Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Irresistible Mitt's Bane, The Bully Republicans, Horsey Setters, Phyllis Schlafly Mutant Lives & Fundamentalists Indoctrinate Schoolchildren (Time To Stop Critical Thinking In Children!)

Hear the one about BP getting its business advice from Bain Capital?

It's a hoot!

And you may remember that I've long said from deadly serious evidence that they are not smart, just clever and vicious. And thus, they should be put in charge of everything!

How Bain Capital Helped BP Blow Up the Deepwater Horizon

Saturday, June 9, 2012

From a book review by Greg Palast, for FireDogLake.com on Poisoned Legacy: the Human Cost of BP's Rise to Power (St. Martin's Press) by Mike Magner.

Here's my bead on Magner's book....

I almost fell off the barstool when I read that it was Bain Capital (Mitt Romney, former CEO), that told oil giant BP it was a good idea to cut costs. The cuts would lead to death, mayhem and the destruction of the Gulf Coast (not to mention BP’s poisoning of Alaska, Africa, Central Asia and Colombia).
In 2007, after BP's criminal negligence and penny-pinching led to the explosion at the BP oil refinery on the Gulf Coast, in Texas City, Texas, the company brought in industry pooh-bah James Baker, their lawyer and former Secretary of State, to write a report. Baker is Big Oil's BFF, but in this case, he was horrified, and told BP to get its act together and spend some real money on operating safety.
BP didn't like Baker's recommendation nor did it like another report by its own consulting firm, Booz Allen Hamilton which advised the company to ...get its act together and spend money on safety.
When two respected industry voices agree that you'd better start spending and thinking while you're operating in a deadly business, a corporation's CEO has only one choice: find a consulting house of ill repute to contradict the others and tell you what you want to hear.
That's what BP's CEO Tony Hayward did. In 2008, he hired Bain Capital to say the company would be better managed if it spent less money. Bain used consulting BS terms like reducing "complexity," but it all meant the same thing: cut, cut, cut.
After all, Bain's motto is, "We like to fire people." The oil company then fired 5,000 employees in response to the Bain report.
To hell with safety.
BP read Bain's recommendations as the green light to chop funding. Of course, it was all done with Hayward's PR pronouncement that the company would now "focus like a laser on safety". (A laser, I'd note, is a thin beam surrounded by darkness.)

BP's Bain-blessed, deadly, insouciant cost-cutting was the deadly habit that federal regulators identified as a cause of the Deepwater Horizon blow-out.
That's just one of the ill-making stories in Magner's book which takes you through BP's poisonous history before, during and after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blow-out.

Much of Magner's opus centers on the Texas City refinery explosion that was a loud, flaming warning about allowing BP to play with matches and oil rigs. He begins and ends with the story of another refinery, Amoco's long-closed plant at Neodesha, Kansas.

At first, that sounds weird for a book about BP––but it's an exceptionally important tale, explaining how the industry hits and runs. Amoco closed its refinery decades ago, took off and left the toxins there. It takes years for toxins to kill, and Amoco's poisons killed Lucille Campbell's baby in 1963. And it takes more years to figure that out, which Lucille did in 1999, after BP bought Amoco.

Lucille continues to this day to fight to stop the rash of cancers and poisonings still caused by BP's dump. The oil company has done the honorable thing: it's gone after Lucille and her little township, attempting to smear, discredit and bankrupt her and the company's victims.

Lucille's fight against the petro-saur corporation is the big story of the book that you should read––in fact, that you should memorize.
Greg Palast is the author of Vultures' Picnic, centering on Palast's own undercover investigation of BP and Big Oil around the planet. www.VulturesPicnic.org.
Palast's, reports can be seen on BBC-TV and Britain’s Channel 4.
You can read Vultures' Picnic, "Chapter 1: Goldfinger," or download it, at no charge: click here.
Subscribe to Palast's Newsletter and podcasts.
Follow Palast on Facebook and Twitter.

More Republican lies needed? Not so much.

Bully Pulpit

There are things we need to remember about the current makeup of the Republican party.

There is no War on Women.

That's just stupid. Don't even say it. It's a ridiculous charge, and we should probably slap your stupid girl face for even suggesting it.

I mean, sure, they want to take away your rights to get an abortion. Big deal - that's to stop you from murdering babies! Right? I mean, yeah, they have a hard time agreeing on when life starts and all, but they're trying to prevent a murder! Because a fertilized egg is exactly like a human being! In exactly the same way that an acorn is like an oak tree! They're identical!

Oh, and pay no attention to the many attempts by the GOP to ban contraception. The two subjects aren't even related. Ignore the fact that if a woman gets pregnant, she will be forced to have the baby - she shouldn't have had sex in the first place!

(No, don't say "rape" - stop trying to change the subject!)

See, that's why the GOP supports "abstinence-only" education! Because logic tells you that if they don't have sex, they won't get pregnant. It's just logic! Even if it isn't supported by reality in any way, that doesn't make it less logical!

Also, there is no racism in America!

I mean, yeah, sure, there are some racist people, but racism is not a major problem! I mean, the Ku Klux Klan is disappearing, right? It doesn't matter that there are more hate groups out there than ever before! The Klan is disappearing! Pay attention!

Racism isn't a problem! Just because blacks get harsher sentences for committing the same crimes as white people doesn't even enter into the picture! Obviously, blacks simply commit more crimes than whites! (Let's ignore the fact that we've known that this is a lie for many years - bringing that up is just mean-spirited and rude.)

And incidentally, homophobia doesn't exist!

The Bible says that gays are bad, so that cancels out any personal feelings! (Again, we're going to ignore the fact that the Bible doesn't say that, and the fact that the New Testament says nothing whatsoever about homosexuality. We're going to pay attention to the Old Testament on these issues and no others, because we... um... because the Bible says so!)

In fact, when you actually start putting all these things together, a very distinct pattern starts to emerge.

Women can't be allowed to control their own reproduction; that decision has to be made for them. We will take that right away from them, because they aren't important enough to do that for themselves.

Black people are not allowed to feel that they're being oppressed by society. They're allowed to vote - what more do they want? They shouldn't notice when we treat them like lesser people.

Gay people? Well, they are less important than we are. Rights? Hell, they don't even get the right to not get beaten up on a regular basis. Why do you think the GOP opposes every law that might prevent it?

The definition of bullying is the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when you have more power (physical, social or economic) than the other person. The GOP wants to ensure that the "balance of power" is always tilted in favor of white heterosexual males. They want to ensure that they have someone to oppress. The platform of the modern Republican party to to ensure that they can remain bullies.

This is why Mitt Romney is the favorite. A rich white guy with a known propensity for bullying others? Whether by holding them down and cutting their hair, or firing them and shipping their jobs overseas.

I don't see how the GOP could resist him.

Love horses but detest the horsey set?

Aw come on, she's just one of the girls!

Ann Romney's Tax Deductions For Her Horse Hobby Is More Than The Average American Makes Annually.

Courtesy of The Political Carnival: *The Romneys declared a loss of $77,000 on their 2010 tax returns for the share in the care and feeding of Rafalca, which Mrs. Romney owns with Mr. Ebeling’s wife, Amy, and a family friend, Beth Meyers.* The average wage earner in America makes about $46,326.00 a year, and THEIR hobby is often to look for a second, or even third job to help support their families. But hey there's nothing wrong with being wealthy (And Mitt and Ann Romney have never been anything BUT wealthy), unless of course you are trying to convince voters that you understand... more

And since I'm just linking now . . .

Enough said!


Fearguth at Bildungblog
*Portraying 87-year-old Phyllis Schlafly as a * *paralyzed, blind, precognitive m**utant on life* *support sounds about right.*

And as for all those xtians in special schools?

Louisiana Tax Dollars Go To Fund Fundamentalist Indoctrination of School Children

*"the [Ku Klux] Klan in some areas of the country tried to be a means of reform, fighting the decline in morality and using the symbol of the cross... In some communities it achieved a certain respectability as it worked with politicians."* - from Bob Jones University Press American history textbook Courtesy of Talk 2 Action: *This 2012-2013 school year, thanks to a bill pushed through by governor Bobby Jindal, thousands of students in Louisiana will receive state voucher money, transferred from public school funding, to attend private religious schools, some of which teach from... more

Remember Parents, Only YOU Can Prevent Thinking.

I still remember my high school philosophy teacher with much fondness. Mr. Lowery was a rabble-rouser who LOVED to shake people's faith and challenge their perceptions of why they believed what they believed. My favorite days were the ones that sent some poor Bible student running for the door before they accidentally heard something which might shake the foundation of their belief system. I took his class twice. Today when I reflect on my experiences in that class I am always reminded of the words of the Buddha as written in the Kalama Sutta: - Do not believe anything on mer... more

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