Monday, April 25, 2011

"Old White Men" (Now These Are Terror Attacks) They Lied About BP Oil Blitz (Corexit Explodes!) & About Fukushima (Where Are "They" Going to Hide?)

(Sitting and Thinking on a Bench at Price Park Library - Greensboro, NC)
Thinking less and less of Obama? I am sad about this too. But we've got to organize and get the word out! In self defense, at least! (I wish this tape were "doctored.")
"Huge oil" content "within the tissues of the seafood." - Wilma Subra Environmental Scientist/Study Author "Chemicals" from the sprayed-on seafood "showing up in people's blood samples."
Bet you didn't know that. Seafood lover!
"What BP has done to the Gulf amounts to a carpet bombing with dangerous chemicals."
Information is power, folks. Use it.
Impact of Gulf Spill Persists By Robert Redford 23 April 11 In New Film, Residents of the Gulf Say Impact of Spill Persists In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon blowout last year, BP repeatedly misled the public about how much oil was spewing into the Gulf of Mexico. Now, as we mark the one-year anniversary of the blowout, company executives would like us to believe that the spill has been cleaned up and the Gulf of Mexico is back to normal.

The people who actually live along the Gulf Coast tell us something different. In a powerful new documentary airing on Saturday on Planet Green called 'Stories From the Gulf,' residents make it clear they are still suffering the aftermath of the largest oil spill in American history. The movie is based on interviews produced by NRDC and Bridge the Gulf and recorded by Story Corps. I had the opportunity to provide the opening narration for the film, but most of the voices come right out of the Gulf. Finally, the people whose voices were so often drowned out by BP's multimillion dollar PR machine have a chance to speak for themselves. They describe the struggle to feed their families after fishing grounds were closed and tourism dried up. Captain Darla Rooks talks about the persistent rashes, headaches, and other illnesses she's experienced after coming into contact with oil and dispersants. Rosina Philippe laments the dead porpoises and star fish she still sees washing ashore. Eric Tiser says, "I've been in the bayou my whole life, and ain't never seen so much dead stuff in the last six months." These Gulf Coast residents also worry what the spill will do to the future health of marine life. "My community is a fishing community," says Wendy Billiot. "And we're concerned about the long-reaching effects that the dispersants are going to have on the seafood. Are the fish going to continue to follow their life cycles? Are they going to grow past the larval stage? How much of all of these natural resources are going to be affected long-term? I think it's a lot of question marks." Uncertainty weighs heavily on most of the people in the film. "I never thought at the time that it would impact us the way it has," says Ryan Lambert. "After 30 years of building the largest guide business on the Gulf Coast, here we are down 90-something percent, we're going to have to rebrand and put the perception that everything is fine. But how do you do that if you don't know that it's fine?" Listening to people describe how much the bayou means to them, you realize how painful it must be not to know if their way of life can survive. But to know that the damage was wrought not by the caprice of a hurricane but by the greed and negligence of oil companies is just plain infuriating. Numerous investigations, including President Obama's National Commission on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, found that while BP, Halliburton, and Transocean made many reckless decisions before the blowout, the entire oil and gas industry lacks a culture of safety and risk assessment. The federal government, in turn, lacks the power and capacity to oversee offshore drilling. The oil industry, the government, and Congress must take steps to strengthen the safeguards that protect workers and the Gulf environment. America, meanwhile, must reduce the addiction to oil that drives companies into ever riskier conditions, like the deepwater. But even as we put these changes in place, we must not disregard the people on the frontlines of this spill. We must not minimize their struggle or the sense of loss and sorrow that persists to this day. Instead, we should listen to what they have to say. Don't miss 'Stories From the Gulf': tune in Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on Planet Green. Find Planet Green on your TV. Stories From the Gulf (official trailer):

And speaking of the "newsworthy" Don (the type of "news" I make it a point never to waste time on here), my friend over at the Regressive Antidote has a few choice (very!) words (emphasis marks added - Ed.):
From his perspective, of course, this is the height of cynicism. Trump no more cares about minor provisions of the Constitution than he does about fighting poverty. But what does it say about the tens of millions of Americans who like what they’re hearing from this guy, and what does it say about this country that such a segment of our society is so powerful, and probably about to get a lot more so? It says that this is an empire in steep decline. It says that some of us – particularly those who are older, whiter and maler than the general population – liked it better the way things used to be. And it says that that group is willing to cling on to any seeming handrail they can grasp – even those that look suspiciously like the drowning bodies of other peopleas the earth trembles below their feet. These are the same people for whom racism and sexism have traditionally served a similar function, that of distraction, that of dividing and conquering a potentially angry underclass. These are the folks for whom providing the perverse psychological satisfaction of a false sense of social superiority is more than adequate to facilitate their own looting. Of course, the great irony here is that they remain among the most privileged of Americans, yet they are by far and away the most likely to bitch about their condition. Nobody is better off as a group than older white males, and nobody foams at the mouth more about how screwed up the country is. Nobody gets more assistance from government programs than those who receive Social Security and Medicare benefits, and nobody races faster to the front of the barricades to rant about the evils of socialism. Nobody receives more in transfers of wealth than deeply red states like Alaska and those of the Bible Belt, and nobody complains more about having government on their backs. Enough, already. Y’know, as somebody who pays for that evil and oppressive government, I’d be quite happy to make an exception to my rigid socialist tendencies and volunteer to remove my tax dollars from off of their backs (not to mention their very distended fronts), and stick that money back into my pocket. Hey, how about this for a new motto?: “From those according to their ability, to those according to their needs, skip those according to their ingratitude”. . . . People are dumber now, certainly about politics. That’s the reason why the notion of “President Reagan” was a laugh-out-loud joke in 1975 but a source of reverence in 2005. That’s why George W. Bush is regarded as a basically benign-but-not-so-brilliant president, as opposed to a walking crime against humanity. That’s why people continue to vote for politicians who will assist them in their own looting, and who have successfully carried out the greatest transfer of wealth in all of human history, while pretending to serve the public interest instead. And that’s the reason why a Donald Trump kind of buffoon could actually lead in the polls for the presidential nomination of one of the country’s two major parties. It isn’t so much a core civics education that is missing, though reading poll data on the public’s comprehension of the most basic facts regarding their supposedly revered system of governance will positively singe your eyeballs. (What, senators have six-year terms? No! The Bill of Rights applies to us? Get outta here!) It’s more of a kind of street smarts that’s missing. More of a sense that people don’t any longer have the ability to recognize their enemiesincluding, all too often, themselves. . . . To choose just the most obvious example, we live in a world in which unregulated private sector actors, greedily pursuing their boundlessly rapacious instincts, have crashed an entire global economy around our – not their – heads, then turned to governments in order to bail them out.

And even though the whole notion of the capitalist system they so vehemently espouse is rooted in the idea of risk, they in fact came to believe retrospectively that they should take none, receiving in many cases full coverage for their obligations from the governments they so often and so vociferously deride, when their bets went south. Keep that in mind as I ask you to ponder when was the last time your heard anyone in American politics say, “Businesses should be run more like the government!”? Wouldn’t that make a whole lot of sense, given the very recent history just chronicled? I mean who screwed up royally and who didn’t? Who got bailed out and who did the bailing?

Oh by the way, in case you forgot over the weekend: IT'S SERIOUS! Paul Farrell (an economist of note) at Marketwatch warns us that it's a very serious class war. And we are losing (emphasis marks added - Ed.).
Reaganomics, “Shock Doctrine” and disaster capitalism all define the same ideology that’s been driving the GOP for over a generation, an ideology gaining even more power now as they accelerate their battle plans, increasing efforts to gain total power over our government, economy and culture, a strategy that will ultimately destroy everything. Klein’s recent interview with Maddow exposed the GOP’s charade: Now we know with certainty that the budget crises in the 50 states were “created on Wall Street then moved to Main Street, deepened by the policy decisions to bail out banks instead of bailing out homeowners, instead of bailing out workers. And that means your tax base collapses.” We know Wall Street greed was the fuel igniting America’s current economic problems. And now, unfortunately, average Americans have “to pay for the crisis again. First, with a bailout. And now, people are paying with it again, with budget cuts.” And underneath all is the GOP’s free-market Reaganomics ideology. Wake up America, you’re losing the new Civil War to a rich class that’s lost its moral compass. Bottom line, Klein warns: “What this fight is really about is not unions versus taxpayers … It’s a fight about who’s going to pay for the crisis that was created by the wealthiest elite in this country.” Actually, it’s even worse. Because while we averted total collapse, it was only delayed, destined to return soon and finally overwhelm America. Remember Uncle Warren’s battle cry: “The rich class is winning.”
From the Tom Dispatch we learn anew (CIA taxpayer-funded activities, anyone?) (emphasis marks added - Ed.):
Imperial powers hedge their bets. The most striking recent example we have of this is in Egypt. While the Pentagon was pouring money into the Egyptian military (approximately $40 billion since 1979), it turns out - thank you, WikiLeaks! - that the U.S. government was shuttling far smaller amounts (millions, not billions) to various “American government-financed organizations” loosely connected with Congress or with the Democratic and Republican parties. Some of that money, in turn, was being invested in “democracy-building campaigns” aimed at teaching young Egyptian activists how to organize a movement against their autocratic ruler, how to make the best use of social networking sites, and so on. In other words, in Egypt (and elsewhere in the Middle East), Washington was funding both the autocrats and the young activists who opposed them and who, in Egypt, would be crucial players in the Tahrir Square movement that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak. As one of those activists told the New York Times, “While we appreciated the training we received through the NGOs sponsored by the U.S. government, and it did help us in our struggles, we are also aware that the same government also trained the state security investigative service, which was responsible for the harassment and jailing of many of us.” Meanwhile, thanks to other State Department documents WikiLeaks recently released, we know that, in at least one Middle Eastern country where Washington did not enthusiastically support the local autocrat - Syria - the State Department was channeling significant sums of money into “secretly financ[ing] . . . political opposition groups and related projects, including a satellite TV channel that beams anti-government programming into the country.“ It was, in other words, preparing a new elite for a “regime change” future. Think of it as a kind of grim irony that a significant part of the Egyptian military’s high command was in northern Virginia, attending an annual U.S.-Egypt Military Cooperation Committee meeting in late January, when all hell broke loose in Tahrir Square, thanks to those Egyptian activists, some trained with Washington’s money. The creation or support of elites has, as Alfred McCoy and Brett Reilly write, always been crucial to running global empires. And yet client elites are one of those subjects seldom given much thought, even though Great Britain, for instance, ruled its Indian Raj with striking, if oppressive, efficiency for endless decades with surprisingly few personnel from England. How else, after all, could a global empire continue? And yet, as a great power’s strength and influence wane, those bets - like the one Washington placed in Egypt -- begin to go awry, from an imperial point of view.
Ya like the way they've been the real candidates of "change?"
Our "Brother Joe" Tony Sutton Editor, Joe Bageant was my brother. Not in a literal sense, of course: we came from different countries, although with similar rural backgrounds, he from Virginia, I from Lincolnshire in England. Nor do I have any need for a surrogate brother, having five real ones, including a twin. Joe was my intellectual brother: we cared about the same things, shared the same, socialist dreams and loved to articulate the thoughts that most men keep to themselves. The rhetoric did, occasionally, drift into the fanciful, such as the time he confided his plans for the future to my wife Jools and I over a well-liquored dinner at his home in Winchester, Virginia. At the time Joe was splitting his life between there and Belize, but the latter haven was becoming too small for him. “I’m off to India,” he said, “to talk to the wise and holy men in the mountains and on the plains. And, in a few years, when I die, I’m going to be cremated in a blazing barge on the Ganges.” Me? I’d be happy for my remains to be packed in a refuse bag and dumped on a wooded slope back home in England, I replied.
Me too. ______________________


Tom Harper said...

Are you sure this is all true, about BP's spilled oil seeping into the tissues of Gulf marine life? If it was true, we would have heard all about it on the eleven o'clock news :)

Suzan said...

Spilled oil?

I've been arguing that it's just one more very bad explosion/screwup for BP and all its servicers.

And lack of news reporting? Er, yeah!

My guess is because the lock is on the news about this, Tom.

Lots of $$$$$ involved in not having the facts be known.

Like the drug funding of the wars, etc., under North, et al.

Robert Redford and the others I've seen cited seemed to be pretty good sources to me.

Let me know if you've seen anything disputing these facts.