Oil Wars Come Home to Roost

Looking for the Moral Equivalent of a President, Still

Even the birds are pissed. Whether it’s the Mockingbird who guards the footpath down by the bus stop. Or the Blue Jay who cusses across my back deck. Or even the frigging Grackle who buzzed me early morning at the grocery-store parking lot. This week I‘m a Hitchcock player and these birds come straight for my neck.

AP says 333 birds have been found dead along the Gulf Coast with no oil on them. Well, the birds I know are telling me what their fellows died from. The lead weight of grief. As if the oil companies hadn’t wrecked every other week this century. As if this must be nothing but the century of dirty oil. Suddenly the oil wars have come home to roost and there is nothing to do about it except what everybody else has done who gets smacked by this dark force of history. You just stand there and cry.

It’s like shock and awe bounced back off the dark side of the moon. All the wealth and brains and power of the mighty American empire sucked into a vacuum of arrogant corruption and relayed back to earth in the form of a blob that will not be stopped until the death of it all finally sinks in. You call this stinking mess democracy?

“I would be betting the plan is to let us die,” says St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro. And Plaquemine Parish President Billy Nungesser tells a wicked little story about what happens when your messenger comes back from the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the US Army Corps of Engineers. The grassroots people were ready to defend their shores, Nungesser says to CNN’s Campbell Brown, but the Corps of Engineers was not. The American people expected to see ships and uniforms lining the shores with resources and action, but the Coast Guard did not. Everyone who loves the waters and sands and skies and breezes of the Gulf of Mexico expected a moral equivalent of war to be mobilized by the White House, but the President of the United States did not.

A boot heel on the neck of BP? Is this how Democrats have come to brag about what real power feels like? The US Navy has a fleet of nuclear submarines that can erase all human life from the planet in 90 seconds or less but only BP can be trusted to lead the world when the water gets that deep? And even in this emergency the only thing that Constitutional authorities know how to do is look for some neck to stand on? No wonder even the birds have had enough of this nonsense. If it’s necks that count for power these days, I can tell you, even the birds are ready to go.

No doubt a lot of good folks feel they have to behave properly in front of the television cameras, but thank god for Billy Nungesser cussing right in the Governor’s face. I know he spoke for me. Even the vaunted James Carville is stupefied at the obscenities of neglect that are killing our dearly beloved Gulf of Mexico. If the plan is not to kill the Gulf, why did the President spend the weekend at West Point– ideological home base of The Corps? If the plan is not to let it die, why wasn’t West Point spending the weekend with Nungesser and Taffaro? I paid my taxes so that West Point could keep its frigging graduation schedule? Somebody ought to go up there to Newburgh, New York and take pictures of all the new cars on the West Point campus this week.

If Plaquemine and St. Bernard Parishes secede from the union this week, you can count me in. The world is badly in need of a moral equivalent of a President. And today, the Parish Presidents of the Gulf Coast are working for me.

Greg Moses is editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review and author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. He can be reached at: gmosesx@prodigy.net. Read other articles by Greg, or visit Greg's website.

23 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozh said on May 26th, 2010 at 10:10am #

    Alas, it is all quite legal or as some people call it, regulated! Drill baby drill and expand baby expand is legal. And more than legal; it is holy!
    US is a nation of laws. Nothing happens in US that is not of the system; in accord with constitution or any other law.
    Complaining ab the rupture of drill site is as legal as the rupture of the oil pipe. tnx

  2. Mulga Mumblebrain said on May 26th, 2010 at 10:29am #

    So what are the odds these days that the global ruling pathocracy,who are doing nothing to avert ecological doom for our species, and are, in fact, acting in every way imaginable to make that fate,now certain, arrive even more expeditiously, are in fact an alien species who are setting the scene for our dispossession of this planet and their usurpation.After years of putting Rightwing evil down to psychopathy,personal viciousness, stupidity, greed and ignorance, this constellation of evil still seems not to adequately explain the omnicidal fervour of our masters.

  3. bozh said on May 26th, 2010 at 12:30pm #

    A question i am gonna impose on u? Don’t elephants [which don’t know that they are elephants or even animals] gather around their young to protect them from expected or real dager?

    And we humans do not? Or some do?!. It is each family for self. The more disunion with other families, the easier is to render them obeisant and compliant.

    But elephant priests have not split asunder elephants in families. Nor do elephants have rules, laws, teachers, war leaders-heros, aunts, or uncles yet are able to understand that they must protect ALL of their young.

    They [like humans] do have the proverbial funni uncle: the rogue elephant, but he’s driven out because elephants know the truth: funni uncle or rouge elephant never changes.

    So who’s more animalistic? The elephants or our ‘leaders’ and priests? tnx

  4. kalidas said on May 26th, 2010 at 12:39pm #

    bozh, check this out.
    An elephant simulating an elephant knowing she’s an elephant.
    Who’d a thunk it?

    Turn up the volume and you can hear the tourist spectators genuine awe as the witness this impossibility.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He7Ge7Sogrk

  5. kalidas said on May 26th, 2010 at 12:51pm #

    By the way, elephants DO have aunts and uncles, rules, teachers, etc.

    It has also been proven they recognize they are individual entities, show concern and care for each other, can reason, use logic, accomplish some math and communicate effectively through various mediums.

    Not to mention they are the only animals which can remember their past lives.
    This is the source of the British perversion (like so many other things) … “an elephant never forgets.”

  6. bozh said on May 26th, 2010 at 12:59pm #

    Kalidas, sorry,
    I didn’t get that. Wld u like to reword it? Can an elephant simulate, act, dissemble, know, etc., that there is a she and he. But anyhow, it wld be nice to know what is it that they know and even more importantly how they know what they know!
    Humans know this and that, but never inquire how they know what they know.
    But if they wld do just that one thing, world wld improve! But clerico-political ‘elite’ will never disclose to them this methodology of evaluating! tnx

  7. Deadbeat said on May 26th, 2010 at 1:15pm #

    The title of is somewhat hyperbolic and misleading giving the impression that the Wars on the ME raison d’etre is oil. What’s coming home to roost is Capitalism. According to BP workers there were business pressures to cut corners and to ignore damage to the rubber bushing that is used to control the well pressure. When pieces of the bushing was coming up from the well it was ignored in order to meet BP’s schedule pressures. That was criminal and the executives at BP should be held liable. But doing so would set a “bad” example.

  8. bozh said on May 26th, 2010 at 1:22pm #

    Kalidas, elephants have no language, thus cannot have teachers, uncles, etc. Like all other animals their understandings-knowledge-feelings is akin to ours, but have no words or labels for it.
    However, we ca not ever know how their silent knowledge differs from our non-verbal knowledge. It must differ s’mhow as they protect all of their young and we don’t!
    I suggest that a baby calf cannot know she has a mother; calf only remembers who’s feeding her. Calf uses hearing, smelling, touching, seeing, tasting to gather knowledge.
    If we wld only do that, world wld immensly improve. We are to much word-oriented.
    This means, that the lenghty pieces wld not be read by children and if read wld have not gained any knowledege from words alone.
    And it’s the kids we need to get onside and not one another or ab 0001% of the world pop.
    We have probably lost forever ab 95% of US pop. I.E., as long as we teach by words only and not deeds. Let americans taste, see, experience completed socialism and we wld see how quckly their thinking wld change. tnx

  9. kalidas said on May 26th, 2010 at 2:06pm #

    Well then you’d be wrong again, bozh. At least twice.
    I’d bet my last euro that a baby elephant could pick out her mother instantly, from a hundred other females. By sight, sound and/or smell.

    Sometimes, in defense of the indefensible, you become silly.
    Hope that doesn’t offend you.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYk-wE18BTo

  10. Don Hawkins said on May 26th, 2010 at 2:07pm #

    DALLAS, May 26 (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp’s (XOM.N) chief executive said on Wednesday his company was still working with BP Plc (BP.L) (BP.N) to contain the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and urged U.S. policymakers to take a thoughtful response to the accident.

    “They need to recognize that there have been very effective procedures in place,” Rex Tillerson, Exxon’s CEO, told reporters after the company’s annual meeting. He added that about 14,000 deepwater wells around the world have been drilled safely.

    U.S. policymakers to take a thoughtful response to the accident, U.S. policymakers to take a thoughtful response to the accident.

    http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/national_international/Total_Exxon_Mobil_most_fined_polluters_in_Texas.html?c=y&page=2#storytop

    Exxon Mobil’s Baytown refinery, the largest in the nation, got the company’s biggest fine — about $500,000. It included 23 offenses, including a 17½-hour release that included 5 tons of sulfur dioxide, a half-ton of ammonia, more than 130 tons of carbon monoxide and 900 pounds of hydrogen cyanide.

    U.S. policymakers to take a thoughtful response to the accident, Oh Rex Tillerson who run’s policy in the United States ever hear of the exspression man behind the curtain?

  11. Don Hawkins said on May 26th, 2010 at 2:54pm #

    Here comes the big push from big oil who I might add are friends of big coal and big business there one. Just now on CNN the govner of Mississippi Haley Barbour I guess started the push with thousands of well’s have been drilled safely. First take a look at this little chart.

    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png

    That’s a record for ice melt on planet Earth and those same people from big this and that for years now have said just think in a few years we can go get the oil and gas in the Arctic safely and yes we could lose a few Polar Bears no big deal. For some reason they seem to always’ over look the pollution of rivers, cities, towns, valley’s, the oceans and of course the little fact that as the ice goes the destruction of creation. This summer will be hot very hot and then this winter oh crap to put it in very simple terms. With the temperature of the oceans this very second Worldwide this summer will not be boring for many. Does big this and that gave a dam well no. They will dig and drill and trade until the destruction of creation is assured.

  12. bozh said on May 26th, 2010 at 4:06pm #

    Kalidas,
    it seems u didn’t read my post slowly enough or don’t remember that i said a baby calf learns solely from experience: hearing, tasting, seeing, smelling, and touching in order to stay close to her mother and the herd.
    A baby elephant also learns that way at certain point in time. So does a human baby. If a baby elephant or baby boy wanders off aimlessly, their moms nudge back into the fold. In other words, at some time they do not sense danger or need to be in herd or by mom.
    But watch them later running to their moms when they feel lost or are scared. That’s because learning took place.
    All of them know their mother from smelling, feeling, hearing, seeing, and touching solely.
    There is no magic there. If a human baby is aducted at a point in time by another woman, the baby forgets her real mother and also rejects her as mother.

    Wld an abducted elephant baby or a calf baby reject her real mother if the babies had been separated from mother for a long time?
    Well, i don’t know. Probably they wld, i suggest!
    But i wld also like to hear from scientists of animal beahvior ab all this. So i conclude but cld be wrong that baby elephant after some separation wld not instantly recognize her mother or feeder among a thousand elephants. And u presented no evidence for that.
    And if, so what? tnx

  13. Don Hawkins said on May 26th, 2010 at 4:49pm #

    An elephant knows if you are a danger. How do I know this because in my many travels I feed elephants for about six months. They can sense you so to speak. Am going to watch TV for a little while I see if I can sense anything.

  14. Don Hawkins said on May 26th, 2010 at 5:34pm #

    Ok went to Fox new’s and saw well dressed human’s talking and have to admit didn’t understand most of what I just heard. They seem to talk in some kind of code. I sense the same thing with CNBC and if many of these people were not on TV but in my presence I wouldn’t turn my back on them. Now granted they smile and seem educated but I sense motives beneath all of that nice game of checkers cup of coffee.

  15. bozh said on May 26th, 2010 at 5:39pm #

    kalidas,
    i only tried to make a point when comparing behaviors of animals like elephants and humans. U have not noticed that or chose to ignore the lesson of my pst.
    I don’t mind being proven wrong ab anything i said ab animals except the fact that they form a circle around their young when they sense danger.

    neither i nor the lesson is silly. In any case, why namecall? wld u like to tell us what was the purpose of that? or whether u’d continue to use dysphemistic labels in order to discourage free flow of speech or whatever? tnx

  16. beverly said on May 26th, 2010 at 6:38pm #

    “If the plan is not to kill the Gulf, why did the President spend the weekend at West Point– ideological home base of The Corps? ”

    Ouch. Glad to see there is a chance that Mr. Moses may decide to extricate himself from up Obama’s butt. His Counterpunch articles about Obama have been exercises in gullibility.

  17. gmosesx said on May 26th, 2010 at 6:52pm #

    Ouch.

  18. kalidas said on May 26th, 2010 at 7:44pm #

    bozh, you said: “Don’t elephants [which don’t know that they are elephants or even animals]”

    This is what I disagree with. Perhaps I got carried away a bit but nonetheless..
    If you choose to ignore or disbelieve your own eyes and ears by not accepting the video of the elephant demonstrating it does indeed know it’s an elephant, then good for you.

    Also, perhaps I’ll nominate you for a Gunness book record for world’s thinnest skin.

  19. Don Hawkins said on May 27th, 2010 at 2:38am #

    AHN News Staff
    Boulder, CO, United States (AHN) – Latest data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, shows that Arctic sea ice is set to recede to a record low this year. Based on the center’s satellite information, ice coverage this year is equal to the record-low 2007 level.

    The average extent of Arctic sea ice was 14.69 million square kilometers in April, which is just 310,000 sq. km. below the 1979 to 2000 average. The rate of decline in ice coverage for the same months was 41,000 sq. km. (16,000 square miles) daily.

    The center pointed out the ice extent for April was the largest for that month in the past 10 years. It laid the phenomenon to changing wind patterns that caused older, thicker ice to move southward along Greenland’s east coast, where it will probably melt in summer.

    Mark Serreze of the center forecast the ice decline this year would even break 2007’s record.

    To show the extent of ice melting, University of Manitoba researcher David Barber said in 1981, 90 percent of the Arctic ice pack was made of multiyear ice–the kind that stops ships. Now, multiyear ice has dwindled to 18 percent.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————————

    With the end of the glaciers seemingly close at hand, artists, writers and poets have also begun climbing Glacier’s talus slopes, hoping to document what remains of the current ecosystem in their own way. For the first time ever, Fagre said, both art and science will display side by side at the Many Glacier Hotel this year.

    “These glaciers have been here for 7,000 years, and we were saying they’d be gone in 20 years,” Fagre said, referring to his earlier studies. “It turns out we were wrong, but we were wrong in the wrong direction. We were too conservative in our estimates. The glaciers could be gone a lot sooner.”

    “There have been a lot of changes in the last 100 years for Glacier National Park,” Fagre said. “I think the park will continue to be an inspiration for scientists and artists well into the future, but it’s just going to be different.” By MARTIN J. KIDSTON Independent Record

    but it’s just going to be different am going to watch some TV today and see if I sense any different. Probably there to blame no them too I didn’t do anything can we still drill so that’s what light sweet crude look’s like, the government isn’t doing enough wait the government is doing to much wow that’s a low price but it’s just going to be different.

    Still time not much cap and trade will not work and the people this very second who drill in the Gulf don’t even want that I guess they know best.

  20. Don Hawkins said on May 27th, 2010 at 4:19am #

    Sent this to msm this morning

    Too see,

    Oh there are many who seem to be missing something alright.

    A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive. (Albert Einstein, 1954)

    Can we free ourselves from the prison well rather hard to do in a little something called the rat race are human’s in control or the system? Here’s where a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive part comes in and you have to admit Einstein took the complex and made it simple sort of. He saw things that others didn’t. Today there are a few who also see and of course those that don’t. That is not true about not seeing now is it? Come on who’s in control the system or human’s remember big forces that make the system what? Ah just maybe the reason better to not see or be told to not see. Ignorance is strength according to who? Well in very simple terms the people who were paid to make wow that’s a low price to get people to think in such a way might know. Oh yes the big fish eat the little fish and the pictures out of the Gulf I don’t think are eating they don’t seem to feel good. I know to simple.

    Don

  21. bozh said on May 27th, 2010 at 5:54am #

    kalidas,
    I do not think u understood me! It is not ab what an elephant IS, but ab what that animal IS CALLED.
    And this animal does not call self “elephant”. The word “elephant” evokes in us an image of an elephant.
    A human knowledge cannot be an elephant’s knowledge. But once again u insult me.
    U call people names and when i point it out to u, u accuse me that i am wrong and u’r right. So, what’s this ab thinest skin? And waht’s ab the namecall. Will more follow?
    In any case, i have other things to do and not read people’s post who do insulting!

  22. kalidas said on May 27th, 2010 at 7:20am #

    bozh, there is also such a thing as insulting someone’s intelligence.

  23. Don Hawkins said on May 27th, 2010 at 8:01am #

    Yes there sure is kalidas turn on your TV bingo your intelligence just got insulting much of what we read on the Internet the same read a new’s paper a magazine watch the Congress on c-span now there’s a big insult the shit put into people’s heads in old twenty ten is mind boggling to say the least. Granted if your good and can connect the dot’s read between the lines you can find the truth and to have to work at finding the truth instead of being told the truth on all levels or at least try the rest is academic.