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Speak Low, BP/Obama

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http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2010/May/25/oilspillpost.jpg For the second time in 2 weeks, New York Times editors highlighted my comment on a Times article for its "most interesting and thoughful" view; this time on the May 24, 9:18am (EDT) blog post, "Something Rotten At Interior," by Nobel Prize winner and Times columnist Paul Krugman. Of 18 comments, mine was the only one so noted. As Duke Ellington, once told a English woman who remarked that he and Charleston-born, Cout Basie rhythm guitarist Freddie Green were the top, "Madam, I'd say I'm in good company." The comment (slightly edited by me) appears as today's Perlo. Please, comment about the oil spill; email officials, reply on twitter, push those in responsibiity. It is outrageous that we have not taken to the streets in protest.

http://bit.ly/wrsp14+ (unedited) walterrhett Charleston, SC May 24th, 2010, 10:16 am

The conundrum of change, as the poet W. H. Auden once said, "surrounds us like a baffling crime." Institutional practices, especially in government, are reinforced by a group mind set, by a cultural acceptance, and by a personal ethic that defines the thinking and limits of action, denying other possibilities and easing the way for more of the same. The most egregious example of this apparatnik presence in the thoughts and actions of high government is the dismal and banal lack of response to the dangers our nation faces daily, increasing and imposed by the oil spill from US leases to a private multi-national, BP. Interior and Ken Salazar, and more importantly, Barack Obama, have no sense of self discovery; they are trapped in spin mode, in political crisis management, issuing a covering fire of statements that have absolutely nothing to do with advancing the clean up or stopping the leak. BP has misreported and impeded all efforts for public oversight, delaying reports, pretending to release their "best" numbers (numbers which reflect what is best for BP!), announcing ludicrous strategies doom to fail even before they are tried. Sadly, this crisis, looming to become the largest and most destructive in American history, for both citizens and the economy, is simply, more business-as-usual.

Clear evidence of this is seen in two examples: despite continuous calls from Plaquemines Parish leaders who have requested to BP and Interior for more than a month that a sea berm be built on top of Louisiana's submerged sea islands to protect the coast, at any estimated cost of $350 million--extremely cost effective considering no one at this point knows how long the spill will continue or the final size of the spill. Plaquemines Parish officials are met with phone calls not being returned or key contacts unavailable, in meetings. In meetings with who? And why are Plaquemines Parish officials left out of those meetings?

The second example is the President's failure to review the use of Arleigh Burke class Aegis destroyers to detonate non-nuclear torpedoes or missiles to implode the site. There is adequate authority, both by Bush memos and under John Warner's 2007 Defense Act to override posse comitatus.

When specifics are omitted, as they are by Gibbs, Salazar, Axelrod, and Obama, and the language becomes more strident and general, that is a sure sign that the crisis will only grow and the unspoken inaction will only enable this incredible disaster to broaden its suffering.

Thanks for reading, /wr. Stir the Perlo, leave a comment. (Image from google images, used for educational purposes under fair use.)

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