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2010 May 30 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Early Start In The Eastern Pacific

Tropical Storm FlagTropical Storm Agatha formed quickly off the Pacific coast of Guatemala and came ashore on Saturday with 45 mph winds. As with most tropical storms, it was the rain not the wind, as the BBC reports:

A powerful tropical storm in Central America has claimed at least 73 lives in floods and mudslides, officials say.

The worst-hit country was Guatemala, where officials say at least 63 people died. Nine were killed in El Salvador and at least one in Honduras.

Rainfalls greater that 36 inches have been reported in the mountains and many of the roads to remote communities are washed out, so the the death toll is expected to rise when contact is re-established.

Guatemala was already dealing with an eruption of the Pacaya volcano in southern Guatemala which has closed the nation’s largest airport. The ash from the volcano is now a soggy mess.

As expected Agatha is dissipating due to interaction with the mountains.

May 30, 2010   Comments Off on Early Start In The Eastern Pacific

Let’s Get Organized

Rick Outzen visited Alabama’s barrier island and noticed something odd: Prisoners used by BP at Dauphin Island. He notes that the contractor in charge was also a bit off: “The company, SG & S Oil Recovery Product LLC, was formed after the leak. Yet it got this contract.”

A company gets created after the leak and wins a contract while using prison labor. You have to wonder exactly who owns SG & S, and how they managed to get a contract with both BP and Alabama Corrections. The mayor of Dauphin Island wonders why he wasn’t told.

Local officials in Louisiana are no less annoyed with the system – Parish official: BP shipped in workers for president’s visit

Early Friday morning, “a number of buses brought in approximately 300 to 400 workers that had been recruited all week,” Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts told CNN’s “Situation Room.”

Roberts said the workers were offered $12 an hour to come out to the scene at Grand Isle and work.

But, when Obama departed, so did the workers, he said.

Can you say photo op? I was sure you could.

The Times-Picayune notes that Across coastal Louisiana, officials lament ineffective oil spill command structure.

As they report, the local officials on Grand Isle spotted the oil headed their way and tried to get booms and skimmers to deal with it before it came ashore, but couldn’t make it through the maze in time.

Imagine this scenario: You call 911, and instead of an operator asking you what the problem is and sending the appropriate people, you hear: “Press 1 if you need law enforcement…”

May 30, 2010   Comments Off on Let’s Get Organized

Surely You Jest

Gulf Gusher symbolWho thought BP had any credibility prior to its latest disaster? While I don’t expect people to be aware of all of the spills along the Trans-Alaska pipeline caused by BP’s multiple maintenance failures, their botched clean-up of the Exxon Valdez spill and the death of 15 people when their Texas refinery blew up, should have clued people into the fact that BP puts profit before everything. BP is the reason Iran hates the West. This isn’t some new corporate policy shift, it is the way the corporation has always been.

Nonetheless McClatchy writes that Oil spill taking toll on BP’s credibility — and the government’s [I think we are well into negative numbers on both counts.]

WASHINGTON — A litany of half-truths, withholding crucial video, blocking media access to the site and a failure to share timely and complete information about efforts to contain the largest oil spill in U.S. history have created the widespread impression that BP is withholding information about the April 20 oilrig blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, if not misleading the public and the government.

The government has been little better, for weeks blindly accepting BP’s estimates of the size of the spill, all but powerless to force the company to curb its use of toxic chemical dispersants and ignoring warnings from its own officials about possible worker safety violations.

Most damning, say members of Congress, was BP’s failure to release video that would help measure how much oil is being released from the broken well — a number that will be key evidence when federal investigators and perhaps juries consider what damages BP should pay.

As if things weren’t bad enough, you have to wonder how many people know that taxpayers subsidize coal and oil companies? We aren’t just getting slimed down here, our government provided some of the money used to do it.

May 30, 2010   3 Comments

Moving With Cats

funny pictures of cats with captions

Good luck to Badtux.

May 30, 2010   11 Comments

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Memorial DayThis is a picture from one of the columbariums at the Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place of many of those who served the United States since the middle of the 19th century.

That is my Father’s marker. He didn’t know those located around his marker, but they all shared service to their country as part of their life.

My ancestors have been answering the call to service in this country since before it was a country, and various branches have ended during wars. It is a tradition, which means it is neither a good or bad thing, just something that has always been that way.

The country continues to ask for service and people still respond to that call. As you think about the sacrifices represented by Arlington and other cemeteries, ask yourself if you have done what you could to prevent misuse of the willingness of some to serve.

It is rather for us the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

May 30, 2010   6 Comments