Sovereign Neighbours

A video created last year during the Olympics explaining Canada to the Americans.


BP’s 8 Dumbest Mistakes

The original article is here for you to read.
But I found this interesting enough to share in its entirety.

It is now clear that the disastrous Deepwater Horizon oil spill was eminently preventable. And even since the April 20 rig fire, experts have cited many examples of how poor choices by BP have worsened an already dire situation. Here are eight particularly unfortunate errors that experts say contributed to the biggest oil spill in U.S. history:

1. BP never had a realistic plan to deal with a spill
The oil giant’s official plan for dealing with a potential Deepwater Horizon spill, and its more general plan for any spill in the Gulf, both wildly overestimated its preparedness and seriously lowballed the potential damage, according to
an AP analysis. The plan — approved by the Interior Department in 2009 — lists a dead scientist among its wildlife experts and a defunct Japanese home-shopping website among its equipment suppliers. Portions of it are written in pencil.

2. BP went with a risky type of blowout preventer — and then didn’t maintain it
blowout preventer is a giant valve that is supposed to be the last line of defense against a damaged well becoming an ecological catastrophe. But for the Deepwater Horizon project, BP chose a model — made by U.S.-based Cameron International — with well-documented design flaws. To make matters worse, according to a congressional investigation, the Deepwater’s blowout preventer was in terrible shape: It had a dead battery, debilitating hydraulic-system leaks, and “shutoff shears” that weren’t strong enough to seal the well. BP also opted not to install a voluntary $500,000 acoustic shutoff switch that could have sealed the well by remote control in the event the blowout preventer failed, reports the WSJ.

3. The well’s critical plumbing was shoddy and poorly designed
Days before the blowout, BP decided to use a type of single-wall
well casing that it knew increased the risk of gas leaks like the one that ultimately caused the deadly fire on the rig, according to The New York Times. Why? To save money. Drilling experts also say that BP’s design for the casing pipe from the sea floor to the oil reservoir has a baffling design flaw that made it essentially impossible to create effective cement seals, the primary guards against natural gas leaks.

4. BP and rig workers ignored or misread clear warning signs
As Halliburton contractors were lowering the final
cement plug down the well, rig workers conducted several tests for gas leaks — and in what an internal BP postmortem calls a “fundamental mistake” — they misinterpreted a “very large abnormality.” When they decided, wrongly, that the test results were acceptable, they replaced the heavy drilling mud in the well with lighter seawater, allowing the pockets of natural gas below to explode upward and, ultimately, set the rig ablaze.

5. A “company man” overrode explosion concerns of well cementers
BP sent home the contractor it had hired to test the cement plug inside the well 11 hours before the explosion, without ever having him conduct the
“gold standard” test on whether the seal was secure, according to the testing firm. A BP “company man” also overruled other safety concerns, including replacing the drilling mud with seawater, says another partner company. 

6. BP hasn’t fessed up about how much oil is really spilling
Experts tend to agree that, in order to prepare for containment and cleanup efforts, federal and state officials need to know how much oil they’re dealing with. But the oil company has been slippery on that point: BP said two days after the explosion that
no oil was leaking; three days later, it said 1,000 barrels per day (bpd) were leaking; three days after that, it was 5,000 bpd — even after a “confidential” company memo said that up to 14,266 bpd was gushing out. BP no longer gives estimates, but government scientists Thursday said the true leak rate is has been between 20,000 to 40,000 bpd.

7. BP’s “solutions” may be making the spill much, much worse
The company’s string of failed attempts to seal or contain the leak — top hat, top kill, junk shot —
may, in fact, be intensifying the problem. A flow-rate expert on the government panel looking into the leak rate, Dr. Ira Leifer of the University of California at Santa Barbara, says that both the top kill and containment cap strategies have damaged the well and dramatically increased the amount of oil spurting into the ocean. He suggests that, following BP’s decision to install a containment cap, the leak may now be 100,000 barrels per day.

8. BP needs a bigger boat
While the containment cap strategy may have made the overall situation worse, the company is finally collecting sizable quantities of oil from the wellhead. The problem? There’s no place to store it all,
reports the WSJ. The tanker now floating above the wellhead can process about 18,000 barrels per day, while BP has a stated goal of collecting 50,000 bpd. The company is scrambling to bring in more ships, and will begin burning off as much as possible.

My only ‘beef’ about this is that yes, BP have been asses about this disaster, baring the brunt of all vexacious commentary. 
But where have Haliburton and Transocean been in this whole fiasco?
Why aren’t they taking their share of the brunt, afterall, all 3 contributed in this disaster?
No one seems to be looking into their accountability in this whole disastruous catastrophy!

Oooooooh….. We are doing a post about both socialized healthcare AND Canada!

He said:

This is EPIC.

On one hand you have a country that has socialized health care across the board, one that I have occasionally been lambasted about due to the fact that the evil American political machine has not found the ability to implement…. And on the other hand you have one of the very persons representing the government that socialized medicine coming TO THE GODDAMNED STATES to get an operation performed. If you get a chance you should really read the comments; the vast majority of the 644 that are posted read like an open letter to the government discussing how BAD the care there was.

-Forgot to post it: this is the guy that is going for the surgery.

Seems like a smart enough guy to me.

-What other national leader has recently left his own country to seek medical care?


Oh yeah, this guy.

Also can’t forget these guys. The NEVER get treated in their own country.


What does this have to say about these “world leaders” that they can’t get proper health care in their own back yards?

-And you had better believe that KC has some personal experience with this one.

After you…….
She Said:
So Old Iron is trying to get under my skin about Canadian the health care system.
I have repeatedly said to many an American: Canada’s socialised health care system is FAR from perfect.  Don’t try to do the same.  Rather, take the best of all socialised health care and create your own. But noooooooo.  You HAAAAAAFTA pick on Canada.
Damn republican. 🙂

Look the issue in Canada right now is NOT the quality of health care you get, once you get it.  It’s the bloody looonng insane waits to actually get that care.   It’s complete bullshit that we don’t have the same level of quality health care as the US.  What the US doesn’t have are the long waiting periods to get appointments, surgeries, tests etc… mostly because, as I can see from sitting here in BC – no body can afford that level of care in the US, and therefore, there’s no waiting. (Here comes the LET’S BASH KC FOR THIS STATEMENT…)  I blame all the Canadian doctors who ran across the border, taking with them their specialty, while leaving a gaping hole in the system… all to make a buck more.  Greedy bastards.  I also blame the Canadian government for that and doing a poor ass job at finding and retaining doctors in Canada.

The Canadian health care system is technically, at first glances, ‘free’ publically funded health care.  (Free my ass… the amount of taxes I pay – nothing is free here).  What I do appreciate, however, that is greatly lacking in the US is that regardless of my status in society – I can get ‘free’ health care… and services that aren’t determined by an insurance company.  What I don’t appreciate is how long it takes to get, what appears at first glances as non-life threatening conditions – evaluated and resolved.  The problem with that theory is that… while you might not initially be dealing with a non-life threatening condition… it can become life-threatening by the time you get treatment… if its not already to late.  You are treated, unhurriedly, by the ‘next-available-appointment’ system, determined by your health care practioner… which seems to me, greatly flawed.  Some ‘experts’ disagree however by stating that “a system of immediate care can be detrimental for optimal patient outcomes due to avoidance of unnecessary or unproven surgery.”

Huh. Really?
This past fall I suffered terribly from a herniated L5S1 disc in my back, the one in your lower tailbone. Sitting, walking, laying down, standing – all extremely painful. My left leg was virtually paralyzed for several weeks, feeling nothing, nor having any ability to stand or put any weight on it without crumbling to the ground.  I lost a lot of muscle strength in my left leg (and still trying to regain it).   The painkillers they gave me destroyed my stomach.  Surgery is inevitable – I will have to have it done at some point.  The MRI was scheduled 4 full months AFTER the injury (I must admit that the CT Scan was pretty immediate). This is all because I had (still am) been limping on a fractured ankle and have been waiting for 6 months to see a foot and ankle specialist (which I just finally saw yesterday)… which for that issue, surgery is also inevitable.

Had they fixed my ankle in the first place, back when I was first diagnosed, I wouldn’t have fucked up my back and now looking at spine surgery, on top of ankle surgery.  Both totally avoidable.  But I wasn’t prioritized as a medical emergency even after hardly being able to walk on said fractured ankle and having a paralyzed left leg.

Am I happy with my health care system?
50% yes, 50% no.
For day to day care… very much so.  I am very happy with it.  No complaints.
For the more serious, where specialty care is required – no.  Not impressed at all.  In fact, I think it’s failing, miserably.
While 82% of Canadians are happy (according to a 2009 Nanos Research poll) with our system… I think that it’s based purely on immediate care… not specialty care.  And on that front, I agree.

Now what pisses me off to no end about Old Iron’s linked story.

While I know for a fact that had I had the $45,000 USD quoted to me, I could have had my herniated disc treated IMMEDIATELY in the US.  But I don’t.  I don’t know too many people who have that kind of cash just laying around collecting dust, not in this economy.

So – the Premier of Newfoundland, who is paid by the people, is seeking treatment in the US.  Who’s paying for it?  The tax payer.  Me and many others.  So, as a tax payer in this country, I am paying for his treatment in the US.  No one really knows yet what exactly is the treatment he is seeking in the US and why he couldn’t have gotten it in Ottawa at a very reputable and top notch Canadian Heart Clinic.  But I am paying for his treatment… while I can’t even afford my own… and must suffer thru more than 6 months of excrutiating pain?!

That’s just fucked up wrong.
I wouldn’t give a rats ass had it been allowable for the likes of us common folks, the minion of the country, to be able to do the same as the Premier. But my taxes don’t pay for my treatements in the US.  Only his.  And because I am taxed thru the wa-hoo, I can’t even afford my own treatments in the US.  Gotta love that irony.

I’m not here to try to convince you to get universal health care system like Canada’s.
Quite contrary.
But at the end of the day, while it might still be back-assed backwards, I will still stick with mine… and not risk my life at the hands of insurance people who get to say whether or not my treatment are covered otherwise re-mortgage your damn life… and for many – no treatment at all.  Because while it might take a while to get there, I at least know, I am gonna get there.  Regardless of my social status.
And at the end of the day, that is where my priorities lie.

Can’t We All Just Get Along???

I wonder if its mutal?  Growing up in the looming shadow of Big Brother, often being referred as the sweet but retarded cousin and recently called parasitical … no wonder Canadians are loosing trust, patience and appreciation for our Southern neighbours, the Americans.

And then this comes out.

Surprising?  Not really.
I mean most Americans know very little about their supposed retarded cousins to the North.  Ask an American who our Canadian Prime Minister is or who the very first Prime Minister of Canada was WITHOUT GOOGLING IT – most will stare at you with a blank look.  And yet, we know the answers to such important historical facts are for the US.  Ask Americans about our provinces and how many ‘states’ we have…  where our capital is or what a loonie or toonie is – and you don’t get much. Americans assume we, Canadians, are just … well… retarded, beer drinking, pot smoking, igloo living, rednecks that wear funny hats and who end every sentence with ‘eh.’

*insert blinking eyes… gullible blank looks here*

I know.  You don’t care about us.
‘Cuz we so dumb.

So does it come as a surprise that, well, we don’t really care nearly as much about you… as perhaps you once thought we did?

I am not an Anti-American.  Far from it…  but I am kinda tired of the stigma Americans attach to Canadians.  Maybe it was our fault for letting you see skits of Bob and Doug McKenzie.  Perhaps you thought it was real, rather than seeing it for the comedic farce that it was.  But we aren’t like that.  But apparently you are far more gullible than we are.

I dunno.
Can Canadian-American relations be salvaged?
Or do we really care?
Apparently not so much… LOL.

Seriously – I don’t hate you.  Many a Canuck don’t hate you.  We simply react to you Canada-hating Americans.  And many of us are kinda tired of being the butt end of all your jokes and discontentment.  That we don’t bring anything to the global table – only that Americans do.  We aren’t chop liver.

One has to wonder though… what is it?  Why the hate on?
Maybe its maple leaf envy…. It must be.
Or jealousy… afterall, we do have GREAT Canadian beer that doesn’t taste like cat piss…
Oh no no.  It must be because of our poutine.  Or our toques.

I dunno, seriously. But whatever it is, I’m sorry.