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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/2/10

Cut it Out

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Message Kathy Malloy
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It's getting closer, Truthseekers. The spreading pool of poison in the Gulf has reached the Alabama beaches, is nearing Mississippi,and is now less than 10 miles off the coast of Florida. There is a sense of true panic as frantic clean-up crews work all night to place emergency boom barriers in the shallows to protect the sugar-white beaches from the approaching toxic tide.

Sadly, it is ultimately an exercise in futility as nothing can protect these once-pristine beaches from disaster. BP is currently attempting a risky Hail Mary maneuver focused on containment, rather than stoppage that will temporarily (BP spokesmen claim) increase the flow of petrol by 20%, but if successful will then capture most of the gushing oil until two relief wells can be completed in August. If it fails . . . well, then it's worse -- much worse -- for two more months. Failure means an additional 100,000 barrels a day will spew into the water -- on top of the 500,000 -- 1,000,000 barrels currently billowing into the ocean. Three more months of black death, how many years to clean it up? What permanent damage will result?

After all the lies and distortions and blatant refusal to alert the public to the magnitude of this catastrophe, why should we have any confidence in anything BP executives say or do? The mere fact that our government is allowing this corporation to attempt the dangerous riser cut is an indication that they're out of ideas. (psssst . . . the effort isn't looking so good right now. Their special diamond saw is stuck.)

In a PR move designed to create the appearance of solving problems, Attorney General Eric Holder has been dispatched to Louisiana, apparently to puff out his chest and apply some kind of veiled pressure to BP executives, declaring they might, maybe,possibly face criminal charges. It's not even worth pretending that this will have any effect on the most selfish and indifferent corporation since RJ Reynolds.

Want proof? Fishermen that BP has put out of work because of the corporation's criminal acts have been hired to help in the clean-up, but they are forced to sign gag orders that prevent them from discussing the mess with the media. And it is a true gag order, as many of these otherwise healthy, physically fit men are falling seriously ill from respiratory disease caused by the toxic fumes. The worst part? BP is preventing these men from using life-saving respirators for fear of the appearance of dangerous chemicals in the atmosphere. Get that? They know the air is toxic (just as they knew this explosion was possible), but they don't want others to see evidence of the poison, so they're encouraging more death and disease.Same reason they used the deadly fish-killing disbursement chemicals; to hide the evidence. It is also being reported that BP will fire workers who wear their own respirators because of the "bad optics" they create in the press.

In an astonishing example of ultimate corporate utilitarianism, BP's CEO Tony Hayward callously dismissed the health problems as "food poisoning." "I'm sure they were genuinely ill, but whether it was anything to do with dispersants and oil, whether it was food poisoning or some other reason for them being ill. . ." said Hayward. So let me get this straight, Tony: your corporation ruins the fishing industry by destroying the environment, then poisons the fishermen, then denies responsibility for the toxic stew that is making them sick, then tries to prevent them from talking about it to the press? Hey, I get it. Dead fishermen = fewer lawsuits to pay. Brilliant, you bastard.

BP cares only for protecting its image, making a profit, and limiting its liability, not about the people (or marine life) it kills. Can there be a more perfect example of capitalism extended to its ultimate conclusion?

Despite its obvious murderous criminality, there is no reason for BP to fear repercussions; why should it? The corporation has escaped scott-free from any responsibility for its global oil spills. Nigeria has been hideously affected by continuous leaks and resulting miles of oily beaches and diseased marine life for decades, with nary a peep from either the press or the US government.

The Guardian of the UK recently reported this about the nonchalant attitude of BP and the global double-standard:

"With 606 oilfields, the Niger delta supplies 40% of all the crude the United States imports and is the world capital of oil pollution. Life expectancy in its rural communities, half of which have no access to clean water, has fallen to little more than 40 years over the past two generations. Locals blame the oil that pollutes their land and can scarcely believe the contrast with the steps taken by BP and the US government to try to stop the Gulf oil leak and to protect the Louisiana shoreline from pollution."

It is true that Americans are more concerned about their own coastline that those ruined in other nations, but it is a sober example of how little the BP executives care or respect anything other than their corporation's bottom line. At this point there is only one group that is actually sympathetic to these murderers, and that is the Sarah "Spill, Baby, Spill" Palin/Rand Paul Teabagger-types. Unbelievably, they hold environmentalists responsible for this disaster because -- not kidding here -- those evil tree-huggers prevented these upstanding corporations from plunging their Big Powerful Pistons closer to the shoreline. These loopy Libertarians blame the Sierra Club and Greenpeace and similar organizations because they "forced" BP into deep water to do their irresponsible drilling. Ohmigod.

No word on whether or not the baggers believe the government should participate in the clean-up efforts, because . . . y'know, private industry should take care of that. I know! Maybe some Halliburton subsidiary can get the no-bid private contract! Hire Blackwater to run security, get Cheney's homeboys in there.

Everybody wins.

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Kathy never expected a career in radio as a talk show producer. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Kathy was completing her nursing degree when in 2001 - in an emergency - she was asked to fill in as the producer of Mike's program. Within a few (more...)
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