Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How Low Can They Go?

The outrages are so many and really horrible things disappear down the memory hole so fast I sometimes wonder if I shouldn't just repost stories that I thought were important in the first place. Sadly, there's an unending stream of effluvia coming from the media, the corporate whores and the American right-wing (some of the players can wear all three hats) and that makes it very difficult to do so. But seeing as how I'm going on vacation next week and it's hugely important for me to do some research (I'm trying to write a book), I'm going to have my partner in crime repost the most important stories that we've talked about here that have not received sufficient attention from the MSM. I will check in once or twice, so feel free to leave me a note.

So there was a story of yet another right-wing nutjob who decided that doing the work of an extremist group bent on overthrowing the U.S. government was a fabulous idea. Police in south-central Pennsylvania have arrested prison guard Raymond Franklin Peake for the murder of Todd Getgen on July 21 at a Pennsylvania Game Commission shooting range - he claims to have found him dead and stolen his gun so it could be used to "defend his country." These types of insane beliefs come from somewhere and must be carefully nurtured for people to go to such extremes.

On this morning's show the first hour was spent on debunking MSM claims that the oil has disappeared, that it was wise to use Corexit and that it is not doing any more harm to wildlife that just plain crude would. Scientists have found signs of an oil-and-dispersant mix under the shells of tiny blue crab larvae in the Gulf of Mexico...

We also listened to whistleblower Hugh Kaufman a senior policy analyst in the EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, allege that agency administrator Lisa Jackson sidestepped the issue that the chemicals present a threat to public health and the Gulf ecosystem and should be banned.

There are lots of scientists who believe BP's spin on the spill is ridiculous and that this will have far-reaching and catastrophic consequences. Some of the Obama administration's scientists admit alarm over the huge quantities of chemical dispersants to tackle the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Previous studies, including a 400-page study by the National Academy of Sciences, have warned that the combination of oil and dispersants is more toxic than oil on its own, because the chemicals break down cell walls, making organisms more susceptible to oil.

As for the oils that's been recovered from the Gulf, Colorlines tells us where it's being dumped: More than half (five out of nine) of the landfills receiving BP oil-spill solid waste are located in communities where people of color comprise a majority of residents living within near the waste facilities.

In addition, a significantly large share of the BP oil-spill waste, 24,071 tons out of 39,448 tons (61 percent), is dumped in people of color communities. This is not a small point since African Americans make up just 22 percent of the coastal counties in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana, while people of color comprise about 26 percent of the population in coastal counties

These are communities already pummeled by the a triple-blow of Hurricane Katrina, economic paralysis and racial inequality. Within these populations, the pollution may strike women and children the hardest. Exposures to oil chemicals, such as benzene, along with the mystery cocktail of dispersants, may pose major risks to reproductive and maternal health, though much more research is needed.
So if you thought it couldn't get any worse or BP couldn't behave more reprehensibly than they already have, you'd be wrong.

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