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2010-05-28
Tough Oil

BP's CEO has now officially become the last person on the planet to acknowledge the Gulf of Mexico deluge is "an environmental catastrophe," which might represent infinitesimal progress. But Elizabeth Kolbert in the New Yorker offers some historic perspective to explain why the problem goes deeper than BP's greed or incompetence. "Having consumed most of the world's readily accessible oil, we are now compelled to look for fuel in ever more remote places, and to extract it in ever riskier and more damaging ways."


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2010-05-27
BP Cares

A fake BP Twitter page has garnered over 56,000 followers to date, and helped raise some money toward the clean- up with its BP Cares t-shirts. More here."Catastrophe is a strong word - let's all agree to call it a whoopsie daisy." – on Twitter


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2010-05-26
"We're About To Die Down Here!"

Could it get any worse? Now there are reports that fishermen hired to clean up BP's oil disaster - which closed the fisheries, rendering them unemployed - are getting ill from exposure to oil and chemicals. And - surprise! - the company gave them no protective gear. Was there ever a better argument for nationalizing, say, every private industry? Though a furious James Carville says the Feds have screwed things up almost as bad."They [BP] told us if we ran into oil, it wasn't supposed to bother us. As far as gloves, no, we haven't been wearing any gloves." - George Jackson, former fisherman, now cleaning up BP's mess


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2010-05-21
This Is Ecocide

A new movement seeks to declare ecocide - the destruction of or damage to an ecosystem - a fifth international crime against peace, making corporations punishable by the U.N.'s International Criminal Court. The BP oil spill would be up first; those destroying the Alberta tar sands, the Amazon rain forest and other areas could be next. "We the peoples of the United Nations (vow) to promote social progress and better standards of life in greater freedom." - Preamble to the 1945 U.N. Charter


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2010-05-14
Big Ocean, Tiny Brain

There are horrifying new reports the Gulf oil spill is up to 20 times worse than initially reported, but hey, the head of BP says not to worry. Tony Hayward has the clueless chutzpah to call the spill "tiny" because there's still a whole bunch of ocean left to destroy, leading us to hope a particularly oily corner of Hell awaits him. "The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume."


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Views
2010-05-06
One Case Against BP, Wall Street, and War

The need for greater linkages between the environmental, peace and Wall Street reform movements grow by the day in the face of the epic oil spill caused by British Petroleum, a multinational firm tied to Goldman Sachs and Halliburton in oil wars from the Gulf of Mexico to the Persian Gulf.Peter Sutherland, chairman of BP’s board for the past decade, had headed Goldman Sachs International and, in the 1990s, was a director of the World Trade Organization.


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News
2010-04-23
'Major Oil Spill' Feared As Rig Sinks Off US Coast

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana – A blazing oil rig has sunk into the Gulf of Mexico, sparking fears of an environmental disaster two days after a massive blast that left 11 workers missing. With no sign of the missing workers, rescuers looked likely to abandon their search for survivors. US maritime authorities said crude oil was pouring into the sea at the site where the hulking Deepwater Horizon rig once stood, though they were unable to determine at what rate.


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2010-01-12
The Atheist Camel and Other Inventive Resources for the Rapture-Minded

Hokay. Thinking you'll be raised up to Heaven any day now? Worried about leaving hapless Fido alone to face the Tribulations, rumored to be no walk in the godless park? (Ecclesiastes 3:21: "The spirit of man goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast goeth downward to the earth.") Now Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, a network of committed animal activists and atheists, will adopt your pet for a mere mortal $110 if you are Raptured: "We will step in when you step up to Jesus." No joke. No hoax. So help us God. Or whatever. "We're saying that we do not believe, but if we're wrong, and you're right, then we're here."


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2009-11-30
Big Scary Dreams

Hired at Texas Tech University earlier this year over the protests of 70 professors, Alberto Gonzales is teaching a political science class on the Executive branch rather than doing prison laundry as he should be. Gonzales says he wants to encourage his students to aim high, clearly a subjective concept. "Dream big but be patient," he said. "You never know when the next George W. Bush is going to come along and give you a once in a lifetime opportunity like he gave me."


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2009-08-14
"Woodstock's Forever"

It's 40 years since Woodstock, a seminal moment of peace, love and music, along with mud, chaos, hope, rain, joy, epic trash, bad acid and a singularly, exuberantly American sense of possibility, from Richie Havens' opening "Freedom" to Jimi Hendrix' closing, scorching "Star-Spangled Banner." Music festivals have thrived since then. And though Hendrix and Joplin are gone, most of the others are going strong: Havens - chosen to open because everyone else was stuck in traffic - Arlo Guthrie, Country Joe, Joan Baez, Santana, The Who, Grateful Dead, Crosby et al, Joni Mitchell: "By the time we got to Woodstock/We were half a million strong." Rejoice, remember.Arlo Guthrie on its legacy: "A lot of young people have never heard of me. If you mention, ‘Oh he's one of the guys at Woodstock,' they go, ‘Oh, wow, oh yeah.'"


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