Disenfranchised Citizen

Chicago, New Orleans and living a beautiful, angry life between the two…

Archive for August 7th, 2010

Of Course It’s Political…

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This isn't about me America, and it's certainly not about money, this is about the audacity of...oh, what was, hope, yeah...the audacity of hope.

Imagine a country, a place where an oil spill fouled a major body of water off five states. The ensuing damage threw thousands out of work, threatened an entire ecosystem, a culture, killed thousands of birds, fish, sensitive marshlands. The company promised to do everything to make things whole again. The government stepped in and held that company to task while spearheading the greatest mobilization of resources in history, quickly realizing that to not do so, would be to not only give up on five states but in turn, give up on the country as a whole. Every tragedy was mourned. Every success was met with praise and only emboldened further, more focused response. Information was shared openly, honestly because everyone in charge instantly realized the best minds were needed on this and open communication is the best way for those minds to come together, to think outside of the box to fix this thing.

Yeah, too bad we don’t live in such a place…oh, and by the way, did you know the midterm elections were coming up?

University of New Orleans Poli-Scientist Ed Chervenak says, “This has not been probably the best period of time for the Obama Administration. His numbers are down a bit. People haven’t really have a positive perception of his handling on the issue. So his people would just like to put this behind them and focus more on the Mid-term election.”

Yeah, ya think?

Ever since they capped the Macondo well, we’ve been treated to essentially the same story in the mainstream media, especially those media outlets not located in the Gulf Coast…The oil is gone. The dispersants used were no more harmful than dish-soap. We don’t even need skimmers anymore. British Petroleum executives and government officials sing their new tunes while the media marches in, lockstep, arm in arm…everyone grinning like a 70′s era Coca-Cola commercial.

Yeah, this is money, PR and politics.

But to say that provokes a reaction. After all, didn’t we leave the Bush-era behind? For people to maintain any political underpinnings to the response and clean-up, well that just reeks of cynicism, and we traded all that in on hope, so get with the program.

Course, then there’s this: White House sends 2012 rescue team to Florida.

This rosy scenario that’s being pushed on everyone is false. British Petroleum is trying to improve their PR and save itself some money by scaling back clean-up operations, and Obama? He’s got other political fish to fry. The better that any spill affected politician is able to make the situation appear, the more it will help in the midterm elections. Bobby Jindal’s no saint either…the stupidity of his sand berm plan, and the continued helicopter views with the networks along for the ride is just more of that same 2012 presidential…bad science, money and politics.

The story in the Gulf Coast rages on as the reports keep coming in: fish kills, dying marshlands and oil in the passesreports of oil under the barrier islands’ sand , even interviews of EPA whistle blowers who tell the truth about Corexit and it’s toxicity.

BP, Barack Obama, Bobby Jindal and too many in the mainstream press would love for this all to be over so they can move on, but no matter their political and financial aspirations…it isn’t.

You heard that, right Florida?

Read the article:

Political concerns regarding the oil spill cleanup

Have a nice day.

New Orleans Housing…Obama doesn’t live up to the hope…

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Demolition of the B.W. Cooper

From an article on Akiit.com, also posted on New Orleans Ladder:

“Tucked away on the White House Web site under a tab labeled “Additional Issues,”you can read the renewed presidential commitment: “President Obama will keep the broken promises to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. He and Vice President Biden will take steps to ensure that the federal government will never again allow such catastrophic failures in emergency planning and response to occur.”

If Obama is honoring his promise, he is also missing his target. The biggest unmet recovery issue is housing, particularly for low-income residents. It is the most glaring omission in the renewal of New Orleans city life. You can drive by blocks of blight that are either the consequence of the floods — or were like that before the storm. In the areas where the city’s “Big Four” housing projects once stood, you find, at best, partially completed (though posh) mixed-income housing developments or, at worst, gated fields of weeds.

Only 78 percent of the city’s pre-Katrina population has returned. The percentage of African Americans has dropped from 66.7 percent to 60 percent. New Orleans can now say it is less poor, but that’s because tens of thousands of low-income residents haven’t made it back to the city, and may never return. According to a report by the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center and the Brookings Institution, the number of people living below the poverty line in Orleans Parish (which encompasses the city of New Orleans) has dropped by 68,000 people.

More than $40 billion in federal disaster funding has been spent in Louisiana in the last five years. But a lot of that money has not reached residents, families and workers who have the fewest means to recover. Close to 200,000 housing units were destroyed in Louisiana by the 2005 floods, including 80,000 rental units — many subsidized for low-income workers. In New Orleans, 20 percent of damaged rental units sheltered extremely poor households. “There are many areas of unfinished business, such as meeting the demands for affordable rental housing,” the Data Center report says.”

Read the article, it’s important.

Has Obama Kept His Promise to New Orleans?

Have a nice day…

in your house, apartment, condo…

4.9 million barrels of oil…estimate too low? BP made sure we’d never know

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Must...stop...the...leak...

Turns out the government’s estimate of 4.9 million barrels of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico may not be as entirely accurate as we were all led to believe. This really should come as no surprise, especially when it is understood the estimate translates directly into fines…money, and more importantly, British Petroleum’s money.

For each barrel of oil leaked into the Gulf, BP must pay a fine of $1100 dollars per barrel if they are found to be negligent in the Deepwater Horizon Catastraphuk. If they are found to be grossly negligible, that fine raises to $4400 dollars per barrel which at the 4.1 million barrel estimate (BP claims to have removed 800,000 barrels through containment operations) puts BP’s fine anywhere between $4.5 to $17.6 billion dollars. This is in addition to the $20 billion reparation fund BP has set up to pay people who are financially damaged by the spill.

BP’s motivation from day one to was ensure nobody ever recorded an accurate estimate of the oil amounts released into the Gulf and those estimates have been flying since day one: 5000 barrels of oil, then 10,000 despite the Coast Guard and British Petroleum both privately estimating the flow at a low rate of 36,000 and as high as 60,000. So when the Flow Rate Technical Group finally established the rates that led to 4.9 milion barrels of oil, some might have expected howls of protest from the powers that be at BP.

Instead…all we got was chirp, chirp, chirp, crickets in an oil-field…little to nothing.

Regarding the potential low-ball of the official estimate, Jason Linkins in an article on Huffingtonpost cites this exchange from NPR:

BP has said repeatedly that there is no reliable way to measure the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico by looking at the oil gushing out of the pipe. But scientists say there are actually many proven techniques for doing just that. Steven Wereley, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University, analyzed videotape of the seafloor gusher using a technique called particle image velocimetry. A computer program simply tracks particles and calculates how fast they are moving. Wereley put the BP video of the gusher into his computer. He made a few simple calculations and came up with an astonishing value for the rate of the oil spill: 70,000 barrels a day — much higher than the official estimate of 5,000 barrels a day. The method is accurate to a degree of plus or minus 20 percent.

Given that uncertainty, the amount of material spewing from the pipe could range from 56,000 barrels to 84,000 barrels a day. It is important to note that it’s not all oil. The short video BP released starts out with a shot of methane, but at the end it seems to be mostly oil. “There’s potentially some fluctuation back and forth between methane and oil,” Wereley said. But assuming that the lion’s share of the material coming out of the pipe is oil, Wereley’s calculations show that the official estimates are too low.

In addition…back on May 4th, during a briefing with Rep. Ed Markey, BP officials stated that a maximum estimated flow would be 60,000 barrels a day. So, in light of the new numbers, Markey concluded, “BP’s initial worst case scenario has been the reality since day one of this disaster.” The new federal estimate concludes that at the beginning of the spill, 62,000 barrels of oil per day were spewing out of the well, with that number decreasing to 53,000 barrels just before it was capped. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the chairman of the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee, called attention in a statement Monday night to what a coincidence those figures were.

This was back in May and the idea that British Petroleum has never internally established an accurate count is ridiculous. They have been running this show from the beginning, so one wonders, when the new numbers came out and BP barely reacted, could this be because they know the numbers are higher?

What did British Petroleum just get away with, again?

Read the article…

Final Deepwater Horizon Flow Rate Estimate is Likely Too Low, Which Benefits BP

Have a nice day.

And now, a word from our sponsors…Vol. 4

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Sometimes you need a break…

Kingdom of Sorrow – Lead Into Demise

The hidden subtext?

Obviously…           Lindsey Lohan’s release from jail makes us all a bit more free

Have a nice day

Written by Drake Toulouse

August 7, 2010 at 3:00 AM

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