Sick ‘n Tired of the Victim Role

News tonight is that no oil is leaking after placement of the new cap and  blow out preventer on Deepwater Horizon. Now it’s time to wait and watch and hope the pressure in the well remains stable and no more  leaks develope. I, for one, am praying hard that this will work and that, once the relief wells are engaged, we will see the end of this prolonged disaster in our gulf. Yes, we’ll still have a long road to clean up BP’s mess but give us the tools and we can do it. Louisianans are no strangers to hard work and we’ll do what has to be done. Our home is just that precious to us.

I’ll tell you straight up that I am damn sick and tired of being a victim of the incompetence and negligence of others. I lived through the breach of the federally built levees in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina – thanks Army Corps of Engineers – and now (almost) through the pollution of our waters and near-eradication of a way-of-life due to the Deepwater Horizon explosion – thanks BP.

The people of Southeast Louisiana are a tough and resilient tribe but, dammit, we’ve had more than our share in the last five years.


It’s Day 86 and I’m Not Okay.

I don’t deal with death well. At thirty-four years old, I have seen death take my parents, a child and many very good friends from me.  When dealing with death, I grieve out loud. I weep. I cry. I question. I scream and then I weep once more.

Living in Southeastern Louisiana lately, death surrounds us, creeping into all aspects of our lives. Work is no longer work; it is working while we can. Cooking no longer means going to the grocery store and getting what is cheapest, but stocking up on local seafood before our seafood ceases to exist. It is saying good-bye to the memories we would make on the beaches, because the beaches are closed off. Watching the television means watching local news or Anderson Cooper 360 since those seem to be the only outlets really reporting what is happening here. It means becoming the ‘them’ again,  the ‘them’ that is stupid enough to live there, stupid enough to have a state that depends on oil to run, the ‘them’ that is getting what they deserve. We are the ‘them’ who are hurting but the ‘them’ not being listened to. We are the ‘them’ being held hostage by a foreign corporation, the Federal government and the Coast Guard.

Armed security guards in pastel t-shirts and camo pants guard the beaches, not allowing passage, particularly if you have a camera or pen and paper. In your community, you become the outsider, the enemy, the background music that no one really listens to but is just sort of there. Except we aren’t there, because they won’t let us be.

What was once familiar has become foreign, unrecognizable. The spot on the beach, my spot, where I have written so many words and have contemplated so important life decisions is not longer there, now only an oil-covered mess exists, tainted by negligence, blanketed in betrayal and marked with corruption. The calm has been strangled from it, possibly never to return, a victim the no one heard scream in the middle of the night.

Even harder to bear is the defeated looks on the faces of those all around, whether it be the fisherman who no longer has an income or the bartender that has had his hours cut and watched his tip amounts disappear or the children that know what is happening in the Gulf, wondering why this had to happen, mourning their own things in their own way. They are left confused, seeing the adults in their life struggle with the rhyme and reason, unable to feel really secure after seeing the hopelessness enter the lives of the adults that they trust.

So many adults want to help, but we are held back. If adults, who wield the real power, are unable to help, what can children do?

Culture is dying. The days of the familial fishing business is gone, leaving, well, nothing for those who have dedicated their whole lives to the industry, the sport. No longer can one get on a boat and hitchhike from shrimper to crabber down through the bayou and back up again, offering to help chip in for fuel or work off your ride. Gone are the days of the catch, coming home and celebrating with your family a particular bountiful day. The only thing left to celebrate is what once was and no one likes reliving what we have lost.

We plead for answers from our government, the body we should turn to in an event of a disaster of this size. The government looks the other way, pointing to the criminal that is responsible for this crime, telling us to ask them. When we do ask, because all other rational options have been exercised, we are not given answers but press releases.  We then receive information contradictory to what was just released to the national press when we call to speak with individuals for clarification. BP is not even in the same genre of book, let alone on the same page, yet, we are expected to put faith in these people that our loss will be accounted for and trust that they will do the right thing and help us make it through this preventable homicide against nature.

Is there anyone there? Is anyone listening to us? Our voices are being muffled by politics, by serious covering of asses, by a system that has been allowed to become an outlaw, doing as it pleases with no consequences for bad behavior. Mainstream media attempt to distract us, trying to fill us with ‘developments’ that aren’t developments but recycled news stories they didn’t bother paying attention to the first time. No one is looking out for us. No one is being our voice. It feels like we live in our own third world country.

It is for these reasons, and many more that cannot adequately be described with words but must be experienced to fully understand, that I’m not okay. The death. The desperation. The hopelessness. The abandon. The shame of it all. I’m not okay.

I’m not okay.

Despite New Found Outrage, Libyan/BP Link Not New News

Blair and Gaddafi May 2007

I have a habit of watching CNN on the television, while having BBC or Al-Jazeera English running on my computer through Live Station while I read newspapers online, check out my Google alerts and have my morning coffee. This morning when I turned CNN on,extended reporting  aired about  a link between the release of the Lockerbie bomber,  Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, and deals made in regards to BP. Annoyed, I turned to MSNBC and what was being discussed on The Morning Joe? A connection between BP and the release of al- Megrahi. Fox News? You guessed it, the possible connection between BP and al-Megrahi release.

What’s all the noise about?

Politicians in the United States are now calling for an investigation into a possible connection that exchanged al-Megrahi release for big oil contracts in Libya for BP.

My question is why, after eighty-some days of obscene negligence, dishonesty that cannot be described any other way than profane, irresponsibility and fleecing of Louisiana’s working class, is this now becoming an issue being reported on the mainstream American media and receiving attention by those powers that be in the US when this information has been available for some time? Like a few years.

In 2007, the rumblings of a BP-influenced deal with Libya began making rumblings shortly after images of Tony Blair and Muammar al-Gaddafi shaking hands (see above photo) appeared in the media. Shortly after this photo-op, it was announced  on  May 29, 2007 that BP would be going into Libya after a 33 year absence.  This was a 900 million dollar deal that gave BP rights to oil exploration and prospecting. United States publications like the New York Times also briefly covered this story. (As well as endless British mainstream publications such as The Telegraph, The Times,  The Guardian and The Independent)Is one to believe that the US was just made aware of the information connecting BP with the Lockerbie trade? Heck no! The Washington Post published this article on August 31, 2009 on the connection. MSNBC published this report on August 29, 2009. There are many others.

So, why is it now that US politicians are calling for an investigation into the connection between these two entities? Was it easier to look the other way when Big Oil was filling politicians pockets without consequence or possibility of guilt by association?  Is it because we still live in a society fueled by Bush Administration fear of the elusive boogeyman – the terrorist and for a company to have made a trade for a terrorist is just not acceptable?  Is it because now it is trendy to speak ill of BP? Or is it because it is a slow news week, with stalled progress  on domestic or foreign policy, not to mention the clusterfuck between BP and the Feds in dealing with the oil spill and the mainstream media clan are puppets and report only what each other are reporting, without doing any sort of research or looking for ledes in important stories such as the oil spill? Or perhaps it is because finally we have caught another country red-handed and just as guilty as the US for allowing oil to influence our domestic and foreign policies?

Whatever the reason, this isn’t a new development, folks.  This isn’t a new discovered secret deal uncovered by intelligence agencies or leaked documents. This has been there, right under most of our noses, hidden on the back pages of newspapers for at least three years. Don’t fall for the hype. Demand more.

This is just another example of our suffering and tragedy in the Gulf being hijacked by politics to help build someone’s career.

World Wide BP Protest Day July 10

New Orleans, USA – Worldwide BP Protest Day – 10 July 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

6:00pm – 8:00pm

The steps next to Cafe du Monde

748 Decatur St.

New Orleans, LA

This is the New Orleans Chapter of the Worldwide BP Protest Day where we will unite in voice with dozens of major cities around the globe. The purpose of this event is to peacefully demand better legislation that seizes power from the oil companies and corporations who have been ravaging our homeland for decades. We will unite to demand justice and accountability for the destruction of our environment and for the physical and psychological damage inflicted upon our families, friends, and loved ones.

These atrocities cannot continue. Let us join forces on July 10th to let our voices be heard. Attend and invite all your friends. We CAN save the GULF. We CAN save the CITY. We CAN save the PLANET and we CAN save OURSELVES.

It is requested that if you can’t make the New Orleans Event in person, you find 5 other people to take your place, whether it be locally or in one of the other cities participating.

Local starter: Lauren Goldfinch

Information on Global Event, including participating cities on our FaceBook page.

After the protest the Krewe of Dead Pelicans will proceed to Molly’s where we will be greeted by the music of the Pair ‘o Dice Tumblers.

Hope to see y’all there!
Twitter @ww_bp_protest

Huffington Post Promoting Blatant Lie About “Oil Rain”

From Dambala:

it’s really amazing. I tried and tried to comment on that post that this story is bullshit and they “curated” my comments 3 times. It’s like a radio host yelling over a phone caller who disagrees with him…except you can’t even get through.

He’s talking about this post on The Huffington Post with attached video of so-called oil rain by some unknown bubba who, it appears, is desperate to be in the media. It’s not a big stretch to figure out someone changed their car oil and dumped it in the storm drain. Obviously, HuffPo will post anything that screams “OIL SPILL” to get hits. This is one woman who will not be hitting HuffPo again until they allow opposing opinion and publish a retraction. Unfortunately, that includes local writers who publish there as well.

BP & NOAA Coving Up Magnitude of Wildlife Deaths?

Update: I wrote this post last night. The video I talk about is now up on YouTube – here it is:

I just watched this story on Countdown with Keith Olbermann and I am incensed. Marine toxocologist Rikki Ott tells of eyewitnesses who claim people are “appearing” in the dark of night taking away carcasses of various sea life washing on shore.  She claims there are way more wildlife casualties than we are being told. and says “I’ve been able to get pictures of BP raking up bird carcasses and separating heads from bodies.” Allegedly cameras and cell phones are banned by BP representatives (who are implementing metal detectors) even though these are public beaches. In addition, oil spill workers and residents are reporting increasingly more health affects attributed to the oil such as skin rashes, burning throats and watering eyes.

Click here to hear this appalling report.

June 10-12: States Participate in “Dine Out For The Gulf”

Photo by Maitri – mmmmmm……gumbo!

From Defend New Orleans:

America’s premier chefs and restaurants unite to create Dine Out for the Gulf Coast, benefiting the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund.
From June 10-12, 2010, participating restaurants throughout the United States will set aside a portion of profits to help those directly affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and to support the long-term restoration of the treasured coast.

Participating restaurants will customize their own Dine Out for the Gulf Coast benefit program. Some restaurants will contribute a percentage of total sales for the day and others will donate the sales from specific menu items, while others will offer specialty cocktails with a dollar-value from sales donated to the fund.
Many restaurants will highlight Gulf seafood offerings as a way to support the Gulf Coast fishing industry (commercial and charter fisherman), just declared a national fisheries disaster by Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.
The short-term goal of The Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund, administered by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, is to make emergency grants to nonprofit organizations helping the victims of the oil spill. The long-term goal of the fund is to address the long-term economic, environmental, cultural effects of the disaster, and strengthen coastal communities against future environmental catastrophes by investing in solutions. No administrative fees will be charged to the fund: all funds will be re-granted to the communities in need.

Click here for a list of participating restaurants. States participating (so far) include California, Washington D.C., Louisiana, Virginia, New York, Illinois, Tennessee, Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnestoa, Massachusetts, Oregon, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Florida.
We thank you!