Friday, July 16, 2010

In the news...

There are several interesting, unrelated stories circulating today:

Under the heading of "Persecution", we see the following:

"Cops: Kids can't pray at U.S. Supreme Court"

A Christian private-school teacher is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to allow constitutionally protected prayer outside the court building after her class was "abruptly" ordered to stop praying on the grounds.

Maureen Rigo, a teacher at Wickenburg Christian Academy in Arizona, took her class to the Supreme Court complex May 5 for an educational tour.

The students stood off to the side at the bottom steps of the Oval Plaza, bowed their heads and quietly prayed amongst themselves, according to the Alliance Defense Fund, a legal team Rigo contacted after the incident.

"Even though they were not obstructing traffic, not demonstrating, and praying quietly in a conversational tone so as to not attract attention, a court police officer approached the group and told them to stop praying in that public area immediately," ADF reported. "The prayer was stopped based on a statute, 40 U.S.C. §6135, which bars parades and processions on Supreme Court grounds."

"Christians shouldn't be silenced for exercising their beliefs through quiet prayer on public property," ADF senior counsel Nate Kellum said in a statement. "The last place you'd expect this kind of obvious disregard for the First Amendment would be on the grounds of the U.S. Supreme Court itself, but that's what happened."

Under the category of "Peaceful Muslims", a mindless, adopted phrase by many people in the U.S. who remain ignorant of reality:

"Iran: Pregnant woman to be stoned to death"

Tehran Court rules 25-year-old woman convicted of adultery must be executed despite pregnancy. Her lawyer hopes to have sentence 'commuted' to lashing.

An Iranian court has sentenced two more women to death by stoning, a human rights group reported Thursday, adding the horrific sentence was made worse by the fact that one of the women was pregnant.

Maryam Ghorbanzadeh was recently convicted of adultery and although she is pregnant, was sentenced by an Islamic court to death by stoning.

However, given her condition, there is a chance the sentence would be changed into death by hanging, which is the customary method of execution in Iran.

Held at the Tabriz prison alongside Ghorbanzadeh is Azhar Bakri, 19, who was also sentenced to death by stoning after being convicted of adultery.

Bakri was jailed four years ago after her husband, whom she married at 14, accused her of having an extramarital affair. According to various reports, she has suffered massive abuse by the guards.

Under the heading of "Earthquakes", we see the following (keep in mind, Jesus stated that we would see earthquakes in "diverse places"):

"D.C. rattled by area's largest recorded earthquake"

The largest earthquake ever recorded within 30 miles of Washington, D.C., rattled the capital early Friday.

NBC News reported that the quake was felt in the D.C.-area, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Amy Vaughn, a spokesperson for USGS, told WRC-TV that the quake was the largest recorded within 50 kilometers (31 miles) of Washington since a database was created in 1974.

Also, we have an update on the Gulf situation. Most likely almost everyone has heard that the well has been "capped". As a result, the public is being led to believe the oil spill is "fixed". Nothing could be further from the truth. Apparently this "cap" is more of a test, and would only be used in the event of a hurricane. This "cap" will be removed soon. Additionally, the pressure from the cap remained relatively low, suggesting that the oil/gas mixture is leaking from other sources.

"Initial Results from Well Integrity Test Are Inconclusive"

As Coast Guard admiral Thad Allen has explained, sustained pressure readings above 8,000 pounds per square inch (psi) would show that the wellbore is more or less intact, while pressures of 6,000 psi or less would mean there could be major problems:

The former director of Sandia National Laboratories says the pressure readings so far have been ambiguous.

As the Washington Post points out:

The initial pressure readings are in an ambiguous range, and officials will have to make a difficult judgment call on whether to keep the well shut in or reopen it, according to Tom Hunter, retired director of the Sandia National Laboratories and a member of the federal government's scientific team overseeing the test.

Hunter, who witnessed the test from BP's war room in Houston, told The Washington Post that the pressure rose to about 6,700 psi and appeared likely to level out "closer to 7,000."

Indeed, Don Van Nieuwenhuise - director of geosciences programs at the University of Houston - told CNN today:

We don’t know if there ae significant leaks deep in the well.

Interestingly, as CNN's Situation Room noted a couple of minutes ago, the cap might soon be re-opened, and closed again only during hurricanes:

Very interesting here. He talks about the cap as a temporary measure to be used for hurricanes…

“It remains likely that we will return to the containment process… until the relief well is completed”

So it looks like the plan is to go back to releasing the oil and letting it pump up to the surface.

So is the well integrity test a meaningless PR stunt, which is delaying completion of the relief wells, and failing to bring us any closer to permanently killing the oil gusher?

Or is it a valuable tool to see if the well can be protected from further damage during a hurricane?

Only time will tell ...

This entire episode of the oil leak, and the resulting media blackout, media manipulation, misinformation, etc. reveals the tight control that the U.S. administration can impose on what information is released to the public. Reminiscent of the old Soviet Union and its "press", we now are witnessing the administration's successful effort to only allow the news to be released as they see fit, while withholding the most pertinent information. From blogs, letters and personal communication with people living on the Gulf coast, the areas affected by the oil spill are being tightly controlled by BP, who has been allowed to run these selected areas like a police state.

See also:

"Commander Allen issues statement: "Likely that we will return to the containment process"

As mentioned before - something just isn't adding up with everything we are being told regarding the Gulf. In the best case scenario - there could be a simple explanation - that explanation being that the U.S. administration simply doesn't want the public witnessing its ineptitude and is blocking the news for that reason. This scenario makes the most sense. It is a bad sign that a scenario involving a U.S. administration which easily tramples on First Amendment Rights, simply to hide their ineptitude is considered as a "best case" scenario.

As stated in the article above "only time will tell".

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