We await news from the front. - Sparks
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Sparky: AP: Halliburton Didn't Protect Soldiers' WaterWASHINGTON (March 16) - Halliburton Co. failed to protect the water supply it is paid to purify for U.S. soldiers throughout Iraq, in one instance missing contamination that could have caused "mass sickness or death," an internal company report concluded.
Internal Memo Warns of 'Mass Sickness or Death'
A Marine and soldiers stand guard at Ar Ramadi, Iraq, in March 2004. The camp is one site in Iraq where Halliburton failed to properly purify water for military personnel, an internal company report says
The report, obtained by The Associated Press, said the company failed to assemble and use its own water purification equipment, allowing contaminated water directly from the Euphrates River to be used for washing and laundry at Camp Ar Ramadi in Ramadi, Iraq.
Evil Bastards Logo!
The problems discovered last year at that site - poor training, miscommunication and lax record keeping - occurred at Halliburton's other operations throughout Iraq, the report said.
"Countrywide, all camps suffer to some extent from all or some of the deficiencies noted," Wil Granger, Theatre Water Quality Manager in the war zone for Halliburton's KBR subsidiary, wrote in his May 2005 report.
AP reported earlier this year allegations from whistleblowers about the Camp Ar Ramadi incident, but Halliburton never made public Granger's internal report alleging wider problems.
The water quality expert warned Halliburton the problems "will have to be dealt with at a very elevated level of management" to protect health and safety of U.S. personnel.
Halliburton said Wednesday it conducted a second review last year that found no evidence of any illnesses in Iraq from water and it believes some of its earlier conclusions were incomplete and inaccurate. The company declined to release the second report.
The company said it has "worked closely with the Army to develop standards and take action to ensure that the water provided in Iraq is safe and of the highest quality possible."
Halliburton was headed by Vice President Dick Cheney for several years before he ran for vice president. Its KBR subsidiary, also known as Kellogg Brown & Root, works under contract to provide a number of services to the U.S. military in Iraq, including providing water and purifying it.
The contaminated, non-chlorinated water at Ar Ramadi was discovered in March 2005 in a commode by Ben Carter, a KBR water expert at the base. In an interview, Carter said he resigned after KBR barred him from notifying the military and senior company officials about the untreated water.
A supervisor at Ar Ramadi "told me to stop e-mailing" company officials outside the base and warned that informing the military "was none of my concern," Carter said. He said he threatened to sue if company officials didn't let him be examined to determine whether he suffered medical problems from exposure to the contaminated water.
Granger's report cited several countrywide problems:
A lack of training for key personnel. "Theatre wide there is no formalized training for anyone at any level in concerns to water operations."
Confusion between KBR and military officials over their respective roles. For instance, each assumed the other would chlorinate the water at Ar Ramadi for any uses that would require the treatment.
Inadequate or nonexistent records that could have caught problems in advance. Little or no documentation was kept on water inventories, safety stand-downs, audits of water quality, deliveries, inspections and logs showing alterations or modifications to water systems.
Relying on employees the company identified as semiskilled labor, and paid as unskilled workers in the pay structure.
The report said the event at Ar Ramadi could have been prevented if KBR's Reverse Osmosis Units on the site had been assembled, instead of relying on the military's water production facilities.
"This event should be considered a 'near miss' as the consequences of these actions could have been very severe resulting in mass sickness or death," Granger wrote.
The report said that KBR officials at Ar Ramadi tried to keep the contamination from senior company officials.
"The event that was submitted in a report to local camp management should have been classified as a recordable occurrence and communicated to senior management in a timely manner," Granger wrote. "The primary awareness to this event came through threat of domestic litigation."
Beginning last May, Halliburton said it began using its equipment to remove contaminants, bacteria, and viruses in Ar Ramadi, and disinfect the water with chlorine. The company said KBR has worked closely with the Army to develop safe water standards.
It said its subsequent review in August-September 2005 found nonpotable water used for washing "was effectively filtered" to remove at least 99 percent of the parasite giardia and 90 percent of viruses. The Ar Ramadi water also tested negative for bacteria, Halliburton added.
- DoD to determine if troops in Iraq received unsafe water Rick Maze Marine Corps Times
- Halliburton Failed To Protect Water For U.S. Soldiers Andrea Moore All Headline News
"W" can't adequately protect the troops and he can't protect us at home. I think the entire White House executive branch should be sent to the United States Penitentiary, Leavenworth for life. - Sparky
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Sparky: Let's InfoDump on Iraq, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, CIA, Saddam Hussein
Huffington Report article you should read: Rep. John Murtha: Claims and Facts: The War in IraqPlus locate Adrianna's latest well deserved attack on Judy Miller the War Monger while you visit.
Be Aware Of How The Below Links to the Bush Junta II Cheating Themselves Into The White House Again because Sparky aggrees with Greg Palast 's accusation against Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, and Florida Elections Unit Chief Clay Roberts, along with the ChoicePoint corporation, of election fraud during the US Presidential Election of 2000 and again in 2004 when, he argued, the problems and machinations from 2000 continued and that challenger John Kerry actually would have won if not for disproportional "spoilage" of Democratic votes.
- Diebold "whistleblower" faces criminal charges in California
- Black Box Voting finds anomalies in electronic voting logs of 2004 U.S. election
- Wikipedia class action site vanishes, backers revealed
- Geysers of water on one of Saturn's moons
- "Massive" oil spill in Alaska
- U.S. found in violation of Native Americans rights
- Japanese Buddhist priest arrested for child prostitution
- Gordon Parks, African American filmmaker, dies at 93
- Study reveals 10% of telecommuters work nude
- Bonobo chimp threatened in Congo
- Amateur sex video stirs controversy on Internet
Sparky was interested in item 9 for research purposes -
Tammy Sex Video Scandal
First circulated around mid-February 2006, the Tammy sex video scandal is a scandal in Singapore involving a sex video that has turned into an Internet phenomenon. The incident began when a cheerleader student from Nanyang Polytechnic, only known as Tammy, apparently had her handphone stolen by a rival, and a 10-minute video in her handphone involving oral sex and intercourse with her boyfriend was uploaded on the Internet. 
Tammy as claimed
The video was initially spread obscurely via instant messaging, email and blogs, but eventually made it to the frontpages of national newspapers. Shortly after, the video gained international notoriety as many people curiously began searching for it online under the keyword tammy nyp, causing the scandal to make it to the first five places in Technorati's top search terms for almost two weeks.
Cases of people capitalising on the scandal have been widespread, from traffic whoring to commercialisation. Bloggers who wrote about the scandal, or even gave a mention of the abovementioned search phrases, found themselves experiencing a spike in their visitor traffic, often by thousands. The video was reportedly sold in DVD at Penang, Malaysia, and made it as far as New York City. A domain on the scandal's top search term was also squattered by someone, and other merchandise such as T-shirts was sold online.
Questions on morality have been raised and debated after the scandal broke. Critics blamed the girl for shooting the video in the first place, while others pointed the finger at the person who uploaded the video. Her boyfriend, on the other hand, has escaped the same level of the criticism thrust upon Tammy, prompting comments questioning some critics' bias. The girl, when interviewed, claimed that she had no intention for fame or being a porn star, and has since undergone counselling.
- "Living in glass houses", Mr. Miygai, Today, 22 February 2006
- "Taking over Tecnorati", Tym Blogs Too!, 24 February 2006
- "Sex video featuring student on sale", The Star Malaysia, 25 February 2006
- "blogosphere", Melissa Hwee, The Straits Times (Digital Life), 28 February 2006
- "Parents must address lax values", Jeremy Au Yong and Nur Dianah Subaimi, The Sunday Times, 26 February 2006
- "Behave and be damned?", Tan Mae Lynn, The New Paper, 27 February 2006
Ah well, late for an interesting meme - Sparky
PS - As lil Tammy is still underage - please no torrent links. Thanks.
Monday, March 13, 2006
It's been a real bitch for the PP Guru to find any gainful means of employment lately. Due to increasing credit card debt and the price of living in general, the PP Guru has had to make a few sacrifices of late. So far, the PP Guru has had to pawn half of his DVD collection to make ends meet. So jetison out the airlock all of the HBO Box sets that the PP Guru had accumulated over the past four and a half years while he worked at the WB (except for the Sopranos- that you'll have to pry out of the PP Guru's Omerta sworn cold dead hands before he''ll give up those - which by the way, what did everyone think of last night's shocking cliffhanging sixth season premiere - did Uncle June really lose his marbles or what?) and other assorted rare box set goodies.
But hopefully, there is a light over this technicolor gold potless rainbow. The PP Guru has met with some very exciting potential employers the past few weeks that he has now really been pushing his resume out the extreme vacuum of Van Nuys airspace. One such company that has taken notice of the PP Guru's delicious talents is a publication called P3 Production Update . It's a very interesting slick magazine that caters to the movie industry in terms of pre and post production, the latest reviews of camera equipment and technology, and how to scout for locations, along with a smattering of odds and ends about software and trade shows. This month's issue has a profile on Robert Redford and his reflection ofwhen he started the Sundance Film Festival, which has now been going on for ten years. Although, that picture of Redford on this month's cover will make anyone cower in horror, seeing how decrepit and craggy his face is looking these days. If the PP Guru were to be hired, he would report as a assistant to the associate publisher, Sally Kemper, while working under the auspices of publisher James Thompson - who incidentally hails from the PP Guru's home turf of Morris County, New Jersey. While the PP Guru was fighting off mafia drug runners and giving up coming actresses a spin in his White blue striped Ford Pinto on the gritty streets of Vail Road- Mr. Thompson was playing varsity football and doing wrestling matches in Lake Haptacong High. So the PP Guru is looking forward to a follow up call on Wednesday. Other potential employers that the PP Guru has interviewed up include Warner Bros Records (no longer affiliated with Warner Bros Theatrical Enterprises), Entertainment Partners, Sony Pictures, and Nestle Chocolate (so the PP Guru has a Willy Wonka fetish, so sue him).
In other news, the PP Guru is once again talking to his *ahem* film star neighbor - on a limited basis. He was volunteered to help move some stuff into her garage, and although the PP Guru got a good king size boo boo on his knee when she dropped a wood cabinet on it - what can he say? He's trapped in unemployed limbo and she's the only pleasant distraction out there to look at for the moment. The PP Guru reassures his adoring fleeting reading public that the romance has no chance of being rekindled again.
Well, at least he scored an old vacuum cleaner out of it.
Hi Ho Hi Ho - it's off job searching we go for the