Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"Do the Right Damn Thing"

This video from Crooks and Liars is quaranteed to make you want to cry in your beer and then sock someone in the gut. It is a bit long but worth every second.

I cannot say it any better than karoli does:

The Oil Spill Commission held its first hearing on the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico Monday at the New Orleans Hilton. During the public comment portion, local residents came forward to tell their own stories of loss and fear and frustration over the oil spill and the moratorium.

When words failed, music prevailed.

I don't remember a time where I've seen a hearing like this. I hope another never needs to take place. Whether the Commission hears or not, I did. We all should.

But for all their passion and courage, they concerned me. Many comments concerned their fear that a moratorium would destroy their business and their livelihoods. Others expressed concern that New Orleans would die for certain under a moratorium.

Their testimony left me wondering how on earth drilling can be made safer without a moratorium. It's a no-win situation, unless there is a way to structure the ban in a way that fast-tracks safety measures or other procedures are put in place to keep these people from losing everything they've worked so hard for.

These are the voices of the ones on the front line. Six kids and a second chance slipping from the grasp of a mom. A fisherman. A musician. And a life they've known slipping away from them.

I don't envy this Commission. There aren't any easy answers. On the one hand, these people see a moratorium as insult to injury. On the other hand, not imposing a moratorium gives them at least a shred of a hope they'll survive.


  1. That was touching! I'm afraid this is just the beginning. Any idea of what % oil related jobs make of the total jobs lost. Some of these jobs that have been lost are going to be for years and maybe forever. BP is not going to pay forever or very far into the future. I hate to think of what's coming.

  2. This was certainly a compelling video and piece Ms.Leslie. It hit's me especially because I have known so many folk's over the year's who are folk's like that lady and her familia that do everything by the book, straight arrow's, pursue just to raise a familia, go along with all the game's, etc. I cant even match what these folk's do, because everything I done is certainly not legal, as far as all the money I made .... I wasnt the ideal citizen I reckon, not proud of it, but I cant change it either ... so I give credit to these folk's for how they had so much discipline and tried their damndest .... these citizen's are truely the strong and elite. The gentleman with the guitar piece .... I was impressed with the sound and piece of composition especially, considering, no equipment, or proper audio, great lyricist .... that was excellent! .... with an acoustic at that, tone level's and dispersement as well as on the vocal's! And what the man had to say was so straight to the point, he is actually looking at the whole picture and especially the long term, I mean .... he is so accurate as far as the "contracting" that is being done and how the $20 billion is being used, he know's the score. I better shut up, cause there is more to this than what meet's the eye currently, and I know this guy see's it, and was just being polite.

    Thank You Ms.Leslie ....

  3. Another thing I am not thrilled to tell here, but ... it will become a reality most likely, so I will. But I, let's just say "suspect" that American's will be far from happy if they soon find out that over the next year or so, BP will get billion's in tax write off's, over such thing's as the gentleman in video mentioned as far as contracting, etc.(he's no dummy) So .... folk's may put 2 and 2 together and figure/ question .... if much get's wrote off ... then who is actually paying this (ding-ding) ... well ... I'll shut up other wise ... I certainly have wrote plenty about this as well. Remeber's "business" and "alway's look at the legislation, and who write's it" ... and alway's stay one step ahead of them, because you can bank they are alway's one step ahead of you" ...This is how thing's work, but of course there is alway's that chance that this will happen or that etc, etc .... he, heh, heh, heh, heh .... not likely though. For those who may say I'm wrong? .... watch. :)

    Of course the people still get the effort's and money .... but my point is .... how accountable as I have posted so much about will BP actually be? That is the trick .... and who will actually pay? .... where will them fund's actually come from in other word's?

    Thank You Ms.Leslie ....

  4. As both of you indicate, I think there's no doubt that BP will wheedle out of their responsibilities before these people are helped to any degree. It's heartbreaking and maddening.

  5. Hey tnlib
    I'm not to proud to say I shed a tear or two from this post.
    We're so F**ked..

    BTW I'm having trouble commenting so I hope you get this.

  6. Leslie,
    When her voice broke like Tim I teared up.I seem to do that more and more these days. You're a good person Leslie, thank you for this post.

  7. Tim: Yep, I think we're effed this time around for sure. What's worse, I think if anyone had a really good idea, nobody would listen.

    Oso: I think it's because we feel so helpless in the wake of something so much bigger than we are.

  8. Serious R&D should have been done years ago to come up with better means of preventing wellhead blowouts. Same goes for dealing with runaway leaks when they do happen, especially at great depths.

    Along with rigorous state and federal oversight of and safety requirements for drilling, rigs, safety measures, etc., more and better training for executives, engineers and workers should have been required. Last but not least, a good whistleblower law should be in place, and workers should know how to make use of it.

    All these things should be undertaken ASAP, with the industry footing the bill for R&D, equipment required for greater safety and for training.

    An immediate step would be to require that acoustic switch devices, containment caps and other equipment be on hand for all deep water drilling sites.

    With the above things under way, with the industry showing some willing cooperation and with the immediate steps taken, I think the government could reasonably lift the ban -- then watch their every move.

    Clearly, people forced out of work and those whose businesses are affected through no fault of their own must be compensated immediately and until the ban is lifted. BP should be made to pay the lion's share of that cost. If that means the government must put the company into receivership, break it up and sell off the pieces, so be it.

  9. Ms.Leslie: As far as your reponse to Mr.Oso on feeling helpless .... It's fact many feel helpless, I have said too much about this myself. But the thing is .... we are not as helpless as we may "feel", this is where I pointed out before about utilization of the tool's we have .... it's sure as Hell not a cake walk, but unlike some nation's .... we actually have tool's here, and eventually you will see a drastic change in the mind's of the people, in combo with several icon's actually destroying themselves internally .... in time .... I will bet my paycheck on it, that's how confident I am. These neo overnight empire's of today, will not even last a fraction of what they did in the past civilisation's. My concern is not getting the republican's in a majority power the next few year's, not that I have a love for democrat's, they have plenty of crook's too, because republican's plan's will make our ride harder. I'm concerned, because when Pres.Obama got elected, there was a spirit and drive to get someone more out of the box or out of the usual maintream in office, this brought out so many that didnt vote much and some who never voted, also this man was able to raise what(?) almost a billion in small donation's from average folk's? This really shook up some of the decade's old furniture .... and that election was close, forget the electorial stuff, the actual vote's were really tight. I only hope that folk's that vote democrat will be just as aggressive in these next two election's as well. Staying on top and on their asses, which is our "right", is alway's an important factor, once you throw in the towel, and give up because you feel it's hopeless is when you get defeated.That's just my opinion.

    Thank You

  10. SW: All excellent good points. I think Critter's Crap recently pointed out that we're the only country in the world that doesn't require relief wells and acoustic valves.

    If the government only watches every move. There's always a chance of another Bush/Cheney team of crooks. Still, you and RC, make me feel a little more optimistic.

    RC: And your points are also well taken. I think when push comes to shove and people look at the alternatives - including Republicans - the Dems should do okay. I will be honest and say that I'm just as disgruntled and disgusted with members of our own party as I am of the opposition. About a year ago the liberal bloggers were saying the reason the conservatives were doing so well was because they were so united. Now look at us. I'm not saying we can't disagree or criticize, but for God's sakes, we need to be more realistic and sophisticated about political matters and the political process. Above all, we need to quit being so friggin' petty. We are literally fighting a war of dangerous, dangerous lies and if we don't pull together, we're going to have no one else to blame but ourselves when the Republicans and Tea Partiers win.

  11. Ms.Leslie: I see your point, especially on the "petty" issue. I reckon I should have taken teabag's more serious myself for that matter, since I blew them off when they started to surface, because it simply looked entertaining more than anything. But yeah ... you made some solid point's.

  12. RC: If people wanted to take the time to backtrack, I've never taken the Baggers seriously. They're simply too extreme for the majority of Americans and there's never ever been a third party that's succeeded in the history of the country. It's the snivelling Democrats who worry me to be perfectly candid. I know this doesn't endear me to a lot of folks but . . .

  13. They are extreme I agree on that. I also think they are now the Republican party.

    They do need to be taken seriously because many of them are running for office and no matter how far out these candidates are the rest of the republicans who are not like them will still vote for them before they ever will a democrat.

    Yes this is serious to dismiss them. At least that's the way I see it. It won't be long and we'll just see where this country stands.

  14. One Fly - I don't think you're totally wrong but I do think there are a lot of main-stream Republicans who will not vote for them. Don't forget that in states like PA over 200,000 Republicans switched parties and voted for Obama. Being an Independent only gets you assholes like Lieberman.

    Polls show that the Tea Party is losing ground practically every day. The more they do things like putting up that billboard in Iowa, the less popular they become. A lot can happen between now and then and imo they're in a downward spiral like a plane in a nose dive. Now, if we can keep our own troops united. Come to think of it, if what you say is true, it's all the more reason to get off our fat asses and get together. Democrats wouldn't be Democrats if we agreed about every thing - the beauty of the party - but we don't need to provide fodder for the enemy. They make up enough lies as it is.

  15. Agreed Leslie and if they fail miserably at the polls to me that proves again how the media fails our country. Just in case though as you say the left needs to unite even more. We are - its the ones in Congress that leave so much to be desired.

  16. Oh, I hope so much we can all watch the media dine on crow. That would be so lov-a-ly. The ones in Congress can always be replaced by better congressmen.

  17. Years ago I had energy and ideas. I ran for county board thinking it would be a springboard to something where I could truly make a difference Leslie. Unfortunately I live in a brutally gerrymandered republican district. I got close, got more votes than 26 of the thirty two others that ran for county board that year. Wasn't enough in my district though. Looking back, I hate to say it, it was probably a blessing I lost.

    The people that got screwed on this deal, any deal, have no real voice or sway. BP has million dollar lobbyists to get their way with donation hungry congressmen. What does a little guy that owns a fishing boat or restaurant have? A vote? 50% plus one is all you need to win. The right fills the airwaves full of shit and gets that.

    Life has made me bitter and cynical towards the process. I see half the members of my local union bashing unions. I see people working in sweatbox factories that aren't union making under ten bucks an hour. And these people have been there 20 years and more. Email me and I'll give you the names of the places. These people vote republican cause they're brainwashed or just ignorant. I don't know. I wish I knew what the right thing to do was. Unfortunately what has been done has been the "right" thing, ala Bush and Reaganomics.

    Sorry for the downer comment.

  18. First, about problems commenting on this format: I had problems until I did this: 1) select Google Account in the drop-down list, 2) select “Preview.” 3) When the preview copy finally comes up it will have your Blogger ID, then you can 4) “Publish you comment.” This is the only way I could get it to take my comments.

    Leslie, even though I could not play the video, you made it real for me as did some of the comments. What is sad to me is a large number of persons affected along the Gulf Coast vote Republican, and I have to wonder at their supporting the Party of Deregulation. The Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans are a part of my life experience, and my sympathy is with these hardworking folks.

    A reminder that mainstream Republicans put the likes of Inhofe, Kyl, Shelby, DeMint, Bachman, Broun and others of their ilk on Capitol Hill. Not to mention re-electing George W. Bush. Let’s not give them too much credit for deep thinking and moral judgment.

    I live in South Carolina where Satan would have a good chance of beating a Democrat.

    Good news that the gusher has been stopped. Let’s hope the cap continues to function.


  19. Truth: I remember when I first started running into you. It was on Brain Rage and I was very impressed with your perceptive noodle. And then you left a really depressing comment which scared hell out of me and I think several others. I'm kind of hearing that now. I know it's of little comfort but we can't take on all the ills of the world and even if we tried we wouldn't be able to have much of an impact. We just have to trudge on and do the best we can - maybe help the guy next door or slip a homeless person a few bucks or spend some time with at risk kids. I'm not a do gooder, so I can't tell you if it really works.

    BJ: I think I see what your problem is. Will send an email. Anyway, I had heard that the folks along the coast are pretty conservative. I'm sympathetic to not having a moratorium on drilling unless the workers can be comfortably compensated during the time it takes to come up with safety plans. I'm not sympathetic to having no regulations.

  20. Truth 101:

    Leslie’s last comment led me to go back and read your comment again. I am not depressed, but years of keeping up with the Bushies’ AND Fox News’ shenanigans probably have made me cynical. I just want you to know you are not alone as I will NEVER understand why the very people who would most benefit from the progressive goals of the Democratic Party vote Repubican.

    I know many people in my home state of Mississippi and in Louisiana, all dear to me and all Republicans. I can honestly say they are brainwashed by being told for so many years how evil Democrats are. To a person, they are unwilling to read any information which might enlighten them, because they view it as propaganda from the left. Any major news source or fact-check site or public watchdog group is also viewed as from the left. They trust Fox News, because they have been told it’s the only news source they can trust.

    When all this stuff gets to me – or, for that matter, any of life’s cares – I sit myself down and go over a long checklist of my blessings. I don’t mean big ole blessings: I mean the little things which help me or give me happiness from day to day.

    I don’t want to sound preachy-teachy, just letting you know what affects me and works for me.


  21. You'd be hard pressed to find someone more appreciative of his blessings. I have far more than I deserve BJ. It just pains me that so many have so much less than I and there really isn't much I can do, or anyone to help them. The really disappointing ones are the ones who vote against their interests and allow themselves to be used and brainwashed.

  22. Powerful! Thanks Leslie.

    There is little to be done for the Gulf anymore. It will take many years to recover. But BP must be made to pay for the suffering they have caused.

  23. On purpose, Frodo has not listened. He believes that "The Grapes of Wrath" is the great chronicle of peoples in Middle Earth forced to abandon all that they have known. He does not have to have the lesson driven home again about corrupt financiers, incompetent politicians, and the presence of the deadliest of Sins.

    He recalls, all too vividly, all "dem black folks," on all dem rooftops, and he fights with himself to have any sympathy at all for the lily-white communities ranging from Plaquemines to Fort Walton.

    He is not Republicant hard-hearted. Frodo simply notes that it is indeed unfortunate that in this, the wealthiest of all nations, that human tragedy still exists, and that woe is not always treatable with tax cuts, and an inheritance.

    What is it a very wise lady once said, oh yeah, sometimes "It takes a Village."