Tuesday, April 30, 2013

For the birds

Great Blue Heron
Willamette Valley ~ Oregon

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Editorial Rant ~ Corporate Terrorism- part 1

It is absolutely true: Blowing people up with explosives is a horrendous act. Those who do such things deserve to be hunted down and brought to justice.
We’ve seen the powerful manhunt images of all those police cars and SWAT vehicles in pursuit of those who killed three innocent people in the explosions in Boston.
We didn’t see any such pursuit when the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia blew up in 2010. Twenty-nine innocent miners died. Massey Energy was found to have repeatedly and flagrantly violated safety regulations, causing the murderous coal-dust explosion. Where was the manhunt for the corporate crooks who were responsible? 
We didn’t see any such pursuit when British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig blew up in 2010. Eleven innocent workers died. BP, Transocean and Halliburton were found to have used cheap, defective materials and ignored safety systems, causing the murderous explosion.

Where was the manhunt for the corporate crooks who were responsible?
We didn’t see any such pursuit when the West, Texas, fertilizer plant blew up this month. Fifteen innocent people died. The company was twice found in the past to be improperly storing highly explosive anhydrous ammonia. A recent inspection found 1,350 times the amount of ammonium nitrate that would require government oversight.

Where was the manhunt for the corporate crooks who were responsible?

It is absolutely true. Blowing people up with explosives is a horrendous act. Those who do such things deserve to be hunted down and brought to justice.


I will add the recent gross negligence cases in Bangladesh-- the clothing factory fire in Nov 2012, where 117 died, & 200 were injured- making it the deadliest factory fire in the nation's history. 

Last week 362 clothing factory workers died & 900 more are missing, in a collapsed building. 
And one more issue-- why are there people with hammers & others risking their lives to try to find survivors? Why is there not  big equipment machinery & rescue teams???

As for BP:
BP pleaded guilty to each count charged in an information filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana, including 11 counts of felony manslaughter, one count of felony obstruction of Congress and violations of the Clean Water and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts. 
BP also admitted during its guilty plea that the company, through a senior executive, obstructed an inquiry by the U.S. Congress into the amount of oil being discharged into the Gulf while the spill was ongoing.  BP also admitted that the senior executive withheld documents, provided false and misleading information. 
BP’s public estimate of 5,000 barrels of oil per day. 
  The Flow Rate Technical Group, consisting of government and independent scientists, later concluded that more than 60,000 barrels per day were leaking into the Gulf during the relevant time, contrary to BP’s representations to Congress.

Corporate terrorism- part 2

Ahh yes, but business as usual...

The U.S. government banned BP from new federal contracts over its "lack of business integrity" in the spill, which could threaten its role as a leading U.S. offshore oil and gas producer.

But BP said on Tuesday that its mandatory debarment under the settlement did not affect any existing contracts or leases.

"The government has awarded BP over 50 federal leases since the Deepwater Horizon accident," said BP, which is the largest investor and deepwater leaseholder in the Gulf of Mexico with interests in 700 blocks and seven rigs now operating there.

Why the government allowed a plea deal is beynd me, not only was this a gross negligence case, where 11 people died, but they lied & obstructed justice as well. 
All these billions are chump change to a mega big oil company like BP. 

Pleading guilty to killing someone usually means going to prison…unless the perpetrator is a corporation.
This week, BP agreed to 11 counts of manslaughter for the workers killed during the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, when the Deepwater Horizon oilrig blew up.

But no one from the oil giant will serve time for the convictions. Instead, BP will pay a $4 billion fine, which is equivalent to what the company made in revenue every four days last year.
Also, BP will have five years to pay the fine. 
In closing, sure people need work, but they should not be literally dying for the right to work.  BP knew of problems, but a corporate decision to push forward was made. The West Texas fertilizer plant is saying records vanished in the fire, but what government agency was supposed to oversee operations & make sure safety practices were up to code, & maintain records?
We are rightfully outraged about terrorist acts, but somehow, we accept "corporate terrorism" where cutting corners, and breaking rules results in death & destruction, but those are just "accidents". 
BP did pay a price, but they are still in the Gulf, taking oil, and their fine, although the largest in history, is not much to them, because their profit for the year was 
$11.816 billion in 2012. 
They are not done yet...
Further legal proceedings not expected to conclude until 2014 are ongoing to determine payouts and fines under the Clean Water Act and the Natural Resources Damage Assessment. BP faces damages of up to $17.6 billion in the trial

Look at their dirty history though--
 The 2005 Texas City Refinery explosion which caused the death of 15 workers and resulted in a record-setting OSHA fine.
 The 2006 Prudhoe Bay spill, the largest oil spill on Alaska's North Slope.
[14] In 2010 the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the largest accidental release of oil into marine waters in the history of the petroleum industry, and resulted in severe environmental, health and economic consequences.

Still no jail time. with 26 workers deceased. 
Where is the outrage over these senseless deaths?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Moron- the "W: Presidential Library

Life force

I'm working on a post about some current  catastrophe topic... but just could not get into it this morning. Too much of that going on. Instead I am going to post about life & living things, because we need that balance in our lives. Humans seem to be pretty messed up, in how they interact with each other, and or their environment. Nature seems to have it together better, and or gives us a different perspective. It heals & has a grounding effect. Go sit with a tree, waterfall, river- surround yourself, really settle down.
There is so much chatter in our lives, you have to work at turning it off. It is worth the effort, to turn off the chaos & tune in to nature. No matter how many bad or senseless things happen, and the suffering it causes, the flowers still bloom, and the life cycle goes on. Springtime is showtime for Mother Nature.

Wild Iris flowers in bloom

I noticed a bird I'd never seen before in the parking lot at work! It is a Killdeer- a member of the Plover family- usually Shorebirds, but this bird does hang out inland as well. Must have a nest nearby, as it sounds it's alarm call, when people walk in & out of the building. 
Seeing that new-to-me bird & listening to it's unique songs, made me stop thinking about other heavier topics, if even for a brief time. Nature- it's a beautiful healing gift- we just need to be in the present & take the time to enjoy it. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

History will decide

I am NOT making this up! The new G W Bush presidential library  online gift shop
actually sells this item.

For $25 bucks, you can buy the
President George W. Bush Bobblehead doll.
 The official description:
"Unmatched craftsmanship and likeness of President  George W. Bush.

Apparently the new library has a glass jar full of hanging chads. If I were taking that tour, I might have felt sick & left right then & there.

If he had not done such horrific things, and have a long list of crimes against humanity, his presidency might otherwise have been comical.
He's a Bobblehead with blood on his hands.
Too bad he's not in the Gitmo prison, doing time for his known crimes.


a timely idea

Monday, April 22, 2013

RIP Richie Havens

I had the opportunity to meet Richie Havens when he played @ the Willamette Valley Folk festival @ the U of Oregon. He was walking around before the concert & we all happened to spot a rainbow in the sky & enjoyed it together.
Such a soulful singer. He passed away today @ age 72, but his beautiful spirit & music live on.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Earth Day

Isn't it a pity, isn't it a shame
How we break each other's hearts, and cause each other pain
How we take each other's love, without thinking anymore
Forgetting to give back, isn't it a pity?

Some things take so long, but how do I explain
Not too many people, can see we're all the same
And because of all the tears, their eyes can't hope to see
The beauty that surrounds them, isn't it a pity?

Isn't it a pity, isn't is a shame
How we break each other's hearts and cause each other pain
How we take each other's love, without thinking anymore
Forgetting to give back, isn't it a pity?

Friday, April 19, 2013

I'm furious too

Gabby Giffords wrote an op ed piece posted in the NY Times:

"I'm furious. I will not rest until we have righted the wrong these senators have done."

"Some of the senators who voted against the background-check amendments have met with grieving parents whose children were murdered at Sandy Hook, in Newtown," she wrote in the op-ed.

“These senators have heard from their constituents – who polls show overwhelmingly favored expanding background checks. And still these senators decided to do nothing. Shame on them," Giffords said.
"Some of the senators who voted ‘no’ have also looked into my eyes as I talked about my experience being shot in the head at point-blank range in suburban Tucson two years ago, and expressed sympathy for the 18 other people shot besides me, six of whom died. (End quote)
I applaud Gabby Giffords' truthful wording, the term "Murdered" is used, rather then "an unfortunate incident".
It was murder, cold blooded, mental illness, in some cases preplanned. Senseless, yes. A volatile topic... well, it sure depends on your interpretation of the 2nd amendment. Does the "right to bear arms" mean you are entitled to any & all weaponry available? AK 47 type assault rifles are designed for military applications. They are not useful for hunting, or personal protection. They have been used for mass murder -- even on 6 year old children, & their teachers. 
So will this country do something about it? Did you have that "enough's enough something MUST be done" feeling after the Newtown massacre? 
Why to politicians go against majority rule, and allow the NRA to dictate policy? 
Quoting from Democracy Now:
"According to a report in 2011 from the Violence Policy Center, between $14 million and $39 million came into NRA coffers in that period. This is probably a conservative estimate. Most of the NRA’s money is still from other sources, the bulk of the money, but the firearms industry has formed a kind of symbiotic relationship with the NRA in recent years—it benefits both."

The longer this debate goes on, the more people are stockpiling guns & ammunition. 
The gun manufacturers have become domestic terrorist's best friends. 
Im furious too. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

some wisdom to ponder

       "You cannot do a kindness too soon,
for you never know 
how soon it will be too late"

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 


Vandalism or progress?

Soon it will be Earth Day. I think celebrating the planet deserves more than one day. 
I will be posting some environmental food for thought this week, 
Great Planet we have here, we need to love & respect our Mother Earth. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Monday, April 8, 2013

Sunday, April 7, 2013

What's in your hand soap & toothpaste?

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

My hand soap, some dish soaps & toothpaste contain
I am phasing them out.
Look for this toxic ingredient in hand soaps, toothpaste, dishwashing soap, deodorant.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Marsalis & Clapton

Yea, we all scream for ice cream