely oiled. Mortality of the cushion stars, which brood their young in situ (therefore no recruitment from planktonic larvae), was very high (>95%) and recovery of the population seemed unlikely. However, a return to pre-spill densities was faster than expected (within 6 years, Crump, pers. comm.) due primarily to self fertilisation by the five remaining isolated animals. This is therefore an example of a species that had a greater recovery potential than might have been expected. Although moderately well studied compared to many benthic species, the spill created a situation that highlighted important gaps in our knowledge of its population ecology. It also appears that Asterina phylactica is not as rare as it was once considered to be, as many more records have been reported.

Finally, splash zone lichens of rocky shores are very slow growing and long term impacts to some well developed colonies were identified following the spill. Impacts are still evident, with abundance of dominant species and hence productivity (such as it is) is greatly reduced at some sites, but reductions in species richness were not found (Crump, pers. comm.).

Estrella Pampeana, 1999 – severe trampling during operations to remove oiled vegetation from brackish water marshes, resulted in substantial oil being pressed down into marsh sediments and extensive damage to root systems (personal observations). Ecological monitoring showed a rapid recovery of unoiled and oiled-but-not-cleaned sites, but delayed recovery of the ‘cleaned’ marsh (Moreno et al. 2004 and personal observations). The worst affected of the ‘cleaned’ marshes were still not fully recovered in 2003.


  1. Team Obamerica will make War on Oil, cutting deep water exploitation, as well as shutting down drilling in Alaska, and limiting the Alaska pipeline flows. To defend our environment.

    Along with "New Taxes" to limit demand, encouraging 'conservation'.

    By blaming Team Obamerica for the failure of deep water exploitation technologies, demanding that they 'do something', without providing the Green Alternative to the electorate, Team Obamerica will limit energy production.

    For our own good.
    Just as you are demanding.

    Then the howling will commence, in earnest.

  2. It has been obvious for 40 years that drilling for oil or transporting oil over water has huge potential environmental consequences.

    When you know something is likely to happen, you should be prepared for it.

    Every little village government knows that there is going to be a fire sometime in the future. They build fire houses, train firemen and practice for the eventuality.

    Every road and highway presents the danger of an accident. Hospitals prepare emergency rooms and rescue squads and ambulance crews are trained for the inevitable.

    Oil will spill. There is knowledge and experience, equipment and methods to react to the spills.

    The CEO of the United States failed to see the consequences of the spill and was slow to react and slow to reply to the danger. When he did, his reactions were to send lawyers.

    Obama's experience and instincts were wrong because he is wrong for the job. He does not belong in the White House. He is a rookie pilot making rookie mistakes. He is a second lieutenant sitting in for a colonel with no competent NCOs to keep out of trouble.

    Home Alone in the White House.

  3. Nice analogy Deuce.


  4. That may all be true, Deuce, but beside the point.

    You can blame Obama, it certainly is within the established bounds of politics, to do so.

    The failures of the Federals, though, are much, much larger than Mr Obama.
    They are institutional.

    Your call to action for the Federals, it will be answered.
    With drilling bans, pipeline restrictions and higher costs and less supply of energy.

    The Federals are already moving in that direction, without an alternative.


    That you want to focus upon the political figurehead, fine by me.

    But it will not address the long term problem, let alone provide US with a good and viable solution.

    It is not enough to "against" the current Administration, you have to provide an alternative, at least a political alternative.

    Drill, Baby, Drill is not it. It is a political loser, with our environmentally 'aware' electorate.

  5. Obama's most damaging obstructionism:
    "Jindal's" plan for dredging protective berms to save wetlands.

    ...actually a well-tested idea developed in 1999.
    No reason whatsoever for condemning untold miles of wetlands to (preventable) death.

  6. Another inexcuseable failure:
    Use of supertankers to vacuum up massive quantities of oil and water to be separated onshore.

    Proven technology used in the gulf, ...wasted by the amature affirmative action POTUS.

  7. There is a 40 year track record of environmental coupled with energy policy failures, from the Federals. That you want to blame the current occupant of the White House for that, seems politically motivated.

    That may be satisfying, but is not going to change the Game.
    If Mr McCain had been elected, the oil booms would still not have been in the Federal warehouses, the EPA would still be the EPA and the Coast Guard would still be the Coast Guard.

    Admiral Allen would still be in command, on the water, in the Gulf.

  8. From 1999, to now?

    Let's see that is 11 years we could have been in preperation for this disaster, Mr Obama has been in the White House for two of those years.

    Yep, it's all his fault.
    Nothing to do with the corrupted institutions of the Federal Socialists.

    Obama was not even a Senator, in 1999, was he.

  9. While from 2000 to 2008 the 'best' oil infrastructure man in the US government, was eating lunch with the President, every day.

    Mr Cheney, of Haliburton, was large and in charge.
    Mr Bush, a less accomplished oil man, he was President. That was the team that permitted Deep Horizon, and that left the coasts undefended and ill prepared for the results of deep sea oil exploitation.

  10. What BS:

    Supertankers and Dredges are not in short supply.

    Competence in the White House is.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. ust look at the dates and the time line you both have presented.

    One illustrates 40 years of failure, the other 11 years of benign neglect.

    Both of you are wanting to blame Obama, for the lack of technological capacity, to work 5,000 feet under the surface of the oceans.

    Both of you championing the Drill, Baby, Drill rhetoric of Mrs Palin, without ever mentioning the risks, or past the Federal failures of managing those risks.

    We've been bit in the ass.
    Often happens, to addicts.

  13. The American people did not select competence. The system did not provide anything close to the two best candidates to run USA Inc, a community organizer and an ex-pilot that had more than his share of crashed planes.

    The system is imperiled by universal suffrage, ignorant voters and a mass media propagandizing machine. It will get worse as more and more illegal immigrants vote and a majority evolves that does not pay federal taxes.

    They will gleefully support the big D Robbin Hoods.

  14. And, now, you will get an ObamaCare solution, to the oil challenge.

    It's coming, but some are to blind to see a way around, a way to not only beat the institutions of the permanent government, but Obama, as well.

    That you all won't move to supporting the viable technological and political alternative, should we associate that with benign neglect?

  15. But that situation, as you describe Deuce, is the reality now.

    The only reasonable answer, take the solution that both sides of the aisle have disdain for, non-food stock ethanol, and shove it down their throats. Politically driven from the grassroots.

    But, instead of that, we'll play partisan politics, leaving the status que and the permanent government, in place.

    But we will 'Feel Good' about it.

  16. The ethanol solution provides liquid energy that is nearly carbon neutral and would provide a partial solution to the balance of payments challenge, as well as JOBS.

    But we'll cry about what was not done, not campaign for change.

    Not campaign for what should be done. Beating Obama is not the solution to the oil challenge, though the ethanol solution wold weaken the Federals and the power to control Americas' energy.

  17. ... their power to control Americas' energy. ...

  18. "That you all won't move to supporting the viable technological and political alternative, should we associate that with benign neglect?"

    If I joined you in yelling, "Go Green Baby,"

    If the entire EB joined in the chorus,

    If the entire US population responded with "Amen",

    Net result: Zip

    Changing perceptions and attitudes in the the US? Hard.

    Overcoming bureaucratic and technological inertia? Almost impossible.

    It all comes at its own inexorable pace.

    Time for a reality check rat. But if it makes you feel good yelling "Go Green Baby" more power to you.


  19. To true, Q.
    It is hard to get a band wagon rolling.

    But if not here, where?

    All those hours of posting, on the Iraq War, emotionally satisfying to know that I was "right", but to no real effect.

    The Shittes won that war.
    Both Iraqi and Iranian.

    So it goes.

    With the energy challenge, it is easy to see where the Federals are going. Limiting supply and higher prices is their answer to environmental safety.

    Mine is to grow our supply.

    Chose, for yourself, the route that best applies to the political challenges Deuce outlines..

  20. Are Blowouts Coming in California? With Regime Change in November?

    Recent GOP primary polls in the Golden State point to huge victories for Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina. Whitman is leading by 25 to 27 points in two polls (SurveyUSA and PPP) over Steve Poizner in the governor’s race, while Fiorina has opened up a 20 to 23 point lead against Tom Campbell in the Senate contest, with Chuck Devore trailing well behind. Primary day is June 8.

    Whitman has stayed on message, with job creation (12.6% unemployment) and solving the near-bankrupt state’s $20 billion budget deficit her top priorities. She intends to abolish the state’s capital-gains tax while knocking out $15 billion in welfare and other transfer payments that have spiraled out of control. Government union salaries will be frozen, while pension eligibility for retirement will be raised and vesting periods will be increased. She also will aggressively use the state’s powerful line-item veto. And she has taken the no-new-tax pledge as an aggressive promise.
    Sound like Chris Christie?
    You betcha.

  21. I'll be sailing, riding the wind, soon enough, regardless.

  22. The election of Barack Obama, the real outcome of the War in Iraq.

    We sure did good, there, aye?

  23. "But, instead of that, we'll play partisan politics..."

    With Republicans stepping in their own bullshit (thank you, Al Giordano) all the way to November.

    Then the Big Whine will commence in earnest: "The system is imperiled by universal suffrage, ignorant voters and a mass media propagandizing machine."

    Yes, indeed. I'm looking forward to autumn.

  24. "All those hours of posting, on the Iraq War, emotionally satisfying to know that I was "right", but to no real effect."

    In 10 or 15 years, you and Ruf will look back and say you were right.

    In 10 or 15 years, I will look back and see that I was right.

    Better to enjoy the sailing and enjoy (or not) the enevitable ride.


  25. Deuce wrote:

    "Obama's experience and instincts were wrong..."

    Let me remind you, again, of what your instincts told you (to paraphrase): 'Bah, oil is natural and it's only a couple of big swimming pools a day'

    Deuce wrote:

    "The system is imperiled by universal suffrage, ignorant voters and a mass media propagandizing machine. It will get worse as more and more illegal immigrants vote and a majority evolves that does not pay federal taxes. "

    hmmm, sounds like a proponent of an authoritarian non-elected political system.

  26. "Then the Big Whine will commence in earnest: "The system is imperiled by universal suffrage, ignorant voters and a mass media propagandizing machine."

    Your a little cheeky this morning Trish.
    Working on that neo-liberal snarkiness?

    (You'll notice that I've changed my way of referring to the left. Ever since I took that little test I posted a while back and found out I was a Liberal/Libertarian, I now refer to the left as neo-Liberals to differentiate them from me, your typical Classical Liberal)

    Don't smirk.

    It makes me feel better.


  27. "The investigative hearings have grown increasingly combative. Three scheduled witnesses have changed their plans to testify, according to the Coast Guard. Robert Kaluza, a BP official on the rig on the day of the explosion, declined to testify on Thursday by invoking his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself.

    Another top ranking BP official, Donald Vidrine, and James Mansfield, Transocean’s assistant marine engineer on the Deepwater Horizon, both told the Coast Guard that they had medical conditions. "

  28. "The system is imperiled by universal suffrage, ignorant voters and a mass media propagandizing machine."----- dad used to talk about that, 40 years ago. If you don't have squat, you are likely to vote for the guy that promises to give you something, from the other guy. If you do have squat, you've probably worked your buns off for it, or someone in your past has, and will vote your own interests. It's a never ending argument, and to keep our industrial society alive and kicking, which we must do, lest we break down, we are going to have to gear up. Which means nuclear power, in my mind. Ethanol may be great, and I'm sure there is lots of stuff going on in that regard, but nuclear, we already know how to do that, and provide light bulbs to the masses.

  29. "Working on that neo-liberal snarkiness?"

    Everyone needs a hobby.

  30. I have CNBC running as background music while I read the papers (not much there that's new so far).

    However, caught the tail end of a blurb by a BP executive (missed his name). Paraphrased, his quote went something like, "The Gulf is a huge body of water. In that context, our spill is relatively small."

    Typical BP from what I've seen. Where do they grow these guys?


  31. I haven't had any coffee yet this morning. Not a good thing.

    I guess it would have been simpler just to have said;

    "Good morning Trish"


  32. The Government has been fighting small ethanol producers since G. Washington got on his white horse, and led the Army of the Republic against the Pennsylvania farmers in the Whisky Revolution.

    One word from Obama, and the loan guarantees would start flowing for small, local biorefineries converting sorghum, switchgrass, corn cobs, municipal solid waste, etc into clean, efficient, affordable transportation fuel that would fit right in with our present infrastructure, and vehicles.

    This fall we will have citizens of the midwest driving new Buick Regal Sports Sedans for $0.06 per mile.

    They will be keeping their money in the U.S. (something that's Very important, right now,) and putting Local people to work at Good jobs.

    All of these new 4 cyl, turbocharged engines you have been hearing about are designed, especially, to be tweaked in the manner that GM has designed the Regal.

    There are, virtually, NO Counties in the U.S. that couldn't supply enough fuel to run all of its vehicles w/o anyone even noticing that the facility is there.

    This isn't "Pie in the Sky." It's being done, now, in Vonore, Tn., by Fiberight in Iowa, and in Denmark by Inbicon.

    You might ask yourself why Obama, the Greenies, Ok Senators Coburn, and Imhofe, and Ca Senators Boxer, and Feinstein are all siding with BP, Exxon, and Shell to "freeze" the funding.

    You might; but you'd be a doofus if you had to.

  33. But on the other hand, for romance, you need, not a light bulb, but some candle light, and a good dinner. And what's more important?

  34. Why are federal loan guarantees needed? Why wouldn't venture capital funds take a stab at it?

    ... I did a quick google and came up with:

    "In contrast to the venture capital exuberance exhibited during the corn-based ethanol industry build-out of 2005-’06, venture capitalists appear to be focusing their attention and investment efforts on emerging technologies that will advance the cellulosic ethanol industry. Attention to this market has also been heightened in light of the Energy Independence & Security Act of 2007, which was signed by President George W. Bush in December. “I haven’t seen a lot of activity by venture capitalists, nor do I hear a lot of interest by venture capitalists right now in traditional corn-based ethanol production,” says Rob Day, a principal with Boston-based @Ventures, a venture capital group that invests in early-stage and mid-stage technology companies.

    Day asserts that venture capitalists who are paring back their original investments in corn-based ethanol aren’t completely divesting but rather “betting on new bets,” he says. “Venture capitalists are typically looking for brand new technologies to bring to market, and with the current corn-based ethanol market appearing to mature, they are now exploring other markets,” Day says.

    A strong initial public offering (IPO) market is critical to venture capital investors who depend on the public markets to cash out of their investments. This year hasn’t been the case as only five IPOs were filed in the first quarter of this year. Conversely, there were none filed in the second quarter—the first time in 30 years this has happened—and it can be largely attributed to the economic crunch being experienced in the past six to eight months, according to the NVCA.

    According to Day, the nonexistent IPO market is temporary. Moreover, the current state of the IPO market could present an opportunity for venture capitalists wishing to enter the later stages of an emerging cellulosic ethanol company. “Temporarily, you’re seeing an increase in later-stage venture capital dollars being put into cleantech and cellulosic ethanol companies because the IPO window is temporarily closed,” Day says. “Everybody is seeing that as a means of waiting out the turmoil in the stock market to make sure that when the IPO gets out there, there’s an open set of investors or a possible acquisition offer.”

    For now, Day says venture capitalists are actively focusing their attention on four emerging markets: cellulosic ethanol, solar power, algal biodiesel and second-generation biofuel such as biobutanol. “Any one of these could potentially take off, depending on the ease of which they can scale up to meet commercialization expectations within the particular business model that venture capitalists are involved in,” he says. “Only time will tell.” "

  35. There will be very, very little Venture Capital in the cellulosic industry, Ash. There is no chance for a "Big Payoff." The plants are relatively expensive, and in the end you're just producing a "commodity." Any homebrewer can make as good a quality ethanol as you will be able to make.

    Venture Capitalists don't tear the door down to invest large sums, in dispersed operations, just to make a low margin fighting against Exxon, and Shell.

    I think the first "Real" wave will come from local governments passing Bond Issues. It, unfortunately, would take years for a "Wave" of that type to develop.

  36. So you are saying we need a socialist approach to this problem?

  37. depending on the ease of which they can scale up to meet commercialization

    The venture capitalists are there, waiting for the Federal guarantees that would drive commercialization.

    The last thing that the Federals want, a dispersed energy solution, one that is not limited to a few "big" players.

    The Wahabbi are not reluctant to grease the big wheels that are Federal, while small farmers and dispersed distillers, don't.

    We're only talking National, Environmental and Economic security.

    Like the border, the Federals ignore doing what's best or even possible, to maintain the status que. As the status que benefits the paying constituents of both Parties. While they ignore the will of the general electorate.
    To no ill effect, for them.

  38. The Disappearing Shark

    "Caught for meat, unintentionally as bycatch in the long-line tuna fishery, and as the prime ingredient in the burgeoning fin trade, shark populations are in collapse everywhere humans fish for them. Nearly 75 million sharks are "finned" each year, their carcasses thrown back into the sea, to satisfy demand from producers of shark-fin soup, who pay more than $100 a pound for the fleshy appendages. Once a rare luxury item, the soup is now eagerly slurped up as a status symbol by the rapidly expanding Chinese upper and middle classes.

    "Baum's research has produced some mind-boggling statistics. The population of oceanic white-tip sharks, considered the most common large species on earth as recently as 1960, has dropped by 99 percent in the Gulf of Mexico (and that was before the oil spill). Populations of smooth hammerhead and bull sharks off the East Coast of the United States have also declined by 99 percent. Looking at all shark species in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean, Baum found that the healthiest populations were down by 40 percent. The least healthy were down 90 percent or more..."

    Humans Drive Sharks to Extinction

    I had shark-fin soup in China. One of those dishes where after maybe 10 years I can still recall the the taste and texture. Deliscious. But not worth killing one of those magnificant beasties just to hack off his fin.

    Probably hypocritical for an American to be lecturing the Asians but I have to say that given their propensity for eatng seafood, they, especially the Chinese and Japanese, will continue their conciousless and conscienceless denuding the oceans until they are stopped.


  39. Of course, Ash. The same approach that gives huge royalty, and tax breaks to the oil companies for drilling in the, Deep Water, Gulf of Mexico.

    Any Civilized People will have a degree of "Socialism" in their Government. The Trillion Dollars (5 times what it would cost us to become energy independent) that we've spent fighting in Iraq, and the Hundreds of Billions that we spend on 11 Carrier Groups are "Socialist" solutions.

    Mine would be relatively benign, however (probably, its biggest political failing.) My solution is simply for the Government to kick the move off with a couple of handfuls of "Loan Guarantees."

    The Government could, conceivably, even turn a profit off of "fees." The "PeopleP (That's Us, Bubba) would, Most Certainly, turn a Hell of a Profit.

  40. We need to embrace the governing system that we have, ash.

    Not pine for some new revolution.

    The objective is to secure the future of the United States, under the Constitution. As currently applied.

    No worries, call it what you will.
    It is already a form of social fascism, extensive partnerships between business and government.

    No need to reject the best solution, because it needs the current system to be used to implement it.

    Tax holidays and such, fully accepted practices to develop industries and jobs, for the benefit of the community at large.

    We live in a socialist country, get used to it. We should use that reality to our advantage, don't reject the solution because of the existing means to implement it are not rhetorically pleasing.

    Or go sailing.

  41. as long as we are calling a spade a spade I'm happy and still sailing.

  42. Bob, you might be interested in this.

    From Megan McCardle's Blog at the Atlantic.

    How Time Flies

    Science and Tech May 26 2010

    "I've been told that the subjective midpoint of your life is age seventeen (yikes!). Time crawls when you're young, but goes faster than a speeding bullet train as you hit your thirties.

    "New research may cast doubt on this, however:

    Measuring Subjective Time

    "Age accounted for four per cent of the variance in how quickly participants said the last ten years had passed and just one per cent of the perception of time's speed in general. By contrast, how busy and rushed people reported feeling accounted for ten per cent of the variance in subjective speed of time. Consistent with this, women reported feeling more rushed than men, on average, and they perceived time to go by more quickly.

    "So it's not youth that slows our time perception, but the fact that grammar and middle school involve incredibly long stretches of boredom. You could probably get the same subjective effect by going to work on the right sort of assembly line. It seems like the only way to get more subjective years is to make each one of them worth less.

    "But we might get a few worthy extra subjective moments if we stopped to smell the flowers a little more frequently...

    Enjoy all the time you've got.


  43. IOZ:

    Friday, May 28, 2010
    Doc Pangloss to the Rescue

    Is the Deepwater spill "Obama's Katrina"? I say it is his Chicago fire. I say it is his St. Patrick's Day Flood. His Pompei. His Lisbon quake. His Götterdämmerung. Look, I know that George W. Bush failed by not personally parachuting into New Orleans to run the sump pump, but you know, the problem was simply that earthen levees, however well maintained and properly designed, cannot ultimately protect a hugely inappropriate city from its fateful geography in the face of one of nature's most powerful and destructive forces. As for the oil spill, frankly, I think Obama was probably smart to risk appearing timorous by not airlifting himself into the middle. It isn't like he could be heroically redeemed by the inevitable failure of human technology in the face of the disaster. He would've just looked like an asshole, and an ineffectual one at that. Now he can "direct the clean-up" at arm's length and head-fake some more progressive idiots by harmlessly haranguing BP about corporate responsibility or some shit. A few conservative types have taken the occasion to bitch, but for the most part, they pull their punches for fear of sounding like faggot environmentalists. Progressives, meanwhile, will just come up with a way to blame Nader.

  44. You know who got hurt in the move to corn ethanol? It wasn't the consumers. Their gasoline is considerably cheaper than it otherwise would be (we've reduced the demand for gasoline by almost a Million Barrels/Day, for Cris'sake.)

    Corn is still selling for about $0.06/lb. Your hamburger might cost a penny more than it otherwise would have, and your 2 liter pepsi, two pennies.

    No, it was Wall Street. They can't buy stock in the local ethanol distillery. They own stock in Exxon, and BP, and Shell.

    And, who paid various Politicians over a Hundred Million Dollars last year? Was it the local brewery? Of course not. You know exactly who it was.

    And, who funds "Nature Conservancy?" Right again.

    This is a hard, uphill fight. We'll win it, because our solution is the only one that makes any sense at all; but it won't be easy.

  45. yeppers, money and its deployment is simply exercising free speech.

  46. The goal, ash, is to disperse power and authority, from the permanent government in DC, to the localities.

    Energy is power, by definition.

    The Federals, in partnership with the status que, want to control it.
    It's sourcing and distribution.

    Better that the energy production is dispersed across the landscape of the United States, rather than dependent upon the Wahhabi, Hugo Chavez and Felipe Calderon.

  47. Meanwhile, Fox News is 7% owned by Saudi Prince Alwaleed, who has bragged of getting headlines changed within 30 minutes with one phone call to Rupert Murdoch.

    The same consortium also owns the Wall Street Journal.

    We are talking about a $3.5 TRILLION/Yr. Business.

  48. Which has now, quite likely, destroyed our Gulf Coast for many, may Decades to come.

  49. Exactly right, again, ash.

    But the opportunity to beat them, at their own game, exists today.

    If the grass roots bandwagon were to begin to roll.

    That the Wahabbi have heavily invested in Mr Murdock guarantees the message delivered to the "Right" is biased against bio-energy independence and balance of payments sanity.

    So biased, in fact, the subjects are never even mentioned.

  50. The MSM is not dominated by the "Left", it is dominated by the status que.

    Which, in the US, is center-left.
    Federal Socialism.

    With the Classic Liberal/Librarian being unrepresented in DC, or in the MSM, at all.
    Save, politically, for Ron Paul, a single voice in the wilderness.

  51. You could listen to Fox News for the rest of your life, and Never hear the term "balance of payments" uttered.

    That, also, could be said of CNBC, and CNN, I'm sure.

  52. When the balance of payments issue is brought up, it is ALWAYS in regards to consumer products from China, NEVER energy purchases from the Wahhabi.

    As Sergent Schultz would say:

    "Very interesting, but stupid"

  53. Of course, the Librarian solution is for all of us to build our own roads, and brew our own ethanol, which is an even nuttier solution than buying oil from the Jihadis.

  54. "HOUSTON — By injecting solid objects overnight as well as heavy drilling fluid into the stricken well leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico, engineers appeared to have stemmed the flow of oil, Adm. Thad W. Allen of the Coast Guard, the leader of the government effort, said on Friday morning. But he stressed that the next 12 to 18 hours would be “very critical” in permanently stanching what is already the worst oil spill in United States history."

    Stopped for Good?


  55. Rand Paul can't help talking about how he would do the Civil Rights Act "differently." Sheesh.

  56. WiO,

    Last evening, I linked to a site that carried the quote,

    "Israel reportedly planned recently to bomb one of the arms convoys as it crossed the border into Lebanon, but the operation was called off at the last minute. Western intelligence sources say that the Israelis have yielded — for now — to American diplomatic efforts to persuade Syria to stop the arms transfers."

    If true, this is disturbing. First, it shows the continued subservience of the IDF to American whim. Second, it may indicate why the IDF was so unsuccessful in killing Hezbollah leadership in the 2006 Lebanon war. Third, it tends to validate my assertion that Israel’s shops in Iran were compromised and eradicated through duplicitous diplomatic channels.

    See, Thu May 27, 09:43:00 PM EDT

    PS: Re: venture capital

    If you can sell it, they will come. Look at the dotcom bubble. I would guess the problem with too little venture capital has to do with the general American ignorance of agriculture. With, what, 3% of the population directly engaged, the lore is not widespread.

  57. Those pesky Russians gave up the Israeli, in Iran?

    Before or after the UAV technologies were exported by Israelis to Russia and then by extension, Iran?

    After, I guess the Russians built out that Iranian reactor.


  59. DR,

    I know you think you have something with that UAV stuff. Try looking at the history of UAV development and deployment. You will find that US fascination with the technology began with Israel's successful use of UAVs in Lebanon, 1983.

    If you have a link that proves the Israeli transfer of such technology to the Russians, please provide the link here. I would be interested.

    If you cannot provide proof, we will know soon enough.

  60. New York Times and UN report that 8 million barrels of oil dumped into the Persian Gulf by Saddam during First Gulf War had no long term environmental impact -

    Planet Earth is far more capable than humans. Why is it than humans do not trust in that? Because humans are so anthropocentric?

  61. Stop and think, instead of reacting to the MSM's hysteria about "the environment".

  62. j willie,

    Which article did you have in mind?

    The one on the Euro (common currency) caught my eye, as did that dissecting the Obama national security plan.

  63. j willie,

    Re: Because humans are so anthropocentric?

    ...hubristic atheism?...too many drugs?...too many hours in front of the TV?

    Thanks for the info.

  64. Deuce wrote:

    "Obama's experience and instincts were wrong..."

    Let me remind you, again, of what your instincts told you (to paraphrase): 'Bah, oil is natural and it's only a couple of big swimming pools a day'

    As usual you get it half right Ash. Allow me to try once more. The reports were that there were 50,000 gallons a day leaking into the Gulf of Mexico. I commented that 50,000 gallons would fit into a large suburban swimming pool.

    I then told you that as an analyst I would not be making up the facts but taking the data and analyzing that. I was not there to see the amount.

    Had I been in a helicopter looking at the area and someone told me that was caused by 50,000 gallons, my analysis would have been something on the order of "your full of shit".

  65. Hysteria about the environment?


  66. Hayward, who had previously said the environmental impact on Gulf of Mexico would be modest, upgraded his assessment Friday to an "environmental catastrophe."

    - CNN

    And Peggy Noonan declares the end of the Obama presidency.

  67. nor was Obama there Deuce and we have no record of his 'instinctual response' but we do have a record of yours.

  68. The only President that comes out looking even "half-good" is Dubyah. Thanks to him, we are using almost a million barrels/day of ethanol instead of gasoline.

    On the other hand, while it's difficult to lay much blame for the spill, and capping debacle, at the feet of Obama, it's to be noted that he has done, Absolutely, Nothing Positive in the way of lessening our dependence on oil.

  69. Deuce,

    Re: Ash and swimming pools

    Deuce, Ash might take your point if you were to find yourself drowning him in a modestly sized swimming pool. Otherwise, space is a vacuum, it is said.

    For whatever it is worth, I understood you perfectly. Moreover, where you the president, you probably would have been in the air examining first-hand a growing problem some 30 days ago.

    Of course, you did not grow up in an environment where those responsible for your socialization believed that the "government" would handle everything. This attitude may be the President's biggest problem and the cause of his downfall...apart from being a certifiable Marxist, of course.

  70. Ash, tell me your shitting me. Obama wasn't there because he was dithering.
    Q, do me a favor, call the air force and get my jet ready so that I can fly over the gulf to keep Ash happy.

  71. NYT:

    A Classic Turns 50, and Parties Are Planned

    In Santa Cruz, Calif., volunteers will re-enact every word and movement in the famous courtroom scene. In Monroeville, Ala., residents dressed in 1930s garb will read aloud from memorable passages. In Rhinebeck, N.Y., Oblong Books will host a party with Mocktails and recorded music by the indie band the Boo Radleys.

    All summer “To Kill a Mockingbird” will be relived through at least 50 events around the country, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the publication of a book that became a cultural touchstone and an enduring staple of high-school reading programs.

    Its publisher, HarperCollins, is trying to tap into what appears to be a near-endless reserve of affection for the book by helping to organize parties, movie screenings, readings and scholarly discussions. The publisher has recruited Tom Brokaw and other authors to take part by reading from the novel — which tells the story of the small-town lawyer Atticus Finch, who defends a black man accused of rape, and his family — in their hometowns.

    Of course, there is also the hope that the events, which are scheduled to run through Sept. 22, will drum up more sales of the book. HarperCollins plans to issue four new editions of the novel next month, each with a different cover and all to be placed on special “Mockingbird” -themed floor displays in bookstores.

    Perhaps the largest concentration of celebrations for the book are in Monroeville, which calls itself the “literary capital of Alabama” after its most famous resident, the “Mockingbird” author Harper Lee. The city is planning four days of events, including silent auctions, a walking tour of downtown, a marathon reading of the book in the county courthouse and a birthday party on the courthouse lawn.


    One of the most beautiful movie themes evah.

  72. It has nothing to do with you flying over the gulf to make me happy Deuce. When I first mentioned the Gulf oil spill and the potential hardship for Drill Baby Drill you immediately dismissed it as media hype and oil being a natural substance. You did also state that the initial estimates of the flow indicated there was nothing to worry about. The current estimates of the flow appear to be 1.8 to 3.8 x times the original estimates. In any case the continued flow of oil at that rate appears to be a problem. Now you use the spill as an excuse to bash Obama which is particularly disingenuous since you did exactly what you accuse Obama of doing without any evidence he so cavalierly dismissed it as you did.

  73. What we do know, Admiral Allen was flying over the spillage, some thirty days ago.

    If it was patently obvious that the BP accounts of the volume of the release were false, he'd have seen it.

    One would expect he'd not kept that a secret from his own Chain of Command. That someone in the Federal establishment, other than just the Admiral, would have known, too. As there were many Federals on the site and in the air, early on.

    Either it was not 'obvious' that BP was misreporting the facts, or all those experience Admirals and Captains and such, are either corrupt folks or they are all more incompetent than Deuce would have been.

    Which may well go to the quality of the people that first choose and then advance on the Federal Socialist career path.

  74. "The goal, ash, is to disperse power and authority, from the permanent government in DC, to the localities."---It's really hard for me to agree with rat on anything, but I do agree with that general outlook.

  75. But to assume that Mr Obama could better judge the ocean conditions than Admiral Allen, that certainly disrespects Admiral Allen.

  76. The Katrina thing was was legally ruled by the Stafford? amendment of 1988, or something. So, the states involved had the responsibility. And Bush had to work with that. This deal now, is in fed territory, and it's all on Obama's back. Not that there is much that he can do about it really. One irony is, BP gave guess who a lot of money, and got some slack on some drilling regulations. All this according to my civil engineer.

  77. This is regulated by the 1990 Spillage Act, or some such titled legislation from 1990. The one that limits oil company liability to $75 million over clean up costs.

    If I've understood the talking heads, correctly.

    It leaves the oil company, large and in charge of these type incidents. The White House, reportedly, fumes at the restraints imposed on them by the Law.
    The term used by the reporter:

  78. "Q, do me a favor, call the air force and get my jet ready..."

    Yes Sir!

    Right away Sir!

    I was out taking a was out taking a piss Sir.

    It won't happen again Sir!


  79. "But to assume that Mr Obama could better judge the ocean conditions than Admiral Allen, that certainly disrespects Admiral Allen."

    Does anyone really give a crap whether some admiral gets his feelings ruffled at this point?


  80. Allen,

    It is clear to me that the IDF has taken orders from the USA many times.

    Hezbollah leadership during the war was hiding in Iran's embassy and Israel was told that was an off limits target...

    The USA has in the past ignored such transparent tricks in the past, remember the "accidental" bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Kosovo?

    It is no secret that Russia and China are using Iran/Syria/Hamas/Hezbollah/islamicJidah/Venezula/Nkor all as WILLING proxies....

    The question is: How far up the chain will any nations take the fight?

    To keep pounding the grunt terror forces and not hit the terror masters seems stupid...

  81. I don't blame Obama for anything associated with the spill up to this point.

    That is, with the major exception of wasting over a month before doing anything of substance to try and keep the oil slick from actually reaching land. Probably an impossible act in toto; however, one that in my opinion could have been attacked more aggressively.


  82. Chantilly Lace

    One of Glen Beck's previous gigs.


  83. Time, time, time, Quirk, is a deep mystery. If Kant is right, it's just a mode and consequence of our human perceptions, locked in, and we can never get out of it, never overcome it. However, the Hindus have another view, and say, that in deep meditation, we can overcome it, and experience the timeless. They say, the spirit is timeless, unborn, uncreated. I don't really believe this uncreated part, but timeless, maybe. If my lovely wife hadn't taken my books of Arthur Avalon(pen name, he was a judge in India, I think his name was Sir John Woodhouse, or something) in a box to the garage, I'd do some quoting. When I last took my friend Dale down to the VA hospital in Walla Walla, we took a shortcut through the mountains, he had never been through before, and I, so long ago, it was like a new experience. It seemed like it took forever, going down that way. Coming back, we went the same way, and both of us noted, how little time it took. I read an article, a year or so? heh, what does that mean? about this distortion of time perception. The article argued, basically, that this sense of time distortion is caused by the brains, or the minds, absorbing of new information, and that when this task is accomplished, and the new is now the old, time seems to flow at a different rate. It is true, as you say, that when you are very much younger, time seems to lag along slowly, when you get 'older' it seems to 'fly'. I've also heard, that the spirit it 'timeless'. As for myself, I don't mind 'experience' in time. Seems kinda wonderful to me, exciting, though I'm not a fully developed human being. i still like the river's flow.

  84. Especially when there is a new and wonderful song to be heard.

  85. Well, listening to Science Friday on NPR - while dodging kamikaze traffic - there was a guest who just returned from a Gulf tour (Haha! Means something entirely different now, doesn't it?) and who described the subsurface plume as about half the size of Lake Erie and traveling from its original depth in the Mississippi Canyon of 5K' to a depth of 10K' in a different canyon. Possible upwelling and no one knows if it will stay below the surface. So far the disperants have achieved that desired effect, but no one knows either what the medium and long term effects of the dispersed oil will be.

    Deep into Rumsfeld territory with the known unknowns and unknown unknowns. Also: Undertaking remediation with the oil company you have, not the one you wish you had.

    Ahhhh, brings back memories.

  86. DR,

    My goodness, how rapidly your tune does change when it comes to the Obama administration, proving: Wenn Gauner sich streiten, kommt die Wahrheit ans Licht.

    Weren't you the one touting the sophistry of perception being reality? When was that? Oh, yes, about a week ago.

    In that vein, whether Mr. Obama knows diddle about the petroleum industry is irrelevant. His empathy would have been on public display. Mr. Clinton made an art form of empathy. Even today, if I wanted someone to deliver the best possible eulogy, it would be "Ole Bill".

    You will find the following intriguing, given your recent love of Luntz/polling as that applies to liberalism (Jews).

    Today's College Students Lack Empathy

    Could it be that we live in a totally self-absorbed society? Is it possible that "Ennui R Us" is the new American creed - race/religion notwithstanding?

  87. "Russia said on Thursday that it would stage large-scale naval exercises off North Korea next month that were planned before the stand-off on the peninsula. Sailors 'will be on a high level of alert and capable of reacting adequately to any threat', the Russian Navy told Interfax."

    Alarm rises as N Korea threatens attack

    Given the Russian propensity for dishing out massive drubbings to those who offend her, "LiL" Kim probably won't.

    On the other hand, "Government officials in Seoul played down the possibility of all-out war, stressing that they wanted to solve the problems through diplomacy."


  88. j willie said...
    "New York Times and UN report that 8 million barrels of oil dumped into the Persian Gulf by Saddam during First Gulf War had no long term environmental impact -

    Planet Earth is far more capable than humans. Why is it than humans do not trust in that? Because humans are so anthropocentric?


    rufus said...
    "Which has now, quite likely, destroyed our Gulf Coast for many, many Decades to come."

    " no long term environmental impact "

    untrue (exageration)

    The differences between the Persian Gulf and the GOM could not be more stark:
    The biological carrying capacity of the GOM is many, many times that of the Persian Gulf.

    Additionally the damage to wetlands is far greater than in the Persian Gulf.

    Not only is it impossible to clean the wetlands, but the land itself will disappear, as the plants are the only protection of the land against coastal erosion.

    Obama acts as though dredging protective berms is an experimental proposition for which we must go slow and determine the cost/benefit result.

    Nothing could be farther from the truth, but how should he know?
    ...the most ignorant POTUS of our lifetimes.

  89. The GOM provides (ed) 40 to 60 percent of our total seafood production.

    The magnitude of the disaster now will mostly be determined by the weather.

  90. Or it could be that when when you're in college, Israel is probably the last thing on your mind.

    Even for American Jews.

    Always good to speculate though.


  91. "The magnitude of the disaster now will mostly be determined by the weather."

    I agree with you Doug on the magnitude of this; but one would like to think it was as simple as a weather issue.

    We won't know for years.

    Toxic dispersants miles wide and deep? Are we going to have a dead zone of the same magnitude? Who the heck knows.


  92. "The magnitude of the disaster now will mostly be determined by the weather."

    ...and how long it takes to cap the damned thing, of course.

    Looks to me like observable erosion of the holes has taken place...

    ...resulting in MORE barrels per minute.

  93. Quirk,
    Right, more unknowns beneath the surface than on land.

    Should have specified that the WETLANDS are largely at the mercy of the weather.

  94. ...and all the birds and fish that breed and feed there.
    Not to mention the jobs that will vanish.
    Very Sad.

  95. Quirk,

    Re: college and empty minds

    Indeed, if the numbers are to be believed, students have a few things that absorb much of their time (other than class work, of course).

    Interestingly enough, college students and Boomers-plus have something in common: extremely high rates of STDs. Both seem to operate from the adolescent position of invulnerability (it cannot happen to me). This comes as no surprise when seen in a college sophomore; but it is troubling in a man of 62, whose dinky has gone dead. Considering the decades of self-destructive habits of the Boomers, maybe it should not be surprising.

    Furthermore, both demographics have high rates of substance abuse (drugs [prescription and illicit] and alcohol). This does not come as a surprise. Boomers are notorious for addictive behaviors.

    One hopes the center will hold.

  96. Your right Allen.

    I'd likely take it all more to heart if I weren't invulnerable.


  97. Dang, I hate days like this.


    Temp: 82 :)
    Humidity: 123 :(

    The air is pumping and even the dog doesn't want to be out for more than 15 minutes at a time.

    Darn global warming.

    I'm thinking of stifling all of my libertarian inclinations and moving to Canada.

    Maybe I will become a neo-liberal.


  98. By the way, Doug, your appearances at the bar have been kinda spotty lately.

    Hope your feeling better.

    Rufus has been driving me crazy.

    I'd like to give you a tag once in a while. He now has the rat backing him up.



  99. The spill is a good excuse to bash Obama although one hardly needs an excuse to do so. Furthermore, it is possible to bash Obama and advocate for ethanol or other alternative fuels simultaneously.

    Also, a minority here seem to think November will be good for the anti-Republicans. Don't know why...

    Generally the tone here is that of insufferable axles grinding on an excess of carborundum and a deficit of grease.

    Foxtrot Indian Alpha

  100. friggen' insufferable axles

    Foxtrot Indian Alpha

  101. I don't know where Deuce got his long term impact assessments but if one reads them carefully, they do not describe environmental wastelands lasting for eons into the future.

    J. Willie is right. Let's not get our panties into a wad, girls.

  102. I especially like this one:

    Estrella Pampeana, 1999 – severe trampling during operations to remove oiled vegetation from brackish water marshes, resulted in substantial oil being pressed down into marsh sediments and extensive damage to root systems (personal observations). Ecological monitoring showed a rapid recovery of unoiled and oiled-but-not-cleaned sites, but delayed recovery of the ‘cleaned’ marsh (Moreno et al. 2004 and personal observations). The worst affected of the ‘cleaned’ marshes were still not fully recovered in 2003.

  103. Quirk said...
    Or it could be that when when you're in college, Israel is probably the last thing on your mind.

    Even for American Jews.

    Always good to speculate though.

    Jewish kids attending college, typically are quite open minded and cherish life, love and knowledge.

    Jewish men in particular spend much energy and resources on the study of the Nordic Athletic Godless and the power of her being.

    Not much time to deal with israel...

  104. "but it is troubling in a man of 62, whose dinky has gone dead"---goddamnit, I'm 63, and my "dinky" hasn't gone dead yet. In fact, my wife says, I'm slower, and much more passionate than ever. Worry about your own damn dinky.

  105. This is the savvy community organizer?

    This is the ruthless, street smart operative?

    This is the ultimate politician?

    Obama, Emmanual, Clinton, losers of the week. The only one that looked more bumbling in this affair was Sestak.

    1. Offer Sestak a non-paying advisory job to drop out of the Senate primary in favor of Specter.


    2. Sestak decides to tell the press he was offered a job.


    3. Sestak then looks like a bumbling idiot trying to be "discreet" in not telling details of the offer.

    The guy looked like a buffoon.

    4. The story, in and of itself is nothing. If they had addressed it a few weeks ago it would have been gone a few weeks ago. The coverup or what appears to be a coverup is always worse than the original issue (political truism).

    That's not how things are done today.

    5. In an obvious political move, finally yesterday Obama says a full story will be coming out.

    Today it comes out. On a day before the holiday weekend, while Obama's out of town, Clinton's unavailable, and Emmanual is in Israel. Typical manipulation of the story.

    Well, maybe that wasn't so dumb after all. However, listening to Issa and others it has now become red meat for the GOP and will likely stay so as long as the GOP can milk it.



  106. "Generally the tone here is that of insufferable axles grinding on an excess of carborundum and a deficit of grease.

    Foxtrot Indian Alpha"

    Let's try and keep it clean Whit. As a person of influence here you should consider it your obligation to try to raise the level of discourse.


  107. "Worry about your own damn dinky."

    Oh, is that how you read that line Bob?

    I was going to offer Allen my sympathy.

    I just couldn't figure out how to offer the condolences in a delicate and supportive way.


  108. "He now has the rat backing him up.


    Say it ain't so!

    The Rodent wearing rose colored glasses.


  109. We now know why Bubba had lunch with Barry the other day.

  110. He may not have those youthful, long living Swedish genes. Sometimes, my "dinky", and the thoughts arising therefrom, give me so much trouble, I think it might be better to cut the damn thing off. But I can't help it, that I look 40 years old.

  111. You pick and choose, Whit, but there is no evidence whatsoever that oil in Louisiana estuaries will be anything other than catastrophic.

    Do Vietnamese shrimpers and the oystergrowers just go on unemployment for 7 years?

    Even Willie's Persian Gulf example still exhibits serious damage.

    Torrey Canyon gives some indication of the vast damage that will be caused by the emulsification of this light crude by massive quantities of dispersants.

  112. Deepwater Horizon is karma jumping up and taking a big bite out the President's ass for his incessant linking of Bush to Katrina.

    Ain't it funny how life works?

  113. For the information of those interested in my dinky, I try to follow the advice of an old doctor, "Never put your putz where you wouldn't put your cane."

    Shabbat Shalom and happy holiday...

  114. "...Never put your putz where you wouldn't put your cane."

    Not quite sure what that means but I'm sure whatever it refers to is probably illegal in all states except Mississippi.


  115. We got real tough "putz, and cane" laws in Mississip, Bud.

  116. In fact, if there is a State in the Union that I wouldn't want to go "putzing," and "caning" in, it would be Mississippi.

    We still got "Road Gangs," you know.

  117. We Are a little sympathetic to the "Cellulosic" Putzers, though.

  118. Well ok then.

    My mistake.



  119. "Also, a minority here seem to think November will be good for the anti-Republicans. Don't know why..."

    Magic 8 Ball.

  120. Hey, roll that 8 Ball and see if I
    will have time to get my dog to the park for his walk before they close the gates at 9:00.


  121. The Magic 8 Ball is shaken, not rolled.

    We are not a veteran of slumber parties, are we?

  122. I never mind working on Saturdays. Even on holiday weekends if I have nothing planned. It’s always a half a day and on occasion a friend would surprisingly stop by with coffee in hand and an hour of chit chat. But that’s not the case anymore since he recently moved and it’s no longer a hop, skip and jump away. I’ll miss the suspense of not knowing whether he will stop by or not. My loss, I guess.

  123. Maybe your gain. If you want a slow, passionate lover, give me a ring. My wife has all the intimate information you might need.

  124. Melody wrote:

    "I’ll miss the suspense of not knowing whether he will stop by or not. "

    aye, the staple of the romance novel...

    ....and good porn?

    Is there a difference?

    In any case I haven't quite figured sussed out your situation yet Melody. You've got a daughter but precious few comments regarding a husband- divorced? separated?

  125. Don't be surprised/saddened if that 8 ball loses it's mojo.

  126. Ash, you were probably taking a nap at the time of all your questions. I've revealed everything you're asking and probably have shown some pictures along the way.

    And what does having a friend stop by with coffee and conversation have to do with having a husband or being divorced or being separated? Whether it's a man or a woman. There's no romance novel there just someone to make the time go by. ( ;

  127. I think Trish is right. A lot of people are unhappy with Obama, and the Democrats, but NO ONE misses the Republicans.

    I make it a typical off-year election where the out-of-power party picks up 15, or 20 seats. A handful in the Senate.

    I'm figuring the Pubs for 45, or 46 Senate seats, and 205 in the House.

  128. oh but that is the essence of romance - 'time passing pleasurably'.

    Ya, I'm sure I've missed much of the details revealed, though I rarely nap (waking up once a day is enough for me), but I do skim.

  129. In that case, I have a lucky rabbit's foot.

    And two sets of worry beads.

    And Saint Rita.

  130. re. 'lot's of people unhappy with Obama' - I've always been of the opinion that if you occupy a place of power you will, over time, increasingly piss off more and more people simply through the act of necessarily exercising ones power. I have been amazed, though, at Americans consistent, constant, and persistent, appreciation of the POTUS. Incumbency does have some advantage?

  131. It's the nature of our political system, Ash. We recognize that we bestow a Lot of power in our President, AND that it is a Very Difficult Job.

    We recognize that we can't "get mad and throw the bum out" everytime he does something we don't like. We, basically, throw the weight of the world on His shoulders so we don't have to worry with it. Most Americans don't like "politics."

    Anyway, we hire'm for four years, hope for the best, expect somewhat less, and figure if he keeps us out of Bankruptcy, and/or the Cataclysm he's done his job. Knowing all the time, of course, that there's very little chance that the guy that wants his job is any better.

  132. "The Magic 8 Ball is shaken, not rolled."

    Doggone it.

    I knew there was some simple reason why I always lost.


  133. You need to get out west, Melody. Too much time and boredom in the big city. I'm typing this on my wife's computer, mine is broke down again, can't even send or get e mails, can't do business, and I'm not going to have my daughter fix it for the seventh time. And that Toshiba laptop is a piece of crap. The wife rented the last apartment we had to rent today. Next week, the daughter and I are heading to Vegas, and New Mexico. I hope to take some very good pictures, and send them to my friends.

  134. "I knew there was some simple reason why I always lost."

    Operator-level failure.

    Happens all the time.

  135. "It was yet another performance of the "full responsibility" flimflam.

    "In a rare appearance before his adoring fans in the press corps yesterday, President Obama repeatedly took "full responsibility" for the blundering efforts to clog up the geyser of crude oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico coating everything in sight.

    "At the same time, Obama repeatedly denied that his administration was complicit in allowing the catastrophe to happen in the first place, slow to realize the devastating nature of it, or ham-handed in the five-week effort to try to stem the toxic tide...

    "In other words, Obama -- as he often does -- took "full responsibility" for being awesome.

    "He took "full responsibility" for being, well, nearly perfect.

    "From the first day, Obama said it has been his "highest priority" and that his administration has been "singularly focused" on the leak.

    "Those who think that we were either slow on our response or lacked urgency don't know the facts," he sniffed.

    I am Good Even When I am Bad


  136. Obama Politics to Get LeBron James to Chicago

    ..."Listen, my opinion as the man who holds the highest office in the land is just that—an opinion," the president said. "Any fan would want his favorite team to sign the best player out there. It just so happens that as the most powerful basketball fan on the planet, I can apply a certain amount of pressure others can't."

    "Which makes sense," Obama added, "because, well, I'm the president of the United States of America."

    Superman on Superman

    Which of the posts is the actual satire? This one or the previous one?


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  140. your views on this topic are really interesting and worth a read..

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