Time magazine, in honor of Thanksgiving dinners across the country, felt it appropriate to put its American readers at the kids table this week, giving them a cover they could handle while the rest of the world got the real news, the scary stuff…
So, in Europe, Asia and the South Pacific, their readers were greeted with a cover depicting the ongoing struggles in Egypt, demonstrated by a photo of a revolutionary, who stands in defiance of their miliary and still forming government, demanding democracy.
In America, we got a cover story about how anxiety is actually good for us…
And this is probably a good thing considering our politicians don’t listen to the people, they listen to think tanks…our police departments are now militarized and in many major cities, assaults, murders and even rape investigations are given lower priority than drug cases, which make money for police departments…oh, and our state leaders are trying to push through a settlement with the major banks over their fraudulent foreclosure practices that will do nothing to help the victims of their fraud…and again, no one in the banking industry sees the inside of a jail cell…
Our democracy is the dog and pony show for those who purchased their own rule of law.
So yeah, Time magazine would certainly not want Americans, in light of the growing unrest in this country, to be greeted by images of what some people outside this country are doing, are seeing as a solution to many of the same problems being experienced here, in America, where truth and reality exist as someone else’s version, the correctness of which can only be confirmed by big media outlets owned by those with a vested interest in keeping the vast majority of people powerless.
It’s a closed system they don’t want opened…but it is time to open it…
Get involved in your community, discuss your own versions of the truth, and your own solutions and then make your own demands…and don’t stop. What’s the worst that can happen, maybe a little less isolation and the realization that you can work with your neighbors to make your lives better?
Hell, we all might even wind up a lot more empowered…and a little less anxious.
In August, fresh oil slicks are discovered near the Macondo well site. BP denies they are there. The Coast Guard denies they are there. Bonnie Shumaker, pilot for Wings of Care flies out and takes pictures, proving the oil is there. BP then admits the oil is there as does the Coast Guard, after confirming BP admitted it too, but both say the oil is not from the Macondo reservoir. Then reporters from the Alabama Press Register take a boat out to the slicks, take samples, have it tested and sure enough, it is from the Macondo reservoir.
BP responds to this by sending an ROV down to look at the well-head. They don’t release the video, but they assure everyone still paying attention the well-head isn’t leaking, nope…not at all…it must be residual oil being released from the collapsed pipes and equipment on the seafloor. In response, Transocean sends an ROV down to check the collapsed pipes and equipment and says…nope, no oil leaking from there.
And this month, BP denies they are still checking into this oil. Then a pilot flies over, and confirms several large oil-related vessels operating at the surface above the Macondo well. BP says…oh, those ships, and yes, they then confirm they are conducting a study to track the oil from seabed to surface.
Track what from where?
In an emailed statement late Friday, a representative from BP verified that several vessels are in the vicinity of the Macondo well: “There are several vessels there participating in a study of natural oil seeps. This study has been ongoing for the past month or so. Data continues being collected and we provided an update on the natural oil seeps at the SETAC [Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry] conference in Boston this week. … The study is documenting the specific locations of these seeps and is seeking to track oil flow from seabed to surface,” BP wrote.
Natural oil seeps?
To which Stuart Smith, a New Orleans attorney replies:
If there are seeps in the area, they are not natural. I can assure you of that. BP was required to conduct a seafloor survey prior to applying for a permit to drill. If these seeps were not discovered during the survey – which they apparently weren’t – they must be related to the disaster and the heavy-handed methods used to attempt to seal the well.
To which BP quickly responds:
When we used the word “natural,” we meant it in the way that plastic surgery is meant to “naturally” erase the effects of aging, a bit of botox, a brow-lift, a cheekbone implant, a face-lift, a slight ear raise, and then the smallest of nose jobs…and voila! The seafloor is naturally leaking oil, natural as a smile from Jack Nicholson’s Joker…
Or in other words…
Robin: “Natural” is to nature, like animals are in nature and animals have fat…and this fat can be used to make soap and when we use soap, we typically are trying to remove dirt from our skin and what is skin but a part of the human body which is composed of 70% water, water like what’s found in the Gulf of Mexico…and all that Gulf water is above the seafloor…the seafloor! So what does it mean, Batman?”
Batman: “Obviously Boy Wonder, it means we need to have done what Stuart Smith suggests…a full survey of the seafloor around the Macondo Well so we will finally know what the hell is going on down there…”
Drake: “Seriously, how many times does BP get to creatively tell the truth?”
Two competing articles published a day apart have a very different take on the safety of Gulf Seafood…
In the first, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries report that not one bit, smidgen or iota of toxic chemicals has ever been found in Gulf Seafood and therefore the seafood is safe to eat, while in the second article, though first quoting the FDA’s website which reports the seafood “is as safe to eat as before the spill,” (a whole ‘nother can of worms), the article goes on to quote Louisiana fishermen and NRDC scientist Gina Solomon who seriously dispute the government’s findings.
Or…in other words, what’s your agenda?
Says the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries:
“The testing protocol, the first of its kind, analyzes water and seafood samples for pollutants found in the spilled oil and in various chemicals applied to disperse the oil. So far, no contaminants have been detected in any piece of seafood tested since the spill…”
Says the FDA:
“The seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is safe to consume for all consumers including pregnant women and children,” he asserts before adding, “The amount of seafood that somebody would have to eat would be the equivalent to sixty-three pounds of shrimp, or five pounds of oyster, or nine pounds of fin fish every day for five years before they would exceed levels to be concerned of. That’s how low the residues are in the seafood.”
Says Gina Solomon:
FDA only examined what would be safe for an adult. When they did their calculations they looked at what level of contamination would be safe for a 176 pound person. Children are known to be more vulnerable to contaminants in seafood because they eat more per pound of their bodyweight and their developing bodies are more sensitive to harmful contaminants. What’s more, in a pregnant woman, these contaminants can cross the placenta and harm the developing fetus. This increased vulnerability is well-known to science, and other agencies require that children be included in safety assessments.
Meanwhile, fishermen in the region continue to wonder aloud how the seafood can be safe when the shrimp seasons this year were so bad, with very little to catch, not to mention the state of the seafood they are catching:
“Fisherman are bringing in shrimp without any eyes … they evidently have lost their eyes and they’re still alive.”
So, who’s right?
Who do you want to believe?
Would seem to me that’s a personal decision…but if someone were to ask me, and I assume if you’re still reading this, you are…I might be more willing to bet my health on local fishermen and the NRDC, for a number of reasons:
Barack Obama will only benefit from clean bills of health when it comes to the Gulf. Many voters have placed the Gulf response at his feet and if this response is seen as ineffective, that affects him and his re-election chances. British Petroleum donates a great deal of money to Obama and are in bed with his administration as they begin to receive new leases for deep-sea drilling. The oil company would also love to see the perception of safe seafood begin to take hold so they can stop compensating fishermen. The state of Louisiana wants all to be well because it is their citizens being harmed by the bad reputation of Gulf seafood, a reputation that continues to be voiced outside of the Gulf Coast. Local fishermen, on the other hand, why the hell would they want to be quoted as saying something is wrong with the seafood if they didn’t believe it to be true? Feinberg and the GCCF have been short-changing everybody, livelihoods and whole ways of life are being impacted. Fishermen receive no benefit from ongoing bad perceptions whereas the NRDC, not beholden to the government or corporate sponsorship gains nothing from questioning the thoroughness of government testing or the claims of government agencies.
Oh…and the even worse problem?
Corporations and the United States Government have a long history of placing political perception and financial bottom lines over the health and welfare of their consumers and citizens and as a result, skepticism of their claims are automatic to almost anybody but the true believer. It is this distrust, born of their bad behavioral patterns that necessitates doubt of their claims…and it shouldn’t have had to be this way; it didn’t have to be this way…
But, it is…and who the hell wants to eat an eyeless shrimp?
That’s right, compassion… I keep hearing politicians talk about hard choices, about tough decisions and being realistic…you know, their usual line and all of it typically means only one thing…but I’m getting ahead of myself here…
Let me start over…
So, few days ago I was blocking traffic on a bridge as part of a national day of action. Good time, didn’t necessarily agree with the tactic but felt it important enough to be a part of the overall message, the anger at the destruction wrought by income inequality in this country, the idea that people, wealthy people and corporations need to pay their fair share for a society they reap untold benefit from yet seem to feel they have little to no responsibility towards, this despite all the assistance they get, be it the use of roads, protection from the police, fire, maybe even generous financial subsidies from the government. Would seem pretty simple. If society goes to shit, wealthy people and corporations are going to be affected same as anybody else…perhaps not as severe but affected nonetheless. In any case, on the bridge, good feelings of doing something active, being a part of things and making a positive choice, myself and everybody else made a choice to be on that bridge…don’t know what everybody else gave up but I gave up needed sleep, some time to myself and it turned the better part of my day into a rush job so I could get back to work: third shift all night talking to and assisting people who have reached their end of it, either with thoughts of suicide, or actual attempts…and that night, like last night, like tonight…finances are a tremendous stressor and in these hard financial times, this is precisely when many people need help the most…but then, in between my time on the bridge and going to work I read in the news about how the mayor has passed a new budget, and surprise, surprise…the talk is about “hard choices,” about an “honest budget,” and while he and the city council talk solemnly about their honesty…they lie their asses off, either that or they are absolute bastards and either way, it doesn’t speak much to any of their character.
Their “hard choices” meant they chose to close budgetary holes by attacking the needs of the poor and middle class.
These politicians chose to privatize city health clinics, thus ensuring fewer people get medical care and those that do,wait longer…all so someone else gets a profit and the city saves money. They chose to close half of the city’s mental health clinics, thus ensuring people with mental health issues either cannot get treatment or also must wait much longer. They also chose to lay off people working the 911 lines, this ensuring people who call for help, they too will wait longer…and they chose much more…higher city fees and penalties which will affect those of meager means far more than their wealthier neighbors…and by neighbors, I mean the people who live on the other side of town, far away.
These austerity measures are the politicians’ “hard choices,” for their “honest budget,” but in truth, there wasn’t anything hard about it at all. That’s just a vernacular they use at get togethers, or with the press to make themselves feel better for the damage they cause to real people.
You see, these politicians have been making these choices for forty fucking years and these politicians, and the corporations and the wealthy? They are the ones who benefit the most from these “hard choices.” Everybody else? Yeah, screwed just a little more, year after year after year…budget cut after cut after cut… The only way these choices would really be hard for the politicians who make them is if they truly cared about those who suffered as a result, but I would argue they don’t care, not really for if they did they simply wouldn’t do it. They would raise taxes, they would cut spending on subsidies for wealthy corporations, they would do a number of things that might even be the kind of hard choices to jeopardize their future electability…all in the name of compassion, and doing the right, moral thing.
Yes, compassion is the hard choice, the choice they are unwilling to make…and because of that people will suffer.
Some who are mentally ill will lose jobs, alienate family, abuse drugs and alcohol, or only receive treatment in prison where some will wind up as a result of their symptoms and what they do to alleviate them, which is especially sad as the city will pay more to lock them up then they would to provide treatment in the first place. Some people will die from physical illness or perhaps not go to the doctor until their ailments grow far worse and even more expensive, again to the city. Longer response time for 9-11 calls…again, suffering and some will die.
How many degrees of separation need to occur before these politician can sleep at night, distancing themselves emotionally from the blood on their hands as a result of their ballyhooed “honest budget?”
Hard to say, you’d have to ask the politicians themselves, but not just the politicians in my city, go across the country because these same decisions are happening nation wide and the same people are suffering as a result throughout the entire country.
Oh…but some will say we just can’t afford compassion anymore.
Yeah? Why is that?
I know…because for the past thirty plus years, politicians have been deregulating the markets, signing free trade agreements that are anything but, deregulating the banks and lowering tax rates on the wealthiest all so they can get elected, and as a result all the money that used to be used to pay for people, for compassion has been concentrated, hoarded, moved out of the country by the constituents these politicians actually do care about…the people who are not you or me and certainly not anyone who needs anymore help…They only really care about the job creators, those same job creators who aren’t creating any jobs…
And how long until this bullshit charade ends in the United States?
I don’t know…look in the mirror and ask yourself that question, because it really is up to you, up to all of us…and we’re all going to have to be patient in this fight because great change takes a long time…so if you’re game, settle in and let’s rebuild a nation that again gives a damn about the people living in it, and when this fight is over, it will be worth it…and if you have kids they’ll thank you for your trouble…everybody will except the 1% that loves it the way it is now…
Just a thought.
Oh, and on a more personal note…
You are truly pathetic and it’s easy to see how you were Obama’s chief of staff…the both of you only pay lip service to helping those who need it…especially around election time you lying sons of bitches…
I lived in Seattle back when you played your corporate lottery to see which city would give you the sweetest deal for the headquarters of your corporate offices. Yeah just the latest company at the time to play community blackmail, thus forcing “hard choices” and “honest budgets” so you can line your coffers with blood money. You were a part of Seattle’s history and once a vital part of its community and identity, and you just betrayed them for profit.
Oh, and Twitter?
The progressive company…right. You threatened San Francisco with moving your company out of the city until they gave you a huge break on payroll taxes amongst other goodies that cost the city millions, all the while the city is forced to cut back on services, cut bus routes, cut, cut, cut…but hey, as long as you greedy assholes and frauds are getting wealthier…who cares, right?
Jim Hood, Mississippi Attorney General, has finally prevailed over Ken Feinberg.
It was back in February when Hood filed a subpoena against Ken and the GCCF, requesting to see the records of claimants who had given their permission for such a review, and it was a subpoena Feinberg at first ignored, then denied and fought, arguing its validity should be heard in court, but not in a Mississippi courtroom, it should be heard in a Federal Court.
US District Judge Carlton Reeves said nahhhh; he dismissed Feinberg’s request for a stay, which would have stopped all proceedings until it was decided whether the subpoena should be included in the MDL proceedings in Barbier’s Court in New Orleans.
“Until a transfer to a (MDL) has become final, a district court’s jurisdiction over pretrial matters is in no way impeded,” Reeves said. “And when a litigant improperly removes a case, the limited jurisdiction of federal courts is impermissibly invoked, resulting in an undue delay of a state court’s rightful duty to address a case’s merits.”
So back to Hinds County Chancery Court court we go…the court where Hood filed his suit against the GCCF back in July because of Feinberg’s unwillingness to respond.
“We have maintained all along that this issue belonged in a state court since we brought it under state law, and we are obviously pleased that the judge agreed with us,” Hood said in a press release. “We would hope that the GCCF and Mr. Feinberg could just do the right thing by the law and comply with our subpoena.”
Hmm…I’m thinking uh, well, good luck with that…
“If the GCCF has nothing to hide, why have they gone to such efforts to avoid compliance?” asks Hood. “We intend to find out.”
I sure hope so, because waiting for this independent federal audit promised by US Attorney General Eric Holder is really getting to be a drag…
In Alaska, whereas they have not suffered a spill as extreme as the one the company unleashed on the Gulf Coast, they have become quite familiar with this oil company’s pattern of negligence, their complete focus on profits and the willingness to let lawyers attempt to clean up the messes left behind by their poor safety conduct. Now, federal prosecutors are asking a judge to revoke BP’s probation from a conviction in 2007, stating the company is a recidivist offender and repeatedly, negligently discharges oil into the environment.
The hearing will be on November 29th in Anchorage…where surely they will examine:
Prosecutors said in their brief that BP’s history of environmental crimes in Alaska began in February 2001 when it pleaded guilty to releasing hazardous materials at its Endicott facility on the North Slope. The company was fined $500,000, placed on probation for five years and ordered to create a nationwide environmental management program, prosecutors said.
The March 2006 spill of 200,000 gallons of crude (in Prudhoe Bay) was caused by corrosion, and BP’s leak detection system failed to notice it, prosecutors said. The company’s guilty plea to a misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act in 2007 resulted in three years of probation, a $12 million fine, and restitution and community service payments totaling $8 million to the state of Alaska and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, BP attorneys said.
Prosecutors contend BP violated the conditions of its probation by allowing the 2009 spill from an 18-inch pipe moving oil, water and gas from drill pads to BP’s Lisburne Processing Center. That spill, prosecutors said, leaked 13,500 gallons of oil onto tundra and wetlands. “This rupture was the result of a predictable and preventable freezing of produced water within the pipeline that caused the pipe to over-pressurize and burst,” prosecutors said. It was eerily similar to the 2006 spill, prosecutors alleged, because BP ignored alarms that warned of the pipe’s eventual rupture and leak. The 2009 spill also followed a similar pipe freezing and rupture in 2001, they said, and BP failed to put in place preventative measures that their own experts recommended.
Prosecutors said the spill site directly abuts Prudhoe Bay and the damaged wetlands are covered by the Clean Water Act. They also contend the spill criminally violated state pollution laws because of BP negligence.
It should be noted for those in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, it is expressly this type of pattern that BP recently requested be rendered inadmissible in the trial for the events concerning the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, asking Judge Barbier to exclude not only these convictions, but the convictions surrounding the explosion of their oil refinery in Texas City which killed several workers…because such facts are, you know, prejudicial and shows British Petroleum’s irresponsible and unsafe actions to be well, irresponsible and unsafe.
Barbier has yet to give his decision on the matter, but along with hoping BP’s probation is revoked, here’s hoping Judge Barbier recognizes it’s time for this company, finally, to really pay for their horrendous actions, for their record to be laid bare in the court and for them to pay not only through the nose, but every other available orifice, two times.
But you know, I fear even that won’t be enough.
Eleven men died on the Deepwater Horizon. Fifteen died and over 170 were injured in the explosion of BP’s refinery at Texas City.
Some court of law, somewhere, some time needs to send some of these bastards to prison: two explosions – twenty-six people dead.
Jail does need to happen. It’s the only way BP’s behaviors will change, simply because if these pricks can afford to throw out $20 billion, (how much of which are U.S. government subsidies?) to pay damages for the consequences of their behavior, how else will they understand the criminality of their actions until the people of the Gulf Coast and Alaska can finally line-up on visiting day and take their turns spitting in the face of those convicted for the actions leading to the death of their loved ones and the destruction of their environment and livelihoods?
Because right now, the only thing BP’s getting for their behavior is more money.
So for the jail thing, I pick Bob and Tony.
I know, a no-brainer, but what can I say? I like to keep it simple, and I’m thinking rather than continue making millions of dollars in salary, these two begin to pay for their negligence, and for their lies and their pattern of violence against the people of the United States, and environment we live in.
Last summer, when the Macondo Well was still flowing, the US government allowed British Petroleum to keep the press out of the immediate, oil impacted areas. A number of reasons were given at the time…encroachment on private property, safety of cleanup workers, or keeping press boats from running over boom meant to contain the oil.
These reasons were all bullshit, of course.
Hell, at first they even tried to deny they were attempting a media blackout, but what it all comes down to is a private company, with government ascent was allowed to restrict the rights of the press, thus negating much information and imagery that we, as American citizens have a right to read and witness, to be informed about.
And this media blackout is not an anomaly, it is part of a larger overall pattern, evidenced again by the eviction from Zucotti Park of the Occupy Wall Street protestors. When the NYPD entered the park, they also attempted to keep the media out, keep them from documenting the raid:
At a news conference after the park was cleared Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg defended the police behavior, saying that the media was kept away “to prevent a situation from getting worse and to protect members of the press.”
Some members of the media said they wereshoved by the police. As the police approached the park they did not distinguish between protesters and members of the press, said Lindsey Christ, a reporter for NY1, a local cable news channel. “Those 20 minutes were some of the scariest of my life,” she said. Ms. Christ said that police officers took a New York Post reporter standing near her and “threw him in a choke-hold.”
Journalists were arrested, pepper-sprayed and beaten by the police, to keep them safe, protected, out of harms way…again, bullshit. It was an obvious attempt to hide what the police were doing, and how they were doing it. Much like British Petroleum tried to keep images of the oil spill from the mainstream press, or limit them however they could to better enable BP to construct the narrative, Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD do a similar thing, keeping images from the press knowing full well that more images of the NYPD beating down or pepper spraying protestors would provoke greater sympathy and hamstring their ability to say whatever they like about how the events occurred.
Facts and law are not important…in fact, laws are mere guidelines, something for lawyers to argue about later…
Laws are something for the people to follow, not for those who see themselves in charge…
Press freedom and the rights entailed therein are handed down, controlled from on high – not from the courts, but by larger business interests, politicians and their police departments…
Yes, the great wealth divide in this country is not just about money and who has it, it’s also about who must follow the rule of law, who gets to be heard and by whom and who gets to be on the blunt end of the ongoing militarization of this country’s police departments.
From British Petroleum to Michael Bloomberg to one more police beat down of Berkeley college students…at what point do the laws of this country protect us and our freedoms, instead of protecting those who move so quickly to take these freedoms away in order to protect themselves?
Ed. Note…well, that statement was certainly painful, especially to Mike Smith…
The Atlanta Falcons…
Really hate them, how can you not?
Their quarterback has a nickname and the look of some asshole in Top Gun, one of the worst freaking films ever made, and I say that thinking Val Kilmer is pretty cool overall…little bloated these days, but there was a time I’d watch Top Secret, Real Genius, Thunderheart, oh and he was pretty bad ass as Doc Holiday in Tombstone even though that movie sucked in general…and Wonderland, how do you not like his turn as the man-whore John Holmes in that exceptional film.
That’s what I’m saying…you see, I know Val Kilmer and Matt Ryan is no Val Kilmer…
“Matty Ice” is the guy they hire when Val’s unavailable, too busy kicking around New Orleans or hanging out at his ranch in what, New Mexico? Ryan’s the guy at the fraternity who pushes the hazing to the point someone gets seriously hurt, beaten to death with paddles or hanging from a noose made out of police tape, grinning as he scoffs at the police captain who hasn’t figured out yet the jocks run this MTV town…he’s Ted McGinley, that asshole quarterback Stan Gable in Revenge of the Nerds, or Roger Phillips, in past-its-prime Happy Days. Face it, Matt Ryan is one shitty actor and one overrated quarterback.
He ain’t got a damned thing on Mr. Kilmer.
I don’t even care how much Ryan does for charity…making me watch that horrid Falcons on the school bus commercial for what, over a year? Good lord…and because the team and the city of Atlanta supports this guy, screw Atlanta too…hate them all, no offense meant of course, but if forced to make a wager, I’d say Val would most certainly want nothing to do with Ryan or the entire Falcons team…
Oh, and after the game, everybody go rent Heat, another bad-ass Kilmer flick with Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino. Great way to decompress after the contest, a heist flick with top line actors, the kind of people Val knows personally, but Matty Ice can only see in darkened theaters because people with artistic merit clearly see how he is less than human and certainly not worth anyone’s time…
So, for the city of New Orleans and Val Kilmer, Go Saints! Make this victory a painful statement.
In two developments this past week, British Petroleum officially welcomed the Coast Guard and the Federal Government to their party that history forgot. Behind the ivy covered walls, steel doors and security guards of BP headquarters, Bob Dudley toasted Coast Guard Captain, Julia Heim and BOEMRE head, Michael Bromwich, celebrating a rousing relapse of maritime irresponsibility and forgetfulness. Toast completed, Bob turned on the tequila fountain, shaped like a deepwater oil rig, and they all took an extra shot for luck…
Whereupon a few Gulf Coast journalists decided to go and wreck the party by writing a few editorials to ask Julia and Michael…um, what the hell, remember the whole oil spill, corporate irresponsibility thing?
Julia and Michael, you remember all that, right?
Well, apparently Julia, the Coast Guard Captain, doesn’t remember shit because while the Coast Guard signed an agreement with BP, transitioning the clean-up portion of the response towards one of coastal recovery, she seemed to forget a few very important details. Not only does the agreement allow BP to pretty much weasel their way out of any more clean-up and its accompanying costs, she forgot to specify any long-term monitoring of the Gulf Coast. Captain Hein also left out any part where BP continues to pay for aerial monitoring of the Macondo well site.
Yeah, bang-up job, Ms. Hein.
So, all this means that if/when oil comes into the Louisiana wetlands and marshes it will now be up to the public to discover and report it. Then, the state will have to prove it is actually BP oil, which as the oil degrades will become increasingly impossible to do, which in turn will leave the state on the line to pay for the clean-up. When Tropical Storm Lee hit on Labor Day and dumped tar mats, tar balls and other assorted tar products…BP’s clean-up was very slow and when the next storm hits, it will be even slower, or not come at all…thanks to the Coast Guard and their bullshit agreement. Not to mention all those oil slicks they kept discovering this fall by the Macondo Well. Remember? BP and the Coast Guard denied the slicks even existed, until they were photographed by a non-profit group. Then they denied the slicks were in the vicinity of the Macondo site, until it was shown they were, and finally, they then denied the oil actually came from the Macondo well until journalists had tests run, proving them wrong for a third time.
Now, any more monitoring is on the state dime.
Garret Graves, chairman of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority said of the Coast Guard’s relationship with BP, it’s “like they’re a victim of Stockholm Syndrome,” referring to a phenomenon in which hostages become sympathetic to their captors, but I disagree. The Coast Guard never seemed like a hostage at all, more of a willing participant or co-conspirator in this agreement, one which Louisiana representatives refused to sign, a fact Julia and the Coast Guard simply ignored, going ahead with the agreement regardless. No, that ain’t a hostage, that’s someone with an open invite to party with Bob.
Which brings us to the other party guest, Mr. Michael Bromwich…
This individual currently runs what was formerly the MMS, that lovely regulatory agency that was doing blow and hookers with the oil company reps they were supposed to be monitoring. No wonder the Deepwater Horizon blew up, hard to see a design flaw in the specs when the design prints are on a table covered with empty beer cans. Now, as we all know, the MMS is the BOEMRE, a much more catchy acronym that stands for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, and with this new moniker came a brand new seriousness about safety, or so we’ve all been told, but then they go and release to the public a draft called the “Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement.” The point of the BOEMRE’S OCSOGPEIS is to analyze and weigh the “environmental implications of continued drilling in federal waters between 2012 and 2017,” also, “the economic analysis associated with the new impact statement projects the potential for future spills and the damage they might cause based on all “spills from 1964-2010 excluding the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon (DWH) event.””
So, when this agency estimated environmental impacts and possibilities of a spill by analyzing data from the past, they decided to leave out the economic and environmental impacts of the biggest oil spill in United States history?
Why, because it screwed up the curve?
Believe it or not…that’s precisely why. From the report and accompanying article, “If a more recent period is chosen (1990-2009)” for the risk analysis. For instance, using only the 19 years prior to the BP spill in the environmental analysis, the report concludes, this would further “decrease the anticipated environmental costs” of continued drilling.”
You see, if we just kind of leave out the whole millions of barrels spilled, millions of gallons of Corexit dispersant dumped, eleven people dead thing from last summer, well then, deepwater drilling not only looks more economically beneficial but damnit, wouldn’t you know it is environmentally sound, too? Really, no fooling.
Course another take on it could be: “By omitting the nation’s largest environmental disaster from its calculation of the environmental costs of drilling, BOEMRE continues to bury its head in the sand and pretend that the Deepwater Horizon accident never happened,” Catherine Wannamaker, with the Southern Environmental Law Center, said in an emailed statement. Wannamaker said that even low-probability events such as the Deepwater Horizon blowout must be included when looking at the economic and environmental costs of offshore drilling, “BOEMRE tries to move forward without truly accounting for these risks and costs,” Wannamaker said. “This is not a responsible course of action for a supposedly reformed agency.”
How much you wanna bet Ms. Wannamaker never gets invited to any of Bob’s parties.
Well, she wouldn’t be the only one because it sure seems these get togethers are not meant for you and I, especially if we have a vested interest in not only ensuring BOEMRE fulfills its responsibilities by monitoring the oil companies and all of these wells, but also that British Petroleum is not allowed to walk away from their responsibilities in the Gulf as they seem hell-bent on doing, with the complicity of BOEMRE, the Coast Guard and the Obama Administration.
Remember back when the oil spill first happened? Congress was truly up in arms and they promised to regulate this, enforce that, do whatever they had to do to ensure a preventable tragedy such as the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon could never happen again…so they declared, promised, wrote out in blood, but when push came to shove, Congress passed nothing. Well, the Coast Guard’s bullshit agreement and BOEMRES skewed numbers are just more of this same pattern. Both agencies like to talk about the unlikelihood of such catastrophic events. Yeah, that’s great and all, this ongoing unlikelihood…but it sure as hell don’t keep the coast safe and it didn’t keep those eleven men on the Deepwater Horizon alive.
What the Gulf Coast and this entire country needs, right now, is for the government to finally step up and proceed with true regulation and actual enforcement of industry, because if there’s one thing we know, they sure as hell aren’t going to do it themselves.
The priest has been to the hospital, performed last rites and was then thrown through the glass doors and spit upon by current British Petroleum CEO Bob Dudley, who whipped around, his black duster flapping lazily in the fall breeze, before he strode back into the hospital. Word is he was heading towards the pediatric ward to see if he could dash the hopes of any sick children, pull out their IV’s, blow his nose on their lunch trays.
And in the process, BP’s entire public relations department had a panic attack…
Why? What happened? How has this come to be?
Well, British Petroleum is trying to screw over participants of the VoO program still, while shrugging their shoulders at non-payment of workers and businesses who lost money as a result of the drilling moratorium. Oh, and didn’t you know they’ve signed an agreement with their trusty sidekick, the Coast Guard to agree the clean-up is for all intent and purposes over and when it comes to the trial beginning in February, those two big ‘ol reports the government did? They want those reports excluded from the trial, as well as any other litigation brought against BP in the past…
Making things right, for British Petroleum…but for the Gulf Coast?
When it comes to the VoO Program, 500 more fishermen have alleged in court they signed a contract with BP which states they would be paid a daily wage regardless of whether their boats are used until the contract is complete, which only occurs upon final decontamination of their boats. Turns out however, BP really scrimped on the decontamination supplies so many fishermen are still waiting for this, with unusable, oily boats. And of course, British Petroleum doesn’t want to actually pay these fishermen for waiting around for BP to complete their terms of the contract, so they actually sent out a new “transitional” contract, hoping some people would actually sign it and, you guessed it, the decontamination language is gone. Oh, and they sent this contract out in large part to Vietnamese fishermen who can’t read English.
Huh, fraud much?
So, on to that agreement with the Coast Guard; it’s a government plan to end most of BP’s responsibility for pretty much any more clean-up of any more oil that might contaminate beaches in the future. Not entirely, however…BP can still be on the hook for further cleaning, but first it must be proven the oil washing up is actually from the Macondo Well, which conveniently enough the company concedes, will be ever harder to prove as the oil continues to degrade. Also in this agreement, it is not specified who, if anybody, will be involved in long-term monitoring of the Gulf, regardless the lessons learned from continued problems with the major spills in Mexico and Alaska, problems which are continuing twenty years later. It should be noted Louisiana officials refused to approve of this Coast Guard plan, but BP and the Coast Guard had a novel solution for this potential problem…they have decided to just ignore Louisiana so therefore, no more problem.
Next, we come to that drilling moratorium. Bob and British Petroleum feel this moratorium is not their fault so they should not be responsible for any loss of income people or businesses may have suffered over those five months. You see, this was a solid case of arbitrariness at its best…that Obama character just loves to shut down drilling for no apparent reason. In fact, word is next week he’s going to pull the plug on every nuclear plant in the country, shutting them all down for six weeks because, well…because he’s the president and he can. Seriously though, of course the worst environmental disaster in the history of the United States had nothing to do with that moratorium. That kind of cause and effect is more crap logic from business hating Democrats so this is why Bob feels BP should be totally off the hook on this one. To prove it, he plans to find the nearest bar where he will not only explain this in greater detail, but he’ll also show any fellow patron how natural gas fracking has nothing to do with earthquakes in Oklahoma…all while he does whiskey shot after shot until he’s sober.
Finally this week, BP has decided this whole trial thing in February just ain’t right, as is. British Petroleum went to a lot of trouble to buy so many scientists and science departments in Universities across the Gulf Coast, and thus being bought, unable to testify against them at trial. So it kind of flies in the face of that to have those two huge investigations by unbought government scientists and the resulting reports used against them at trial. Fair’s fair, right right? Hell, the Coast Guard report even said British Petroleum was ultimately responsible for the whole deal. This would be why they have asked for said reports to be excluded, oh and also excluded should be any other litigation brought against BP in the past, especially from places like Texas City and Prudhoe Bay. Bob would appear to feel this is certainly understandable as the last thing BP needs is their long record of mishaps be used to show a long pattern of mishaps.
And the BP public relations department has officially passed out.
Really, who could blame them? They’ve been forced to eat this whole “Making things right” slogan for well over a year and it’s hard, really hard when your company CEO appears only concerned with making things right for the company shareholders, focused for the most part on the legal technicality and what he is legally obligated to do, instead of just sucking it up and doing the right thing, period.
I mean, hey, don’t get me wrong…the $20 billion escrow fund was a good thing in spirit…but Feinberg’s handling of it is a whole nother story and it almost seems at times this escrow fund’s main goal was to provide PR cover for BP to try and screw everybody and everything else they possibly could.
It’s kind of like the mediocre student whose content to just pass the course, rather than excel…yeah, Bob’s getting a D-.
So, to the Gulf Coast?
It would appear more and more, that unless you got the law, you are now officially on your own…not that you haven’t (really) been this way for a long enough time already…let’s just say BP finally ripped their mask clean off as it would appear they’ve decided moral bankruptcy and greed is back in style…