Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Report: US Nuke Weapons Drivers Got Drunk at Work

I was so shocked by this report I almost spilled my wine. From AOLNews (of all places):

"Federal agents driving convoys carrying America's nuclear weapons and other sensitive material sometimes got drunk on the job, and two agents were detained by police during an "incident" at a bar while on duty, according to an internal Energy Department report.

Another agent was arrested for alleged public drunkenness. Altogether, the department cited 16 alcohol-related infractions among nearly 600 workers at the Office of Secure Transportation between 2007 and 2009. "
"The agents are responsible for transporting -- usually by truck -- nuclear weapons, weapons components and other nuclear materials between laboratories and facilities around the United States. They undergo a 21-week program that's supposed to train them to be discreet, and how to defend the shipments from possible attacks or sabotage.

The report also cited problems with paperwork, including missing signatures on forms used to report violations of OST rules. The department also missed the one-year deadline to re-certify at least 17 of its agents, allowing them to continue working without required checks, it said.

The National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees the OST, issued a statement defending its agents and noting that the report did not find evidence that anyone was driving while intoxicated. Agents have safely transported nuclear materials more than 100 million miles without a deadly accident or release of radiation, it said.

"NNSA takes each of these cases very seriously and is working to evaluate the inspector general's report and make additional improvements to the program," NNSA spokesman Damien LaVera said in the statement, excerpted by The Washington Post.

The findings also alarmed some lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

"I was appalled to learn that some couriers responsible for transporting nuclear weapons and material were found to be drinking on the job," Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., who chairs the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, told The Associated Press. He said he would seek a full briefing from the inspector general.

"We cannot tolerate any behavior that falls short of the level of excellence required and expected when it comes to protecting and handling our nation's most powerful and dangerous weapons," he said."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chalmers Johnson 1931-2010

I once loaned "Sorrows of Empire" to an acquaintance of mine who got almost all of his disinformation from FOX noise. He later returned the book, quite distraught, saying he couldn't read it. It was Chalmers Johnson who coined the apocryphal term "blowback" which now so aptly describes the consequences of American foreign policy. Chalmers Johnson was a great Asian scholar, historian, and CIA analyst. His contribution to knowledgeable discussion and thought will, no doubt, only continue to grow. Chalmers Johnson died November 20th. His colleague, Tom Engelhardt, has an obituary at anti-war.com.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Zippy 1995-2010

A very good dog.

The Oligarch- Tea Party Connection

A dynamite combination of Matt Taibbi and Elliot Spitzer delve into the tea party and the oligarchic kleptocracy which propels American life in its downward spiral.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

London Riot: Tory HQ smashed by British students

So much for the idea that the English are too docile to react when their own interests are threatened by the corporate state. Meanwhile in the Land of the Lemmings the Catfood Commission has released it's recommendations for the further pauperization of the American populace:

"The two deficit-hawk extremists President Obama put in charge of his fiscal commission released their personal suggestions for cutting the federal budget deficit on Wednesday. And while it's quite possible that not a one of them will make it into the commission's official recommendations, which require the approval of 14 of the 18 commissioners (not just two), the document will inevitably be welcomed as a "serious" contribution to the debate - at least by Republicans and conservative Democrats.

But taken as a whole, the plan authored by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson would have devastating effects on the government and its ability to help the most vulnerable in our society, and it would put the squeeze on the middle class, veterans, the elderly and the sick - all in the name of an abstract goal that ultimately only a bond-trader could love."

BTW Alan Simpson has spent a good part of his career flagellating the poor, while his partner in this bi-partisan war on people, Erskine Bowles, sits on the board of Morgan Stanley. Amazing brazen bullshit.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Wall of Voodoo - Back In Flesh (live)

Wall of Voodo, one of the greatest 1980s bands gives a performance reacting to the Reagan recession. Why go to work?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Japan Trip Reprise

I'm not particularly familiar with Weezer but this evokes alot of recent memories.

The New Team-The American Lemmings

The bumper sticker for the New American Team. Their stats are a little dodgy as noted at Decline of Empire:

Thursday, November 04, 2010

A Break From the Depressing American Stuff: Ivan Kupala, "Kostroma"

Living in America will require things that can last decades or centuries to be meaningful, not every two year elections to simulate democracy.