just another guy with straw for brains …

20110421 – Deepwater Horizon one year later

Segment #1:  News Rant
Presenter:  SmartScarecrow
Estimated time:  10 minutes

Editorial – Playing the race card ad nauseum

Walking Eagle email making rounds – Internet Rumor mill urban legends

During the presidential campaign, Senator Obama was invited to address a major gathering of American Indian nations a few weeks ago in upstate New York. He spoke for almost an hour on his future plans for increasing every Native American’s present standard of living should he one day become the President. He referred to his career as a senator and how he had voted ‘YES’ for every Indian issue that came to his desk for approval.

At the conclusion of his speech, the tribes presented the senator with a plaque inscribed with his new Indian name – Walking Eagle. The proud senator then departed in his motorcade, waving goodbye to the crowd.

A news reporter later asked the group of chiefs how they came to select the new name they had given Obama. They explained that Walking Eagle is the name given to a bird so full of shit it can no longer fly.

The truth – editorial

While, I agree that Obama is full of crap, this is an old joke that was used in previous political campaigns and is not to be taken literally.  Same gag was applied to Kerry in 2004 and Bush in 2005. 

But the reaction of so many Obama supporters has been that in this case, the gag is somehow a racist slur against all peoples of color.  Should it not be considered “racist” to avoid political satire of a public figure based on the color of his skin?

Obama Sock Puppet Toy:

The Obama Sock Monkey, a toy, is being sold over the internet by a Utah couple and causing quite an uproar from supporters of democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. The sock monkey is wearing a suit with a lapel pin for Obama.

Angry Obama supporters have been posting in online forums and blogs all over the internet over what they see as degrading depictions of black people calling the Obama Sock Monkey a throw back to the days of “Jim Crow?? laws in southern states. Those depictions were designed to make one man appear inferior, less than human, for no other reason than the color of his skin. Some bloggers say The Sock Obama is disgusting while others are saying its makers are racists.

The creators of The Sock Obama say they are shocked by the anger. In responding to a handful of the emails that are filling their inbox, they wrote:

“We at TheSockObama Co. are saddened that some individuals have chosen to misinterpret our plush toy. It is not, nor has it ever been, our objective to hurt, dismay or anger anyone. We guess there is an element of naiveté on our part, in that we don’t think in terms of myths, fables, fairy tales and folklore. In earnest folks, we’re so sorry we offended anybody?

GOP official apologizes for sending Obama chimp image, refuses to step down:
by Lucy Madison

Orange County Republican party official Marilyn Davenport apologized Monday night to fellow party members for sending out an email depicting President Obama’s head on the body of an ape — but maintained that she does not plan to resign from her post.

Davenport sent an email over the weekend to fellow party members in which Mr. Obama’s head is pasted on the body of a baby ape. The image also depicts two adult apes wearing human clothing – presumably referencing Mr. Obama’s parents. “Now you know why no birth certificate,” the accompanying text reads.

Shortly after sending the email, Davenport said in a follow up that she was sorry if she had offended anyone with the image. She denied the implication that the depiction was racist.

“I simply found it amusing regarding the character of Obama and all the questions surrounding his origin of birth,” she wrote in an email. “In no way did I even consider the fact he’s half black when I sent out the email.”

“In fact, the thought never entered my mind until one or two other people tried to make this about race,” she added. “I received plenty of emails about [former president] George Bush that I didn’t particularly like yet there was no ‘cry’ in the media about them.”

Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh has reportedly entreated Davenport to resign from her position, as he has determined that the group’s bylaws prevent its members from voting her out. He told the Associated Press he hopes to have an ethics committee investigate the incident.

Baugh said that despite Davenport’s apology, he continued to condemn her behavior and believes she should resign.

“The email is without question extremely racist,” Baugh said. “Depicting African-Americans as monkeys is a longtime, well-known and particularly offensive slur because it denies them their basic humanity.”

“The damage to the Republican Party has been done by her and I still think she should resign,” he added in an interview with the Weekly.

The California branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) also spoke out against Davenport’s actions.


So the moral of the story is, if by chance, the people choose to elect a person of color to a position of prominance, that person should automatically be given a special pass of some sort on the basis of the color of their skin?

Those of us who stood up to the government of the day and participated in the civil rights marches of the 1960’s and 1970’s argued that people should be judged based on the quality of their character, not the color of their skin.  We believed the rhetoric of the leaders of the civil rights movement that they sought equal rights for non whites, not special rights.  If you choose to engage in public life, your skin, regardless of its hue, had better be thick enough to handle the heat. 

Get over it!

Donald Trump – conservative saviour or vote splitting spoiler to ensure Obama gets his second term?

The Ross Perot factor?  Split the conservative vote to ensure Clintons win.

Think about it …

Segment #2:  Alternative Energy News
Presenter:  Sterling Allan, CEO, founder of New Energy Congress
Estimated Time:  15 minutes

Sterling Allan’s show notes are available at

Segment #3: Feature Presentation – Deepwater Horizon one year later
Presenter:  SmartScarecrow
Estimated Time:  30 minutes

This week marks the one year anniversary of the biggest petroleum disaster in history.  The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also referred to as the BP oil spill, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the BP oil disaster, or the Macondo blowout) is an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which flowed for three months in 2010. The impact of the spill continues even after the well has been capped. It is the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry.

The spill stemmed from a sea-floor oil gusher that resulted from the April 20, 2010 explosion of Deepwater Horizon, which drilled on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect. The explosion killed 11 men working on the platform and injured 17 others. On July 15, 2010 the leak was stopped by capping the gushing wellhead, after it had released about 4,900,000 barrels (779,000 m3) of crude oil. It was estimated that 53,000 barrels per day (8,400 m³/d) were escaping from the well just before it was capped.

It is believed that the daily flow rate diminished over time, starting at about 62,000 barrels per day (9,900 m³/d) and decreasing as the reservoir of hydrocarbons feeding the gusher was gradually depleted. On September 19, 2010 the relief well process was successfully completed, and the federal government declared the well “effectively dead”.

The spill caused extensive damage to marine and wildlife habitats as well as the Gulf’s fishing and tourism industries. In late November 2010, 4,200 square miles (11,000 km²) of the Gulf were re-closed to shrimping after tar balls were found in shrimpers’ nets. The total amount of Louisiana shoreline impacted by oil grew from 287 miles (462 km) in July to 320 miles (510 km) in late November 2010.

In January 2011, an oil spill commissioner reported that tar balls continue to wash up, oil sheen trails are seen in the wake of fishing boats, wetlands marsh grass remains fouled and dying, and that crude oil lies offshore in deep water and in fine silts and sands onshore. A research team found oil on the bottom of the seafloor in late February 2011 that did not seem to be degrading. NOAA declared “an unusual mortality event,” ongoing since last February 2011, after a spike in the number of dead dolphins washing up in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

Skimmer ships, floating containment booms, anchored barriers, sand-filled barricades along shorelines, and dispersants were used in an attempt to protect hundreds of miles of beaches, wetlands, and estuaries from the spreading oil. Scientists have also reported immense underwater plumes of dissolved oil not visible at the surface as well as an 80-square-mile (210 km²) “kill zone” surrounding the blown well.

The U.S. Government has named BP as the responsible party, and officials have committed to holding the company accountable for all cleanup costs and other damage. After its own internal probe, BP admitted that it made mistakes which led to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Is it really over?  Watch and decide for yourself.

ABC News article – Gulf Oil Spill: Fishermen Say They Are Sick from Cleanup

Associated Press – IMPACT: 3,200 Gulf wells unplugged, unprotected

More than 3,200 oil and gas wells classified as active lie abandoned beneath the Gulf of Mexico, with no cement plugging to help prevent leaks that could threaten the same waters fouled by last year’s BP spill, The Associated Press has learned.

The Hill – A year after spill, BP gives political contributions to Republican leaders

Nearly a year after its massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP has broken a moratorium on political giving by making contributions to Speaker John Boehner and other GOP leaders.

BP Corp. North America gave $5,000 contributions to Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) through its political action committee, according to a campaign finance report filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

The Independent – After the spill: One year on the battle for compensation in Louisiana is far from over

One evening in late March, fishermen from the Louisiana bayous are locked in a bureaucratic dance that began with the explosive blow-out on the BP-Transocean drilling platform, Deepwater Horizon, on 20 April, 2010.

Around 300 shrimpers, crabbers and oyster dredgers gather at a shopping mall in Lafourche – a predominantly Cajun parish dotted with small communities of Slav, Vietnamese, Cambodian, African-American and white – to hear Ken Feinberg, President Obama’s appointed pay tsar, describe his plan to address their losses from the subsequent oil spill, one of the largest in US history, in the Gulf of Mexico.

A year on and much is still in dispute: the true scope of the estimated five-million-barrel spill; the whereabouts of this oil; the effect of two million gallons of Corexit, the controversial dispersant BP sprayed on the oil; how to restore miles of coastline, most of it in Louisiana, blackened with oil; and the long-term effects on wildlife and commercial fishing in the Gulf.

But one thing is agreed: unless the rig operator Transocean is held partly responsible for the accident that killed 11 of its workers, BP is picking up the bill. The company has set aside $20bn raised through the sale of US assets and is likely to face federal fines to match.

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