Archive for July, 2010

Of journeys and ecocide

www.bordellopianist.blogspot.com
www.bordellopianist.blogspot.com
By Steve Klinger

We logged over 6, this web
000 miles this summer, side effects
most of it on the road, but also 2,000 nautical miles, sailing from Seattle to Glacier Bay and back again on an Inside Passage cruise. For me it was a trip both forward and backward in time, seeing people and places entirely new to me, but also reacquainting with friends and relatives, including two classmates I hadn’t seen in about 40 years.

One of the new acquaintances was my grandson, Henry, who was less than a month old when I looked into his wide and innocent eyes in Denver. Thinking back on it, I wondered whether, when he is old enough to follow the itinerary we took, there will still be glaciers calving in Alaska. Maybe so, but probably a lot deeper in the fjords.

As for the wildlife we saw – gray and humpback whales, sea otters and bald eagles in Alaska, elk and bison in Yellowstone – I’m betting the number and variety of such creatures will be greatly diminished in another generation, and that’s a best-case scenario.

The health of the oceans, vast and impervious to human negligence though they seem, has been dealt a new blow by BP’s disaster in the Gulf, a soiling of ecosystems whose true scope may not be known for years. Although the gushing oil has been stopped for now, unproven and untested chemical dispersants have scattered the evidence and left less predictable toxins in their place, and some scientists believe a buildup of methane gas in the area of the damaged well is more worrisome than the crude. To the fish and sea turtles and birds, it matters not the enemy who vanquished them.

In Sitka, Ketchikan, Juneau and then in Victoria, B.C. we saw remarkably beautiful creations of First Peoples, from the totem poles of the Tlingit to intricate, bright-hued rugs, wood carvings and articles of clothing (Tlingit, Inuit) that describe an utterly different relationship between these “primitive” civilizations and their sustaining planet than that of our own culture, whose main byproduct befouled Prince William Sound in 1989 and now the more southerly waters where the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank.

On our trip we used the marvelous gadgetry of 21st century America, including laptop computers and iPhones, to find lodgings, and restaurants and stay in touch with that part of the world we’d left behind, and we sailed in a modern floating city 11 stories high that contained a world unto itself, including a casino, numerous lounges and about four restaurants to feed our various addictions. We experienced the endangered wonders of just a corner of our planet as only modern travelers can, yet it was hard to forget that the same technology that put the world at our doorstep is also damaging the interconnected web of life systems on a vast scale, at a relentless pace.

We covered the great expanse of the Rockies and the Intermountain West in a few days’ time, thanks to the internal combustion engine and the fossil fuels that still power it, and we spent a month on the road, trying to find cuisine less poisonous than the standard restaurant fare of endless refined carbohydrates. We met a number of fellow travelers, mostly on the ship, who shared our frustration at the poorly concealed racism and mean-spirited rightwing backlash to the few diluted initiatives coming from the Party of Change. We met a lot of ordinary folks who obviously are having to make do with less than they used to have, but still have not connected the dots to see that belt-tightening won’t avoid the end-of-empire tsunami that will be washing their way in a year or ten or a hundred.

We gaped at the magnificence of Yosemite Falls as the bountiful snowmelt cascaded uproariously to the valley floor and Half Dome looked on impassively in shifting light and shadow. We smiled at the hordes with their digital cameras who had to position their loved ones in front of every natural wonder to prove for posterity and less fortunate relatives that they had established their own indelible bond of proximity with each landmark.

We stopped to read the signs that described the Native American settlements overrun by the white intruders who had the power to seize the beautiful territory they coveted, and how they attacked and banished these First Peoples (Paiute, Miwok, Chauchila, etc.) to inferior lands and bestowed their vices and diseases upon them, not to mention their places of worship, never seeing the irony of having unceremoniously evicted the native inhabitants from their own places of worship which were the lands they had settled.

When we finally made it home it was with wonder, weariness and some relief to discover our own home, still standing in the verdant shade of a hot July afternoon, a comforting oasis after leagues of open sea, after half a continent of forest and mountain, mesa and desert. Still standing but not removed from the contradictions of the world and the grand irony of human resourcefulness and genius, which has made nearly all things possible except the most important one: that harmonious, mindful oneness we lost in conquering those who lived it, lost in extracting minerals for economic gain, lost in disturbing the sacred rhythms of the greater order from which we arose – and now are losing ourselves in the process. For our collective journey of conquest and self-interest is rapidly taking us to that scenic overlook in the evolutionary road where the sign ahead can’t be missed: Dead End.

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The American Way of Death

By Steve Klinger

One month after the oil well explosion and environmental catastrophe in the Gulf , cardiologist symptoms the new Tea Party hero, ask Rand Paul, fresh off his foray into rewriting the Civil Rights Act, thinks the Obama administration is being too tough on BP. After all, accidents happen, he said on Good Morning America today. Here’s the full quote:

“What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.’ I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business,” he said. “I’ve heard nothing from BP about not paying for the spill. And I think it’s part of this sort of blame game society in the sense that it’s always got to be someone’s fault instead of the fact that sometimes accidents happen.”

It sure is “un-American” to blame, let alone regulate, private enterprise, especially if it’s willing to pay for its screw-ups. Trouble is, there may be hell to pay, not just Louisiana fishermen. The latest very cautious and reluctant estimates are that some 70,000 barrels of oil (plus additional gas) are hemorrhaging every day into the Gulf ecosystem, not the 5,000 BP recently claimed. Some estimates run as high as 95,000. The oil is accumulating in huge underwater pools; some is entering the “Loop” current and could reach the Gulf Stream, there to be carried up the East Coast and perhaps eventually to Europe. Worse yet, scientists say the methane gas shows signs of choking off oxygen supplies and could create oceanic dead zones. You don’t need to be a marine biologist to figure out the potential consequences of major disruptions to the marine food chain.

Of course, not everyone is a player in our “blame game society”: Britt Hume on Fox News wants to know, “Oil slicks, what oil slicks?”  And that’s just the part of this crowd that isn’t fixated on denying global warming.

Meanwhile, the oil and gas continue to gush, the hurricane season is around the corner, and a nation that has sent probes to Mars and put men on the moon waits for an oil company with a history of incompetence and environmental abuse to figure out how to cap a broken pipe.

The Obama administration, though the problem did not begin under its watch, is not doing a fraction of what it could to halt this disaster-in-the-making.  Why is the White House allowing BP to conduct the cleanup while the Department of Energy and Congress “investigate”? Not only should the company pay for it and should its executives face criminal charges, they should be operating under strict federal direction because Obama should have declared a national state of emergency and enlisted the full resources of our military and scientific communities to send submarines and robotic devices to the ocean floor to stop the leaks.

I understand the scientific and mechanical challenges of such an enterprise – but isn’t that exactly the problem? Private enterprise (the oil industry) seems to be the only entity with the expertise and technology to conduct operations a mile under water, and obviously these guys are better at drilling holes than capping them – an excellent reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to create situations that they can’t fix.

If this massive and continuing spill doesn’t prove catastrophic in the long term, who’s to say the next one won’t? Would the Feds even tell us if the current spill does threaten the ecology of the entire planet? Wouldn’t want to create a panic, now, would we?

Call me an alarmist, but I think this event needs to be treated just like an asteroid heading for Earth: it needs a total mobilization of resources, assuming that the worst is possible. Maybe such discussions are being held behind closed doors. The world needs to know, and America needs action. It’s time for Washington to quit posturing about getting tough with BP and address the urgent situation in the Gulf like the emergency it is. And it’s time for Rand Paul to shut up.
By Steve Klinger

One month after the oil well explosion and environmental catastrophe in the Gulf , web the new Tea Party hero, visit this Rand Paul, fresh off his foray into rewriting the Civil Rights Act, thinks the Obama administration is being too tough on BP. After all, accidents happen, he said on Good Morning America today. Here’s the full quote:

“What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.’ I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business,” he said. “I’ve heard nothing from BP about not paying for the spill. And I think it’s part of this sort of blame game society in the sense that it’s always got to be someone’s fault instead of the fact that sometimes accidents happen.”

It sure is “un-American” to blame, let alone regulate, private enterprise, especially if it’s willing to pay for its screw-ups. Trouble is, there may be hell to pay, not just Louisiana fishermen. The latest very cautious and reluctant estimates are that some 70,000 barrels of oil (plus additional gas) are hemorrhaging every day into the Gulf ecosystem, not the 5,000 BP described. Some estimates run as high as 95,000. The oil is accumulating in huge underwater pools; some is entering the “Loop” current and could reach the Gulf Stream, there to be carried up the East Coast and perhaps eventually to Europe. Worse yet, scientists say the methane gas shows signs of choking off oxygen supplies and could create oceanic dead zones. You don’t need to be a marine biologist to figure out the potential consequences of major disruptions to the marine food chain.

Of course, not everyone is a player in our “blame game society”: Britt Hume on Fox News wants to know, “Oil slicks, what oil slicks?”  And that’s just the part of this crowd that isn’t fixated on denying global warming.

Meanwhile, the oil and gas continue to gush, the hurricane season is around the corner, and a nation that has sent probes to Mars and put men on the moon waits for an oil company with a history of incompetence and environmental abuse to figure out how to cap a broken pipe.

The Obama administration, though the problem did not begin under its watch, is not doing a fraction of what it could to halt this disaster-in-the-making.  Why is the White House allowing BP to conduct the cleanup while the Department of Energy and Congress “investigate”? Not only should the company pay for it and should its executives face criminal charges, they should be operating under strict federal direction because Obama should have declared a national state of emergency and enlisted the full resources of our military and scientific communities to send submarines and robotic devices to the ocean floor to stop the leaks.

I understand the scientific and mechanical challenges of such an enterprise – but isn’t that exactly the problem? Private enterprise (the oil industry) seems to be the only entity with the expertise and technology to conduct operations a mile under water, and obviously these guys are better at drilling holes than capping them – an excellent reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to create situations that they (and perhaps no one) can fix.

If this massive and continuing spill doesn’t prove catastrophic in the long term, who’s to say the next one won’t? Would the Feds even tell us if the current spill does threaten the ecology of the entire planet? Wouldn’t want to create a panic, now, would we?

Call me an alarmist but I think this event needs to be treated just like an asteroid heading for Earth: it needs a total mobilization of resources, assuming that the worst is possible. Maybe such discussions are being held behind closed doors. The world needs to know, and America needs action. It’s time for Washington to quit posturing about getting tough with BP and address the urgent situation in the Gulf like the emergency it is. And it’s time for Rand Paul to shut up.
By Steve Klinger

One month after the oil well explosion and environmental catastrophe in the Gulf , anaemia the new Tea Party hero, cost Rand Paul, sildenafil fresh off his foray into rewriting the Civil Rights Act, thinks the Obama administration is being too tough on BP. After all, accidents happen, he said on Good Morning America today. Here’s the full quote:

“What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.’ I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business,” he said. “I’ve heard nothing from BP about not paying for the spill. And I think it’s part of this sort of blame game society in the sense that it’s always got to be someone’s fault instead of the fact that sometimes accidents happen.”

It sure is “un-American” to blame, let alone regulate, private enterprise, especially if it’s willing to pay for its screw-ups. Trouble is, there may be hell to pay, not just Louisiana fishermen. The latest very cautious and reluctant estimates are that some 70,000 barrels of oil (plus additional gas) are hemorrhaging every day into the Gulf ecosystem, not the 5,000 BP recently claimed. Some estimates run as high as 95,000. The oil is accumulating in huge underwater pools; some is entering the “Loop” current and could reach the Gulf Stream, there to be carried up the East Coast and perhaps eventually to Europe. Worse yet, scientists say the methane gas shows signs of choking off oxygen supplies and could create oceanic dead zones. You don’t need to be a marine biologist to figure out the potential consequences of major disruptions to the marine food chain.

Of course, not everyone is a player in our “blame game society”: Britt Hume on Fox News wants to know, “Oil slicks, what oil slicks?”  And that’s just the part of this crowd that isn’t fixated on denying global warming.

Meanwhile, the oil and gas continue to gush, the hurricane season is around the corner, and a nation that has sent probes to Mars and put men on the moon waits for an oil company with a history of incompetence and environmental abuse to figure out how to cap a broken pipe.

The Obama administration, though the problem did not begin under its watch, is not doing a fraction of what it could to halt this disaster-in-the-making.  Why is the White House allowing BP to conduct the cleanup while the Department of Energy and Congress “investigate”? Not only should the company pay for it and should its executives face criminal charges, they should be operating under strict federal direction because Obama should have declared a national state of emergency and enlisted the full resources of our military and scientific communities to send submarines and robotic devices to the ocean floor to stop the leaks.

I understand the scientific and mechanical challenges of such an enterprise – but isn’t that exactly the problem? Private enterprise (the oil industry) seems to be the only entity with the expertise and technology to conduct operations a mile under water, and obviously these guys are better at drilling holes than capping them – an excellent reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to create situations that they can’t fix.

If this massive and continuing spill doesn’t prove catastrophic in the long term, who’s to say the next one won’t? Would the Feds even tell us if the current spill does threaten the ecology of the entire planet? Wouldn’t want to create a panic, now, would we?

Call me an alarmist but I think this event needs to be treated just like an asteroid heading for Earth: it needs a total mobilization of resources, assuming that the worst is possible. Maybe such discussions are being held behind closed doors. The world needs to know, and America needs action. It’s time for Washington to quit posturing about getting tough with BP and address the urgent situation in the Gulf like the emergency it is. And it’s time for Rand Paul to shut up.
By Steve Klinger

One month after the oil well explosion and environmental catastrophe in the Gulf , diabetes and pregnancy the new Tea Party hero, Rand Paul, fresh off his foray into rewriting the Civil Rights Act, thinks the Obama administration is being too tough on BP. After all, accidents happen, he said on Good Morning America today. Here’s the full quote:

“What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.’ I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business,” he said. “I’ve heard nothing from BP about not paying for the spill. And I think it’s part of this sort of blame game society in the sense that it’s always got to be someone’s fault instead of the fact that sometimes accidents happen.”

It sure is “un-American” to blame, let alone regulate, private enterprise, especially if it’s willing to pay for its screw-ups. Trouble is, there may be hell to pay, not just Louisiana fishermen. The latest very cautious and reluctant estimates are that some 70,000 barrels of oil (plus additional gas) are hemorrhaging every day into the Gulf ecosystem, not the 5,000 BP described. Some estimates run as high as 95,000. The oil is accumulating in huge underwater pools; some is entering the “Loop” current and could reach the Gulf Stream, there to be carried up the East Coast and perhaps eventually to Europe. Worse yet, scientists say the methane gas shows signs of choking off oxygen supplies and could create oceanic dead zones. You don’t need to be a marine biologist to figure out the potential consequences of major disruptions to the marine food chain.

Of course, not everyone is a player in our “blame game society”: Britt Hume on Fox News wants to know, “Oil slicks, what oil slicks?”  And that’s just the part of this crowd that isn’t fixated on denying global warming.

Meanwhile, the oil and gas continue to gush, the hurricane season is around the corner, and a nation that has sent probes to Mars and put men on the moon waits for an oil company with a history of incompetence and environmental abuse to figure out how to cap a broken pipe.

The Obama administration, though the problem did not begin under its watch, is not doing a fraction of what it could to halt this disaster-in-the-making.  Why is the White House allowing BP to conduct the cleanup while the Department of Energy and Congress “investigate”? Not only should the company pay for it and should its executives face criminal charges, they should be operating under strict federal direction because Obama should have declared a national state of emergency and enlisted the full resources of our military and scientific communities to send submarines and robotic devices to the ocean floor to stop the leaks.

I understand the scientific and mechanical challenges of such an enterprise – but isn’t that exactly the problem? Private enterprise (the oil industry) seems to be the only entity with the expertise and technology to conduct operations a mile under water, and obviously these guys are better at drilling holes than capping them – an excellent reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to create situations that they (and perhaps no one) can fix.

If this massive and continuing spill doesn’t prove catastrophic in the long term, who’s to say the next one won’t? Would the Feds even tell us if the current spill does threaten the ecology of the entire planet? Wouldn’t want to create a panic, now, would we?

Call me an alarmist but I think this event needs to be treated just like an asteroid heading for Earth: it needs a total mobilization of resources, assuming that the worst is possible. Maybe such discussions are being held behind closed doors. The world needs to know, and America needs action. It’s time for Washington to quit posturing about getting tough with BP and address the urgent situation in the Gulf like the emergency it is. And it’s time for Rand Paul to shut up.
(The following is a revised version of an article posted a few days ago.)


This is the bitter reality of the American present, anemia a period in which big business has cemented an unholy alliance with big government against the interests of ordinary Americans, pills who, of course, are the great majority of Americans. The great majority of Americans no longer matter.

–Bob Herbert

By Steve Klinger

One month after the Deepwater Horizon explosion and environmental catastrophe in the Gulf, the new Tea Party hero, Rand Paul, fresh off his foray into rewriting the Civil Rights Act, thinks the Obama administration is being too tough on BP. After all, accidents happen, he said on Good Morning America last week after his upset win in the Kentucky GOP senatorial primary. Here’s the full quote:

“What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.’ I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business,” he said. “I’ve heard nothing from BP about not paying for the spill. And I think it’s part of this sort of blame game society in the sense that it’s always got to be someone’s fault instead of the fact that sometimes accidents happen.”

It sure is “un-American” to blame, let alone regulate, private enterprise, especially if it’s willing to pay for its screw-ups. Trouble is, there may be hell to pay, not just Louisiana fishermen. The latest very cautious and reluctant estimates are that some 70,000 barrels of oil (plus additional gas) are hemorrhaging every day into the Gulf ecosystem, not the 5,000 BP had the audacity to claim. Some estimates run as high as 100,000. The oil is accumulating in huge underwater pools; some is entering the “loop current” and oceanographers say it could reach the Gulf Stream, there to be carried up the East Coast and perhaps eventually to Europe. Worse yet, scientists fear the methane gas shows signs of choking off oxygen supplies and could create oceanic dead zones. You don’t need to be a marine biologist to figure out the potential consequences of major disruptions to the aquatic food chain.

Let’s hope that Paul, an ophthalmologist and Lasik surgeon, is better at correcting myopia in his patients than detecting it in his political vision. Then again, as Bill Maher noted, does anyone even want an eye surgeon who says casually that “accidents happen”?

Meanwhile, the oil and gas continue to gush, the hurricane season is around the corner, and a nation that has sent probes to Mars and put men on the moon waits for an oil company with a history of incompetence and environmental abuse to figure out how to cap a broken pipe. Their main answer so far has been to saturate the area of the spill with chemical dispersants that add new poisons to the lethal cocktail churning in our coastal waters.

And no, Rand, the Obama administration is not putting its boot heel, or even a bare toe to BP’s throat. Those whose compassion is for the oil giants may fret, but we might better ask why the White House is allowing BP to conduct the cleanup while the Department of Energy “investigates”? Is Obama afraid that if he takes charge of the cleanup he will own Deepwater Horizon? Or is it more that the 11 who died and the countless thousands whose way of life has been ruined are just collateral damage in the new world order?

Not only should BP pay for all reasonable claims and should its executives face criminal charges, they should be operating under strict federal direction because Obama should have declared a national state of emergency and enlisted the full resources of our military and scientific communities to send submarines and robotic devices to the ocean floor to stop the leaks.

I acknowledge the scientific and mechanical challenges of such an enterprise – but isn’t that exactly the problem? Private enterprise (the oil industry) seems to be the only entity with the expertise and technology (and of course the capital) to conduct operations a mile under water. Obviously these guys are better at drilling holes than capping them – an excellent reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to engineer blowouts that their “blowout protectors” can’t protect us from. Yet in a world where corporations rule they not only get to rape the planet but wind up in charge of the “cleanup.” And they get to do it on their own timetable.

If this massive and continuing spill doesn’t prove globally catastrophic, who’s to say the next one won’t? Would the Feds even tell us if the current spill does threaten the ecology of the entire planet? Wouldn’t want to create a panic, now, would we?

Call me an alarmist, but I think this event needs to be treated just like an asteroid heading for Earth: it needs a total mobilization of resources, assuming that the worst is possible. Maybe such discussions are being held behind closed doors. If they are, you can bet the powers that be are more concerned about Big Oil than the oystermen and the sea fowl.

The world needs to know the scope of this catastrophe, and America needs action now to protect the silenced majority we have become. It’s time for Washington to quit posturing about getting tough with corporate criminals and address the urgent situation in the Gulf like the emergency it is. And it’s time for Rand Paul to shut up.
(The following is a revised version of an article posted a few days ago.)


This is the bitter reality of the American present, for sale a period in which big business has cemented an unholy alliance with big government against the interests of ordinary Americans, pills who, of course, are the great majority of Americans. The great majority of Americans no longer matter.

–Bob Herbert

By Steve Klinger

One month after the Deepwater Horizon explosion and environmental catastrophe in the Gulf, the new Tea Party hero, Rand Paul, fresh off his foray into rewriting the Civil Rights Act, thinks the Obama administration is being too tough on BP. After all, accidents happen, he said on Good Morning America last week after his upset win in the Kentucky GOP senatorial primary. Here’s the full quote:

“What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.’ I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business,” he said. “I’ve heard nothing from BP about not paying for the spill. And I think it’s part of this sort of blame game society in the sense that it’s always got to be someone’s fault instead of the fact that sometimes accidents happen.”

It sure is “un-American” to blame, let alone regulate, private enterprise, especially if it’s willing to pay for its screw-ups. Trouble is, there may be hell to pay, not just Louisiana fishermen. The latest very cautious and reluctant estimates are that some 70,000 barrels of oil (plus additional gas) are hemorrhaging every day into the Gulf ecosystem, not the 5,000 BP had the audacity to claim. Some estimates run as high as 100,000. The oil is accumulating in huge underwater pools; some is entering the “loop current” and oceanographers say it could reach the Gulf Stream, there to be carried up the East Coast and perhaps eventually to Europe. Worse yet, scientists fear the methane gas shows signs of choking off oxygen supplies and could create oceanic dead zones. You don’t need to be a marine biologist to figure out the potential consequences of major disruptions to the aquatic food chain.

Let’s hope that Paul, an ophthalmologist and Lasik surgeon, is better at correcting myopia in his patients than detecting it in his political vision. Then again, as Bill Maher noted, does anyone even want an eye surgeon who says casually that “accidents happen”?

Meanwhile, the oil and gas continue to gush, the hurricane season is around the corner, and a nation that has sent probes to Mars and put men on the moon waits for an oil company with a history of incompetence and environmental abuse to figure out how to cap a broken pipe. Their main answer so far has been to saturate the area of the spill with chemical dispersants that add new poisons to the lethal cocktail churning in our coastal waters.

And no, Rand, the Obama administration is not putting its boot heel, or even a bare toe to BP’s throat. Those whose compassion is for the oil giants may fret, but we might better ask why the White House is allowing BP to conduct the cleanup while the Department of Energy “investigates”? Is Obama afraid that if he takes charge of the cleanup he will own Deepwater Horizon? Or is it more that the 11 who died and the countless thousands whose way of life has been ruined are just collateral damage in the new world order?

Not only should BP pay for all reasonable claims and should its executives face criminal charges, they should be operating under strict federal direction because Obama should have declared a national state of emergency and enlisted the full resources of our military and scientific communities to send submarines and robotic devices to the ocean floor to stop the leaks.

I acknowledge the scientific and mechanical challenges of such an enterprise – but isn’t that exactly the problem? Private enterprise (the oil industry) seems to be the only entity with the expertise and technology (and of course the capital) to conduct operations a mile under water. Obviously these guys are better at drilling holes than capping them – an excellent reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to engineer blowouts that their “blowout protectors” can’t protect us from. Yet in a world where corporations rule they not only get to rape the planet but wind up in charge of the “cleanup.” And they get to do it on their own timetable.

If this massive and continuing spill doesn’t prove globally catastrophic, who’s to say the next one won’t? Would the Feds even tell us if the current spill does threaten the ecology of the entire planet? Wouldn’t want to create a panic, now, would we?

Call me an alarmist, but I think this event needs to be treated just like an asteroid heading for Earth: it needs a total mobilization of resources, assuming that the worst is possible. Maybe such discussions are being held behind closed doors. If they are, you can bet the powers that be are more concerned about Big Oil than the oystermen and the sea fowl.

The world needs to know the scope of this catastrophe, and America needs action now to protect the silenced majority we have become. It’s time for Washington to quit posturing about getting tough with corporate criminals and address the urgent situation in the Gulf like the emergency it is. And it’s time for Rand Paul to shut up.
By Thomas Wark

In today’s economic climate, page a corporate CEO can be a good CEO only by using his enormous personal power and the unlimited power of his corporation to work against the best interests of the nation and its people.
And now that the Supreme Court has removed the last vestiges of control on corporate spending to influence government, the end of participatory democracy in the United States is inevitable.

Endless war is not in the best interests of a nation and its people.  It kills our sons and daughters, drains our treasury and profits only the defense industry corporations and their allies in the military industrial complex. And yet Congress, soon to be entirely owned by corporations, mindlessly continues to vote funding for unwinnable wars that were illegal in the first place.  The few members of Congress who led opposition to the funding will almost certainly lose their offices in November.

An overpriced and under-achieving health care system is not in the best interests of the nation or its people.  And yet even a feeble attempt at reform met such vigorous and effective corporate resistance that even many of the people who needed it most wound up buying into the propaganda slogans like socialized medicine, killing grandma and forfeiting personal medical decisions to government bureaucrats.

American unemployment is at its worst depths since the Great Depression, but Wall Street is hiring and its salaries are rising.   The very same Wall Street that brought on the the economic collapse of 2008-2009 and received trillions in tax funds to save it from  itself.  The same Wall Street that rewarded its CEOs and top executives with bonus dollars to match the number of jobless Americans walking the streets in poverty. Corporate America succeeded in taking virtually all of the teeth out of the financial reform bill, just as it succeeded in emasculating the clean energy legislation.

Polluted air, waters befouled by mountaintop removal mining, unrestricted drilling for gas and oil are not in the best interests of the nation or its people.  And yet when a drunken captain ran the Exxon  Valdes aground in a pristine bay in Alaska, the corporation eventually escaped with less than a slap on the wrist.  A federal court ordered the company to pay $287 million in actual damages and $5 billion in punitive damages.  Successful appeals by Exxon-Mobil halved the punitive damages and a successful appeal to the Supreme Court knocked off another 80 per cent: judicial corporate welfare for a company that posted the highest profits in United States history and today earns more than $1,300 per second in profits. Last year Exxon Mobil paid not one thin dime to the IRS in United States income taxes.

Much has been made — by corporate-owned politicians —  of the $20 billion compensation fund President Obama persuaded BP to post for the oil drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that replaced Exxon Valdes as the most heinous man-inflicted environmental disaster in history.  “Extortion,” one called it.  The $20 billion itself is a pittance against the likely final cost of the disaster, just as the original $5 billion has proved to be in the case of Prince William Sound.  But the corporate-owned courts and politicians have already begun pecking away at government’s cautious response to the BP crimes.  A federal judge who owns huge shares of oil stocks overturned the government’s temporary ban on new drilling.  When BP’s legal team has had time to study and employ the Exxon-Mobil strategy, the $20 billion will go “poof.”

Cancer  is not in the best interests of a nation and its people.  When science provided overwhelming evidence that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, Phillip-Morris and other big tobacco corporations decided to attack the science.  They hired pseudo-science frauds and trained science whores to produce “studies” that challenged the real science.

When real science demonstrated that human activity, principally the discharge of carbons into the atmosphere, has been changing the climate of the planet in a way that threatens its living things, Exxon Mobil and other giants in  the extraction of fossil energy took a page from the tobacco playbook.  Thery hired whores and frauds — even, in fact, some of the same ones who were employed by Big Tobacco — to contest the real science.  Thus has it taken the teeth out of any legislative efforts to solve the climate problem.

As in the case of health care and tobacco, among the citizenry the same poor fools who bought the corporate propaganda have taken up the anti-climate science crusade.  They’ll be the first to blame the government when living things that are important to them begin to die.

As will all those “good” CEOs whose companies, like Exxon Mobil and the great banks, are too big to fail.

Read more by Thomas Wark at www.bordellopianist.blogspot.com
By Thomas Wark

In today’s economic climate, visit web a corporate CEO can be a good CEO only by using his enormous personal power and the unlimited power of his corporation to work against the best interests of the nation and its people.
And now that the Supreme Court has removed the last vestiges of control on corporate spending to influence government, viagra the end of participatory democracy in the United States is inevitable.

Endless war is not in the best interests of a nation and its people.  It kills our sons and daughters, patient drains our treasury and profits only the defense industry corporations and their allies in the military industrial complex. And yet Congress, soon to be entirely owned by corporations, mindlessly continues to vote funding for unwinnable wars that were illegal in the first place.  The few members of Congress who led opposition to the funding will almost certainly lose their offices in November.

An overpriced and under-achieving health care system is not in the best interests of the nation or its people.  And yet even a feeble attempt at reform met such vigorous and effective corporate resistance that even many of the people who needed it most wound up buying into the propaganda slogans like socialized medicine, killing grandma and forfeiting personal medical decisions to government bureaucrats.

American unemployment is at its worst depths since the Great Depression, but Wall Street is hiring and its salaries are rising.   The very same Wall Street that brought on the the economic collapse of 2008-2009 and received trillions in tax funds to save it from  itself.  The same Wall Street that rewarded its CEOs and top executives with bonus dollars to match the number of jobless Americans walking the streets in poverty. Corporate America succeeded in taking virtually all of the teeth out of the financial reform bill, just as it succeeded in emasculating the clean energy legislation.

Polluted air, waters befouled by mountaintop removal mining, unrestricted drilling for gas and oil are not in the best interests of the nation or its people.  And yet when a drunken captain ran the Exxon  Valdes aground in a pristine bay in Alaska, the corporation eventually escaped with less than a slap on the wrist.  A federal court ordered the company to pay $287 million in actual damages and $5 billion in punitive damages.  Successful appeals by Exxon-Mobil halved the punitive damages and a successful appeal to the Supreme Court knocked off another 80 per cent: judicial corporate welfare for a company that posted the highest profits in United States history and today earns more than $1,300 per second in profits. Last year Exxon Mobil paid not one thin dime to the IRS in United States income taxes.

Much has been made — by corporate-owned politicians —  of the $20 billion compensation fund President Obama persuaded BP to post for the oil drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that replaced Exxon Valdes as the most heinous man-inflicted environmental disaster in history.  “Extortion,” one called it.  The $20 billion itself is a pittance against the likely final cost of the disaster, just as the original $5 billion has proved to be in the case of Prince William Sound.  But the corporate-owned courts and politicians have already begun pecking away at government’s cautious response to the BP crimes.  A federal judge who owns huge shares of oil stocks overturned the government’s temporary ban on new drilling.  When BP’s legal team has had time to study and employ the Exxon-Mobil strategy, the $20 billion will go “poof.”

Cancer  is not in the best interests of a nation and its people.  When science provided overwhelming evidence that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, Phillip-Morris and other big tobacco corporations decided to attack the science.  They hired pseudo-science frauds and trained science whores to produce “studies” that challenged the real science.

When real science demonstrated that human activity, principally the discharge of carbons into the atmosphere, has been changing the climate of the planet in a way that threatens its living things, Exxon Mobil and other giants in  the extraction of fossil energy took a page from the tobacco playbook.  Thery hired whores and frauds — even, in fact, some of the same ones who were employed by Big Tobacco — to contest the real science.  Thus has it taken the teeth out of any legislative efforts to solve the climate problem.

As in the case of health care and tobacco, among the citizenry the same poor fools who bought the corporate propaganda have taken up the anti-climate science crusade.  They’ll be the first to blame the government when living things that are important to them begin to die.

As will all those “good” CEOs whose companies, like Exxon Mobil and the great banks, are too big to fail.

Read more by Thomas Wark at www.bordellopianist.blogspot.com
Let us now praise “good” CEOs

By Thomas Wark

In today’s economic climate, discount a corporate CEO can be a good CEO only by using his enormous personal power and the unlimited power of his corporation to work against the best interests of the nation and its people.
And now that the Supreme Court has removed the last vestiges of control on corporate spending to influence government, the end of participatory democracy in the United States is inevitable.

Endless war is not in the best interests of a nation and its people.  It kills our sons and daughters, drains our treasury and profits only the defense industry corporations and their allies in the military industrial complex. And yet Congress, soon to be entirely owned by corporations, mindlessly continues to vote funding for unwinnable wars that were illegal in the first place.  The few members of Congress who led opposition to the funding will almost certainly lose their offices in November.

An overpriced and under-achieving health care system is not in the best interests of the nation or its people.  And yet even a feeble attempt at reform met such vigorous and effective corporate resistance that even many of the people who needed it most wound up buying into the propaganda slogans like socialized medicine, killing grandma and forfeiting personal medical decisions to government bureaucrats.

American unemployment is at its worst depths since the Great Depression, but Wall Street is hiring and its salaries are rising.   The very same Wall Street that brought on the the economic collapse of 2008-2009 and received trillions in tax funds to save it from  itself.  The same Wall Street that rewarded its CEOs and top executives with bonus dollars to match the number of jobless Americans walking the streets in poverty. Corporate America succeeded in taking virtually all of the teeth out of the financial reform bill, just as it succeeded in emasculating the clean energy legislation.

Polluted air, waters befouled by mountaintop removal mining, unrestricted drilling for gas and oil are not in the best interests of the nation or its people.  And yet when a drunken captain ran the Exxon  Valdes aground in a pristine bay in Alaska, the corporation eventually escaped with less than a slap on the wrist.  A federal court ordered the company to pay $287 million in actual damages and $5 billion in punitive damages.  Successful appeals by Exxon-Mobil halved the punitive damages and a successful appeal to the Supreme Court knocked off another 80 per cent: judicial corporate welfare for a company that posted the highest profits in United States history and today earns more than $1,300 per second in profits. Last year Exxon Mobil paid not one thin dime to the IRS in United States income taxes.

Much has been made — by corporate-owned politicians —  of the $20 billion compensation fund President Obama persuaded BP to post for the oil drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that replaced Exxon Valdes as the most heinous man-inflicted environmental disaster in history.  “Extortion,” one called it.  The $20 billion itself is a pittance against the likely final cost of the disaster, just as the original $5 billion has proved to be in the case of Prince William Sound.  But the corporate-owned courts and politicians have already begun pecking away at government’s cautious response to the BP crimes.  A federal judge who owns huge shares of oil stocks overturned the government’s temporary ban on new drilling.  When BP’s legal team has had time to study and employ the Exxon-Mobil strategy, the $20 billion will go “poof.”

Cancer  is not in the best interests of a nation and its people.  When science provided overwhelming evidence that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, Phillip-Morris and other big tobacco corporations decided to attack the science.  They hired pseudo-science frauds and trained science whores to produce “studies” that challenged the real science.

When real science demonstrated that human activity, principally the discharge of carbons into the atmosphere, has been changing the climate of the planet in a way that threatens its living things, Exxon Mobil and other giants in  the extraction of fossil energy took a page from the tobacco playbook.  Thery hired whores and frauds — even, in fact, some of the same ones who were employed by Big Tobacco — to contest the real science.  Thus has it taken the teeth out of any legislative efforts to solve the climate problem.

As in the case of health care and tobacco, among the citizenry the same poor fools who bought the corporate propaganda have taken up the anti-climate science crusade.  They’ll be the first to blame the government when living things that are important to them begin to die.

As will all those “good” CEOs whose companies, like Exxon Mobil and the great banks, are too big to fail.

Read more by Thomas Wark at www.bordellopianist.blogspot.com
By Thomas Wark

In today’s economic climate, diagnosis a corporate CEO can be a good CEO only by using his enormous personal power and the unlimited power of his corporation to work against the best interests of the nation and its people.
And now that the Supreme Court has removed the last vestiges of control on corporate spending to influence government, the end of participatory democracy in the United States is inevitable.

Endless war is not in the best interests of a nation and its people.  It kills our sons and daughters, drains our treasury and profits only the defense industry corporations and their allies in the military industrial complex. And yet Congress, soon to be entirely owned by corporations, mindlessly continues to vote funding for unwinnable wars that were illegal in the first place.  The few members of Congress who led opposition to the funding will almost certainly lose their offices in November.

An overpriced and under-achieving health care system is not in the best interests of the nation or its people.  And yet even a feeble attempt at reform met such vigorous and effective corporate resistance that even many of the people who needed it most wound up buying into the propaganda slogans like socialized medicine, killing grandma and forfeiting personal medical decisions to government bureaucrats.

American unemployment is at its worst depths since the Great Depression, but Wall Street is hiring and its salaries are rising.   The very same Wall Street that brought on the the economic collapse of 2008-2009 and received trillions in tax funds to save it from  itself.  The same Wall Street that rewarded its CEOs and top executives with bonus dollars to match the number of jobless Americans walking the streets in poverty. Corporate America succeeded in taking virtually all of the teeth out of the financial reform bill, just as it succeeded in emasculating the clean energy legislation.

Polluted air, waters befouled by mountaintop removal mining, unrestricted drilling for gas and oil are not in the best interests of the nation or its people.  And yet when a drunken captain ran the Exxon  Valdes aground in a pristine bay in Alaska, the corporation eventually escaped with less than a slap on the wrist.  A federal court ordered the company to pay $287 million in actual damages and $5 billion in punitive damages.  Successful appeals by Exxon-Mobil halved the punitive damages and a successful appeal to the Supreme Court knocked off another 80 per cent: judicial corporate welfare for a company that posted the highest profits in United States history and today earns more than $1,300 per second in profits. Last year Exxon Mobil paid not one thin dime to the IRS in United States income taxes.

Much has been made — by corporate-owned politicians —  of the $20 billion compensation fund President Obama persuaded BP to post for the oil drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that replaced Exxon Valdes as the most heinous man-inflicted environmental disaster in history.  “Extortion,” one called it.  The $20 billion itself is a pittance against the likely final cost of the disaster, just as the original $5 billion has proved to be in the case of Prince William Sound.  But the corporate-owned courts and politicians have already begun pecking away at government’s cautious response to the BP crimes.  A federal judge who owns huge shares of oil stocks overturned the government’s temporary ban on new drilling.  When BP’s legal team has had time to study and employ the Exxon-Mobil strategy, the $20 billion will go “poof.”

Cancer  is not in the best interests of a nation and its people.  When science provided overwhelming evidence that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, Phillip-Morris and other big tobacco corporations decided to attack the science.  They hired pseudo-science frauds and trained science whores to produce “studies” that challenged the real science.

When real science demonstrated that human activity, principally the discharge of carbons into the atmosphere, has been changing the climate of the planet in a way that threatens its living things, Exxon Mobil and other giants in  the extraction of fossil energy took a page from the tobacco playbook.  Thery hired whores and frauds — even, in fact, some of the same ones who were employed by Big Tobacco — to contest the real science.  Thus has it taken the teeth out of any legislative efforts to solve the climate problem.

As in the case of health care and tobacco, among the citizenry the same poor fools who bought the corporate propaganda have taken up the anti-climate science crusade.  They’ll be the first to blame the government when living things that are important to them begin to die.

As will all those “good” CEOs whose companies, like Exxon Mobil and the great banks, are too big to fail.

Read more by Thomas Wark at www.bordellopianist.blogspot.com
By Thomas Wark

We are a nation of killers.  “Killer” is often a term of approval in our culture: “That’s a killer app!” “Ooooh, asthma he’s a lady killer!” Etc.

We are the only nation to have used atomic power to annihilate fellow humans.

We have malamorphosed from euphemistically “patriotic” wars like the one we ended with the A-bomb, pill to endless wars of invasion at the whim of our elected leader.

We have interpreted our Constitution to guarantee every citizen the right to possess the means to kill.

We kill with greed.  One of the richest fossil fuel companies in the world, sales for months now, has been killing every form of marine life in the Gulf of Mexico. The perpetrators of the lethal oil gush have not been penalized in any significant way.  Tacit approval.

We kill with arrogant glee.  See the pictures of the former governor of Alaska giddily displaying the bodies of wolves killed by machine-gunners in helicopters.

We kill with hate.  “Pro-life” fanatics slay abortion providers on orders from whatever hideous god-voices they hear.

We kill without compunction or compassion.  Our missiles, bombs and drones routinely miss their targets, slaying batches of innocent civilian men, women and children.  We say “oops” and call the victims “collateral damage,” refusing to be bothered counting numbers.

We kill out of fear.  Here in the southwest, everything from javelinas and rattlesnakes to dark-skinned humans who might be “illegal aliens” are fair game.

Blessed by the Second Amendment, sanctified by Patriotism and inspired by the movies of the great John Wayne, we shoot first and ask questions later. If we ask questions at all.

With all of the humans on the face of the earth, and all other living things on the planet, we share an infinitesimal sliver of universe capable of sustaining life as we know it.  Within the cosmos, our tiny planet is a mere pebble; the portion of it that sustains life is like the veneer of varnish on a desktop globe of Earth.  The interdependency of the millions upon millions of life forms is complex beyond our complete understanding, at least for the present.  But we know it’s there.

Years ago, here in New Mexico, an avid hunter, roaming what is now the Aldo Leopold Wilderness, shot a wolf.  When he reached it, the animal had not yet expired.  He watched “a fierce green fire” die in the wolf’s eyes.  Aldo Leopold — for he was the hunter —  introduced the land ethic to American public discourse and pioneered the concept of setting aside natural areas, and all of their wildlife, as protected oases for the benefit of all.

Others, however, continued to hunt the Mexican gray wolf almost to extinction. Finally,  using wolves bred in captivity, land management officials began a program to re-introduce the wolves to the wild.  Today, poachers are busy killing them off — especially the alpha males, whose deaths virtually assure the ultimate destruction of entire packs. Even on the state regulatory boards, there are those who quietly approve the actions of the poachers.

Killers.

Last June a female sea otter was frolicking just offshore in Morro Bay, CA.  A Second Amendment Patriot killed her with a single bullet to the head. Like the Mexican gray wolf, the sea otter had been hunted nearly to extinction.  Even with protected status, it has returned to but a fraction of its former numbers.

Killers.

Law? Philosophy? Consilience of life? Endangered species?

Liberal elitist nonsense.

Fire when ready, boys! It’s the American Way.

Read more by Thomas Wark at www.bordellopianist.blogspot.com

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Let Us Now Praise “Good” CEOs

By Steve Klinger

One month after the oil well explosion and environmental catastrophe in the Gulf , cardiologist symptoms the new Tea Party hero, ask Rand Paul, fresh off his foray into rewriting the Civil Rights Act, thinks the Obama administration is being too tough on BP. After all, accidents happen, he said on Good Morning America today. Here’s the full quote:

“What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.’ I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business,” he said. “I’ve heard nothing from BP about not paying for the spill. And I think it’s part of this sort of blame game society in the sense that it’s always got to be someone’s fault instead of the fact that sometimes accidents happen.”

It sure is “un-American” to blame, let alone regulate, private enterprise, especially if it’s willing to pay for its screw-ups. Trouble is, there may be hell to pay, not just Louisiana fishermen. The latest very cautious and reluctant estimates are that some 70,000 barrels of oil (plus additional gas) are hemorrhaging every day into the Gulf ecosystem, not the 5,000 BP recently claimed. Some estimates run as high as 95,000. The oil is accumulating in huge underwater pools; some is entering the “Loop” current and could reach the Gulf Stream, there to be carried up the East Coast and perhaps eventually to Europe. Worse yet, scientists say the methane gas shows signs of choking off oxygen supplies and could create oceanic dead zones. You don’t need to be a marine biologist to figure out the potential consequences of major disruptions to the marine food chain.

Of course, not everyone is a player in our “blame game society”: Britt Hume on Fox News wants to know, “Oil slicks, what oil slicks?”  And that’s just the part of this crowd that isn’t fixated on denying global warming.

Meanwhile, the oil and gas continue to gush, the hurricane season is around the corner, and a nation that has sent probes to Mars and put men on the moon waits for an oil company with a history of incompetence and environmental abuse to figure out how to cap a broken pipe.

The Obama administration, though the problem did not begin under its watch, is not doing a fraction of what it could to halt this disaster-in-the-making.  Why is the White House allowing BP to conduct the cleanup while the Department of Energy and Congress “investigate”? Not only should the company pay for it and should its executives face criminal charges, they should be operating under strict federal direction because Obama should have declared a national state of emergency and enlisted the full resources of our military and scientific communities to send submarines and robotic devices to the ocean floor to stop the leaks.

I understand the scientific and mechanical challenges of such an enterprise – but isn’t that exactly the problem? Private enterprise (the oil industry) seems to be the only entity with the expertise and technology to conduct operations a mile under water, and obviously these guys are better at drilling holes than capping them – an excellent reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to create situations that they can’t fix.

If this massive and continuing spill doesn’t prove catastrophic in the long term, who’s to say the next one won’t? Would the Feds even tell us if the current spill does threaten the ecology of the entire planet? Wouldn’t want to create a panic, now, would we?

Call me an alarmist, but I think this event needs to be treated just like an asteroid heading for Earth: it needs a total mobilization of resources, assuming that the worst is possible. Maybe such discussions are being held behind closed doors. The world needs to know, and America needs action. It’s time for Washington to quit posturing about getting tough with BP and address the urgent situation in the Gulf like the emergency it is. And it’s time for Rand Paul to shut up.
By Steve Klinger

One month after the oil well explosion and environmental catastrophe in the Gulf , web the new Tea Party hero, visit this Rand Paul, fresh off his foray into rewriting the Civil Rights Act, thinks the Obama administration is being too tough on BP. After all, accidents happen, he said on Good Morning America today. Here’s the full quote:

“What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.’ I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business,” he said. “I’ve heard nothing from BP about not paying for the spill. And I think it’s part of this sort of blame game society in the sense that it’s always got to be someone’s fault instead of the fact that sometimes accidents happen.”

It sure is “un-American” to blame, let alone regulate, private enterprise, especially if it’s willing to pay for its screw-ups. Trouble is, there may be hell to pay, not just Louisiana fishermen. The latest very cautious and reluctant estimates are that some 70,000 barrels of oil (plus additional gas) are hemorrhaging every day into the Gulf ecosystem, not the 5,000 BP described. Some estimates run as high as 95,000. The oil is accumulating in huge underwater pools; some is entering the “Loop” current and could reach the Gulf Stream, there to be carried up the East Coast and perhaps eventually to Europe. Worse yet, scientists say the methane gas shows signs of choking off oxygen supplies and could create oceanic dead zones. You don’t need to be a marine biologist to figure out the potential consequences of major disruptions to the marine food chain.

Of course, not everyone is a player in our “blame game society”: Britt Hume on Fox News wants to know, “Oil slicks, what oil slicks?”  And that’s just the part of this crowd that isn’t fixated on denying global warming.

Meanwhile, the oil and gas continue to gush, the hurricane season is around the corner, and a nation that has sent probes to Mars and put men on the moon waits for an oil company with a history of incompetence and environmental abuse to figure out how to cap a broken pipe.

The Obama administration, though the problem did not begin under its watch, is not doing a fraction of what it could to halt this disaster-in-the-making.  Why is the White House allowing BP to conduct the cleanup while the Department of Energy and Congress “investigate”? Not only should the company pay for it and should its executives face criminal charges, they should be operating under strict federal direction because Obama should have declared a national state of emergency and enlisted the full resources of our military and scientific communities to send submarines and robotic devices to the ocean floor to stop the leaks.

I understand the scientific and mechanical challenges of such an enterprise – but isn’t that exactly the problem? Private enterprise (the oil industry) seems to be the only entity with the expertise and technology to conduct operations a mile under water, and obviously these guys are better at drilling holes than capping them – an excellent reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to create situations that they (and perhaps no one) can fix.

If this massive and continuing spill doesn’t prove catastrophic in the long term, who’s to say the next one won’t? Would the Feds even tell us if the current spill does threaten the ecology of the entire planet? Wouldn’t want to create a panic, now, would we?

Call me an alarmist but I think this event needs to be treated just like an asteroid heading for Earth: it needs a total mobilization of resources, assuming that the worst is possible. Maybe such discussions are being held behind closed doors. The world needs to know, and America needs action. It’s time for Washington to quit posturing about getting tough with BP and address the urgent situation in the Gulf like the emergency it is. And it’s time for Rand Paul to shut up.
By Steve Klinger

One month after the oil well explosion and environmental catastrophe in the Gulf , anaemia the new Tea Party hero, cost Rand Paul, sildenafil fresh off his foray into rewriting the Civil Rights Act, thinks the Obama administration is being too tough on BP. After all, accidents happen, he said on Good Morning America today. Here’s the full quote:

“What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.’ I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business,” he said. “I’ve heard nothing from BP about not paying for the spill. And I think it’s part of this sort of blame game society in the sense that it’s always got to be someone’s fault instead of the fact that sometimes accidents happen.”

It sure is “un-American” to blame, let alone regulate, private enterprise, especially if it’s willing to pay for its screw-ups. Trouble is, there may be hell to pay, not just Louisiana fishermen. The latest very cautious and reluctant estimates are that some 70,000 barrels of oil (plus additional gas) are hemorrhaging every day into the Gulf ecosystem, not the 5,000 BP recently claimed. Some estimates run as high as 95,000. The oil is accumulating in huge underwater pools; some is entering the “Loop” current and could reach the Gulf Stream, there to be carried up the East Coast and perhaps eventually to Europe. Worse yet, scientists say the methane gas shows signs of choking off oxygen supplies and could create oceanic dead zones. You don’t need to be a marine biologist to figure out the potential consequences of major disruptions to the marine food chain.

Of course, not everyone is a player in our “blame game society”: Britt Hume on Fox News wants to know, “Oil slicks, what oil slicks?”  And that’s just the part of this crowd that isn’t fixated on denying global warming.

Meanwhile, the oil and gas continue to gush, the hurricane season is around the corner, and a nation that has sent probes to Mars and put men on the moon waits for an oil company with a history of incompetence and environmental abuse to figure out how to cap a broken pipe.

The Obama administration, though the problem did not begin under its watch, is not doing a fraction of what it could to halt this disaster-in-the-making.  Why is the White House allowing BP to conduct the cleanup while the Department of Energy and Congress “investigate”? Not only should the company pay for it and should its executives face criminal charges, they should be operating under strict federal direction because Obama should have declared a national state of emergency and enlisted the full resources of our military and scientific communities to send submarines and robotic devices to the ocean floor to stop the leaks.

I understand the scientific and mechanical challenges of such an enterprise – but isn’t that exactly the problem? Private enterprise (the oil industry) seems to be the only entity with the expertise and technology to conduct operations a mile under water, and obviously these guys are better at drilling holes than capping them – an excellent reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to create situations that they can’t fix.

If this massive and continuing spill doesn’t prove catastrophic in the long term, who’s to say the next one won’t? Would the Feds even tell us if the current spill does threaten the ecology of the entire planet? Wouldn’t want to create a panic, now, would we?

Call me an alarmist but I think this event needs to be treated just like an asteroid heading for Earth: it needs a total mobilization of resources, assuming that the worst is possible. Maybe such discussions are being held behind closed doors. The world needs to know, and America needs action. It’s time for Washington to quit posturing about getting tough with BP and address the urgent situation in the Gulf like the emergency it is. And it’s time for Rand Paul to shut up.
By Steve Klinger

One month after the oil well explosion and environmental catastrophe in the Gulf , diabetes and pregnancy the new Tea Party hero, Rand Paul, fresh off his foray into rewriting the Civil Rights Act, thinks the Obama administration is being too tough on BP. After all, accidents happen, he said on Good Morning America today. Here’s the full quote:

“What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.’ I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business,” he said. “I’ve heard nothing from BP about not paying for the spill. And I think it’s part of this sort of blame game society in the sense that it’s always got to be someone’s fault instead of the fact that sometimes accidents happen.”

It sure is “un-American” to blame, let alone regulate, private enterprise, especially if it’s willing to pay for its screw-ups. Trouble is, there may be hell to pay, not just Louisiana fishermen. The latest very cautious and reluctant estimates are that some 70,000 barrels of oil (plus additional gas) are hemorrhaging every day into the Gulf ecosystem, not the 5,000 BP described. Some estimates run as high as 95,000. The oil is accumulating in huge underwater pools; some is entering the “Loop” current and could reach the Gulf Stream, there to be carried up the East Coast and perhaps eventually to Europe. Worse yet, scientists say the methane gas shows signs of choking off oxygen supplies and could create oceanic dead zones. You don’t need to be a marine biologist to figure out the potential consequences of major disruptions to the marine food chain.

Of course, not everyone is a player in our “blame game society”: Britt Hume on Fox News wants to know, “Oil slicks, what oil slicks?”  And that’s just the part of this crowd that isn’t fixated on denying global warming.

Meanwhile, the oil and gas continue to gush, the hurricane season is around the corner, and a nation that has sent probes to Mars and put men on the moon waits for an oil company with a history of incompetence and environmental abuse to figure out how to cap a broken pipe.

The Obama administration, though the problem did not begin under its watch, is not doing a fraction of what it could to halt this disaster-in-the-making.  Why is the White House allowing BP to conduct the cleanup while the Department of Energy and Congress “investigate”? Not only should the company pay for it and should its executives face criminal charges, they should be operating under strict federal direction because Obama should have declared a national state of emergency and enlisted the full resources of our military and scientific communities to send submarines and robotic devices to the ocean floor to stop the leaks.

I understand the scientific and mechanical challenges of such an enterprise – but isn’t that exactly the problem? Private enterprise (the oil industry) seems to be the only entity with the expertise and technology to conduct operations a mile under water, and obviously these guys are better at drilling holes than capping them – an excellent reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to create situations that they (and perhaps no one) can fix.

If this massive and continuing spill doesn’t prove catastrophic in the long term, who’s to say the next one won’t? Would the Feds even tell us if the current spill does threaten the ecology of the entire planet? Wouldn’t want to create a panic, now, would we?

Call me an alarmist but I think this event needs to be treated just like an asteroid heading for Earth: it needs a total mobilization of resources, assuming that the worst is possible. Maybe such discussions are being held behind closed doors. The world needs to know, and America needs action. It’s time for Washington to quit posturing about getting tough with BP and address the urgent situation in the Gulf like the emergency it is. And it’s time for Rand Paul to shut up.
(The following is a revised version of an article posted a few days ago.)


This is the bitter reality of the American present, anemia a period in which big business has cemented an unholy alliance with big government against the interests of ordinary Americans, pills who, of course, are the great majority of Americans. The great majority of Americans no longer matter.

–Bob Herbert

By Steve Klinger

One month after the Deepwater Horizon explosion and environmental catastrophe in the Gulf, the new Tea Party hero, Rand Paul, fresh off his foray into rewriting the Civil Rights Act, thinks the Obama administration is being too tough on BP. After all, accidents happen, he said on Good Morning America last week after his upset win in the Kentucky GOP senatorial primary. Here’s the full quote:

“What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.’ I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business,” he said. “I’ve heard nothing from BP about not paying for the spill. And I think it’s part of this sort of blame game society in the sense that it’s always got to be someone’s fault instead of the fact that sometimes accidents happen.”

It sure is “un-American” to blame, let alone regulate, private enterprise, especially if it’s willing to pay for its screw-ups. Trouble is, there may be hell to pay, not just Louisiana fishermen. The latest very cautious and reluctant estimates are that some 70,000 barrels of oil (plus additional gas) are hemorrhaging every day into the Gulf ecosystem, not the 5,000 BP had the audacity to claim. Some estimates run as high as 100,000. The oil is accumulating in huge underwater pools; some is entering the “loop current” and oceanographers say it could reach the Gulf Stream, there to be carried up the East Coast and perhaps eventually to Europe. Worse yet, scientists fear the methane gas shows signs of choking off oxygen supplies and could create oceanic dead zones. You don’t need to be a marine biologist to figure out the potential consequences of major disruptions to the aquatic food chain.

Let’s hope that Paul, an ophthalmologist and Lasik surgeon, is better at correcting myopia in his patients than detecting it in his political vision. Then again, as Bill Maher noted, does anyone even want an eye surgeon who says casually that “accidents happen”?

Meanwhile, the oil and gas continue to gush, the hurricane season is around the corner, and a nation that has sent probes to Mars and put men on the moon waits for an oil company with a history of incompetence and environmental abuse to figure out how to cap a broken pipe. Their main answer so far has been to saturate the area of the spill with chemical dispersants that add new poisons to the lethal cocktail churning in our coastal waters.

And no, Rand, the Obama administration is not putting its boot heel, or even a bare toe to BP’s throat. Those whose compassion is for the oil giants may fret, but we might better ask why the White House is allowing BP to conduct the cleanup while the Department of Energy “investigates”? Is Obama afraid that if he takes charge of the cleanup he will own Deepwater Horizon? Or is it more that the 11 who died and the countless thousands whose way of life has been ruined are just collateral damage in the new world order?

Not only should BP pay for all reasonable claims and should its executives face criminal charges, they should be operating under strict federal direction because Obama should have declared a national state of emergency and enlisted the full resources of our military and scientific communities to send submarines and robotic devices to the ocean floor to stop the leaks.

I acknowledge the scientific and mechanical challenges of such an enterprise – but isn’t that exactly the problem? Private enterprise (the oil industry) seems to be the only entity with the expertise and technology (and of course the capital) to conduct operations a mile under water. Obviously these guys are better at drilling holes than capping them – an excellent reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to engineer blowouts that their “blowout protectors” can’t protect us from. Yet in a world where corporations rule they not only get to rape the planet but wind up in charge of the “cleanup.” And they get to do it on their own timetable.

If this massive and continuing spill doesn’t prove globally catastrophic, who’s to say the next one won’t? Would the Feds even tell us if the current spill does threaten the ecology of the entire planet? Wouldn’t want to create a panic, now, would we?

Call me an alarmist, but I think this event needs to be treated just like an asteroid heading for Earth: it needs a total mobilization of resources, assuming that the worst is possible. Maybe such discussions are being held behind closed doors. If they are, you can bet the powers that be are more concerned about Big Oil than the oystermen and the sea fowl.

The world needs to know the scope of this catastrophe, and America needs action now to protect the silenced majority we have become. It’s time for Washington to quit posturing about getting tough with corporate criminals and address the urgent situation in the Gulf like the emergency it is. And it’s time for Rand Paul to shut up.
(The following is a revised version of an article posted a few days ago.)


This is the bitter reality of the American present, for sale a period in which big business has cemented an unholy alliance with big government against the interests of ordinary Americans, pills who, of course, are the great majority of Americans. The great majority of Americans no longer matter.

–Bob Herbert

By Steve Klinger

One month after the Deepwater Horizon explosion and environmental catastrophe in the Gulf, the new Tea Party hero, Rand Paul, fresh off his foray into rewriting the Civil Rights Act, thinks the Obama administration is being too tough on BP. After all, accidents happen, he said on Good Morning America last week after his upset win in the Kentucky GOP senatorial primary. Here’s the full quote:

“What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.’ I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business,” he said. “I’ve heard nothing from BP about not paying for the spill. And I think it’s part of this sort of blame game society in the sense that it’s always got to be someone’s fault instead of the fact that sometimes accidents happen.”

It sure is “un-American” to blame, let alone regulate, private enterprise, especially if it’s willing to pay for its screw-ups. Trouble is, there may be hell to pay, not just Louisiana fishermen. The latest very cautious and reluctant estimates are that some 70,000 barrels of oil (plus additional gas) are hemorrhaging every day into the Gulf ecosystem, not the 5,000 BP had the audacity to claim. Some estimates run as high as 100,000. The oil is accumulating in huge underwater pools; some is entering the “loop current” and oceanographers say it could reach the Gulf Stream, there to be carried up the East Coast and perhaps eventually to Europe. Worse yet, scientists fear the methane gas shows signs of choking off oxygen supplies and could create oceanic dead zones. You don’t need to be a marine biologist to figure out the potential consequences of major disruptions to the aquatic food chain.

Let’s hope that Paul, an ophthalmologist and Lasik surgeon, is better at correcting myopia in his patients than detecting it in his political vision. Then again, as Bill Maher noted, does anyone even want an eye surgeon who says casually that “accidents happen”?

Meanwhile, the oil and gas continue to gush, the hurricane season is around the corner, and a nation that has sent probes to Mars and put men on the moon waits for an oil company with a history of incompetence and environmental abuse to figure out how to cap a broken pipe. Their main answer so far has been to saturate the area of the spill with chemical dispersants that add new poisons to the lethal cocktail churning in our coastal waters.

And no, Rand, the Obama administration is not putting its boot heel, or even a bare toe to BP’s throat. Those whose compassion is for the oil giants may fret, but we might better ask why the White House is allowing BP to conduct the cleanup while the Department of Energy “investigates”? Is Obama afraid that if he takes charge of the cleanup he will own Deepwater Horizon? Or is it more that the 11 who died and the countless thousands whose way of life has been ruined are just collateral damage in the new world order?

Not only should BP pay for all reasonable claims and should its executives face criminal charges, they should be operating under strict federal direction because Obama should have declared a national state of emergency and enlisted the full resources of our military and scientific communities to send submarines and robotic devices to the ocean floor to stop the leaks.

I acknowledge the scientific and mechanical challenges of such an enterprise – but isn’t that exactly the problem? Private enterprise (the oil industry) seems to be the only entity with the expertise and technology (and of course the capital) to conduct operations a mile under water. Obviously these guys are better at drilling holes than capping them – an excellent reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to engineer blowouts that their “blowout protectors” can’t protect us from. Yet in a world where corporations rule they not only get to rape the planet but wind up in charge of the “cleanup.” And they get to do it on their own timetable.

If this massive and continuing spill doesn’t prove globally catastrophic, who’s to say the next one won’t? Would the Feds even tell us if the current spill does threaten the ecology of the entire planet? Wouldn’t want to create a panic, now, would we?

Call me an alarmist, but I think this event needs to be treated just like an asteroid heading for Earth: it needs a total mobilization of resources, assuming that the worst is possible. Maybe such discussions are being held behind closed doors. If they are, you can bet the powers that be are more concerned about Big Oil than the oystermen and the sea fowl.

The world needs to know the scope of this catastrophe, and America needs action now to protect the silenced majority we have become. It’s time for Washington to quit posturing about getting tough with corporate criminals and address the urgent situation in the Gulf like the emergency it is. And it’s time for Rand Paul to shut up.
By Thomas Wark

In today’s economic climate, page a corporate CEO can be a good CEO only by using his enormous personal power and the unlimited power of his corporation to work against the best interests of the nation and its people.
And now that the Supreme Court has removed the last vestiges of control on corporate spending to influence government, the end of participatory democracy in the United States is inevitable.

Endless war is not in the best interests of a nation and its people.  It kills our sons and daughters, drains our treasury and profits only the defense industry corporations and their allies in the military industrial complex. And yet Congress, soon to be entirely owned by corporations, mindlessly continues to vote funding for unwinnable wars that were illegal in the first place.  The few members of Congress who led opposition to the funding will almost certainly lose their offices in November.

An overpriced and under-achieving health care system is not in the best interests of the nation or its people.  And yet even a feeble attempt at reform met such vigorous and effective corporate resistance that even many of the people who needed it most wound up buying into the propaganda slogans like socialized medicine, killing grandma and forfeiting personal medical decisions to government bureaucrats.

American unemployment is at its worst depths since the Great Depression, but Wall Street is hiring and its salaries are rising.   The very same Wall Street that brought on the the economic collapse of 2008-2009 and received trillions in tax funds to save it from  itself.  The same Wall Street that rewarded its CEOs and top executives with bonus dollars to match the number of jobless Americans walking the streets in poverty. Corporate America succeeded in taking virtually all of the teeth out of the financial reform bill, just as it succeeded in emasculating the clean energy legislation.

Polluted air, waters befouled by mountaintop removal mining, unrestricted drilling for gas and oil are not in the best interests of the nation or its people.  And yet when a drunken captain ran the Exxon  Valdes aground in a pristine bay in Alaska, the corporation eventually escaped with less than a slap on the wrist.  A federal court ordered the company to pay $287 million in actual damages and $5 billion in punitive damages.  Successful appeals by Exxon-Mobil halved the punitive damages and a successful appeal to the Supreme Court knocked off another 80 per cent: judicial corporate welfare for a company that posted the highest profits in United States history and today earns more than $1,300 per second in profits. Last year Exxon Mobil paid not one thin dime to the IRS in United States income taxes.

Much has been made — by corporate-owned politicians —  of the $20 billion compensation fund President Obama persuaded BP to post for the oil drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that replaced Exxon Valdes as the most heinous man-inflicted environmental disaster in history.  “Extortion,” one called it.  The $20 billion itself is a pittance against the likely final cost of the disaster, just as the original $5 billion has proved to be in the case of Prince William Sound.  But the corporate-owned courts and politicians have already begun pecking away at government’s cautious response to the BP crimes.  A federal judge who owns huge shares of oil stocks overturned the government’s temporary ban on new drilling.  When BP’s legal team has had time to study and employ the Exxon-Mobil strategy, the $20 billion will go “poof.”

Cancer  is not in the best interests of a nation and its people.  When science provided overwhelming evidence that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, Phillip-Morris and other big tobacco corporations decided to attack the science.  They hired pseudo-science frauds and trained science whores to produce “studies” that challenged the real science.

When real science demonstrated that human activity, principally the discharge of carbons into the atmosphere, has been changing the climate of the planet in a way that threatens its living things, Exxon Mobil and other giants in  the extraction of fossil energy took a page from the tobacco playbook.  Thery hired whores and frauds — even, in fact, some of the same ones who were employed by Big Tobacco — to contest the real science.  Thus has it taken the teeth out of any legislative efforts to solve the climate problem.

As in the case of health care and tobacco, among the citizenry the same poor fools who bought the corporate propaganda have taken up the anti-climate science crusade.  They’ll be the first to blame the government when living things that are important to them begin to die.

As will all those “good” CEOs whose companies, like Exxon Mobil and the great banks, are too big to fail.

Read more by Thomas Wark at www.bordellopianist.blogspot.com

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