Does The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill Mean That The U.S. Is Headed For Gas Lines, Higher Food Prices And A Broken Economy?

As the Gulf of Mexico oil spill crisis enters a third month, the economic impact of this environmental nightmare is starting to become clearer.  The truth is that the “oil volcano” spewing massive amounts of oil into the Gulf has absolutely decimated the seafood, tourism and real estate industries along the Gulf coast.  Not only that, but energy industry insiders are now warning that the chilling effect that this crisis will have on offshore drilling could precipitate a new 1970s-style energy crisis.  Considering the fact that the U.S. economy was already on incredibly shaky ground even before the oil leak, the last thing we needed was a disaster of this magnitude.  But it has happened, and the reality is that the long-term effects of this crisis are potentially going to reverberate for decades. 

The American people certainly have a negative view on the impact that this oil spill will have on the economy.  According to a new poll, about eight out of every 10 Americans expect the oil spill to damage the U.S. economy and drive up the cost of gas and food.

But is a new 1970s-style energy crisis really a possibility?

Could we actually soon be headed for blackouts and gas lines?

Well, former Shell executive John Hofmeister believes that is exactly what we are headed for….

“Within a decade I predict the energy abyss looks like brownouts, blackouts and gas lines.” 

In fact, Hofmeister claims that some of his fellow energy industry insiders expect things to be even worse than he is projecting in the years ahead.

Why?

Hofmeister says that the problem is the U.S. government….

“Our federal government, when it comes to energy and the environment, is dysfunctional, it’s broken, and it’s unfixable in its current form.”

Without a doubt, the oil spill will have a chilling effect on offshore drilling.  But does that mean that we are going to be facing a shortage of oil in the future?

Well, that is what the advocates of peak oil would have us believe. 

But the truth is that there are actually a TON of untapped reserves throughout the United States that could provide everything that we need for decades and more.

Nobody is really supposed to talk about it, but the reality is that there are massive deposits of oil in Alaska, the Colorado Rockies and in the Bakken formation in Montana and the Dakotas that are larger than anything found in Saudi Arabia. 

So we will only have an “energy crisis” if that is what oil industry insiders and the U.S. government want.

You see, the oil industry likes to keep the supply of oil down because it means much larger profits for them, and these days the folks in Washington D.C. like anything that causes the U.S. public to use less oil, so higher energy prices are just fine with them.

In fact, rather than focusing on getting the crisis in the Gulf solved, Barack Obama has been exploiting this oil spill to really push his economy-killing climate bill.  It seems like Barack Obama would do just about anything to foist his “cap and trade” carbon tax scheme on the American people. 

Energy issues aside, the impact that this oil spill is having on other areas of the Gulf coast economy is very significant.

For example, the Gulf oil spill is absolutely playing havoc with real estate prices in the region.

Real estate agent Linda Henderson recently put it this way….

“I can tell you that things have pretty much dropped to dead.”

After all, who is going to pay top dollar for beachfront property down there at this point?

Nobody.

Not only that, but obviously the oil spill is devastating the seafood industry in the Gulf as well.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the average wholesale price for Gulf brown shrimp has jumped by more than half since the crisis began.

In addition, oyster prices are up 33% since the beginning of the oil spill, and as oil continues to spew into the Gulf of Mexico the price increases are only going to become more dramatic.

In fact, many are wondering if the seafood industry in the Gulf will ever recover from all of this.

The truth is that fishermen in Cordova, Alaska are still struggling 21 years after the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill devastated the fishing industry in that area.

Some local shrimpers in Louisiana are already predicting that it will be seven years before they can set to sea again, but even that actually may prove to be too optimistic.

Some scientists are warning that the massive quantities of methane that are being spewed into the Gulf of Mexico from the “oil volcano” could create “dead zones” where oxygen is so depleted that literally nothing lives.

So if the oil continues to flow for several more months could very large portions of the Gulf of Mexico become dead zones?

That is a legitimate question at this point.

In addition, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is completely destroying tourism along the Gulf coast.

The truth is that nobody wants to visit places where the beaches are coated with oil and where breathing the air makes your kids want to gag.

Public Service Commissioner Benjamin Stevens recently described what this is going to mean for beaches in his area….

“You get hit by a hurricane and you can rebuild. But when that stuff washes up on the white sands of Pensacola Beach, you can’t just go and get more white sand.”

Hotel Owner Dodie Vegas was even more blunt in describing what this crisis means for her business….

“It’s just going to kill us. It’s going to destroy us.”

But not everyone has been ruined economically by this oil spill.

In fact, it turns out that BP CEO Tony Hayward cashed in about a third of his BP stock one month before the well on the Deepwater Horizon exploded.

Not only that, it has been revealed that Goldman Sachs sold 58% of its shares in BP between January and March of this year.

Isn’t it amazing how the elite always seem to have such perfect timing?

Even if Tony Hayward resigns as a result of this crisis, he is going to get a 10.8 million pound ($16 million) golden parachute.

No, the true losers in all of this are going to be those living along the Gulf of Mexico who have had their lives, their businesses and the beautiful environment around them destroyed.

We are literally watching an entire region of America slowly die, and Barack Obama still refuses to accept any of the international assistance that is being offered. 

If what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico is not enough to get the American people angry, then what will?  This crisis has been so badly mismanaged that it is absolutely mind blowing.  Let’s just hope that someone can find a way to stop the oil soon.

Why Has Barack Obama Refused To Accept International Help To Clean Up The Oil Spill In The Gulf Of Mexico?

As the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico enters a third month, many are now asking how in the world Barack Obama can keep refusing offers from other countries to help clean up the oil spill.  The truth is that cleaning up oil spills is not rocket science.  There have been massive oil spills in other areas of the world before and there are some folks that have some real expertise when it comes to cleaning them up.  But Barack Obama and BP have been stumbling around as if they are trying to reinvent the wheel.  So exactly what in the world is going on here?  When it comes to Obama’s approach to this crisis, there are really two options.  Either this is one of the most extreme examples of presidential incompetence in modern American history, or Barack Obama is using this crisis for a particular purpose (such as advancing a particular agenda).  In either event, Obama’s actions during this crisis have been completely and totally unconscionable.

The truth is that 13 different countries have offered to help clean up the oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

Barack Obama turned all 13 of them down.

So let’s get this straight….

We are dealing with the greatest environmental disaster in U.S. history by far, and yet we completely refuse any assistance?

What kind of insanity is that?

In fact, it is being reported that just three days after the Deepwater Horizon sank to the floor of the Gulf of Mexico the Dutch government contacted Barack Obama and offered to loan BP ships outfitted with special oil-skimming booms.  In addition, the Dutch had a plan to quickly build sand barriers to protect the vulnerable marshlands along the Louisiana coast.

Needless to say, those plans were not implemented.

According to one Dutch newspaper, the European oil companies that offered to help said that they could have completely cleaned all of the oil from the Gulf of Mexico in just four months.

But now Obama is telling us that the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico could last for years.

So what would keep Barack Obama from accepting international offers of help?

Well, Obama is using something called “the Jones Act” as an excuse.

Howard Portnoy recently described what is going on this way….

In order to accept the offers, which have come from Belgian, Dutch, and Norwegian firms that claim to possess some of the world’s most advanced oil skimming ships, Obama would need to waive the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (P.L. 66-261). Also known as the Jones Act, the law requires essentially that all commercial acts conducted in U.S.-controlled waters be performed by “U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents.”

So why not simply waive the act? Other presidents have under similar circumstances. George W. Bush waived the Jones Act following Hurricane Katrina, allowing foreign ships into Gulf waters to aid in the relief effort.

The truth is that the Jones Act is not a barrier to receiving assistance at all and Barack Obama knows this.

There would be absolutely no problem with waiving the Jones Act in these circumstances.

So Barack Obama has no excuse.

Either he is completely and totally incompetent or he has been trying to make this crisis worse than it should be.

You see, this is not the first catastrophic oil spill in the history of the world.  There have been others, and we have learned quite a bit about cleaning up oil from those events.  Anthony G. Martin recently described what happened during one particularly brutal oil spill in 1993 and 1994….

In 1993 and ’94 the Saudis faced an oil spill of historic proportions in the Arabian Gulf as four leaking tankers and two oil gushers threatened to spur a catastrophic event that was 65 times worse than the Exxon-Valdez spill. 

An American engineer, Nick Pozzi, was part of a task force charged with developing a solution to the looming disaster.

Pozzi had used various methods to clean up oil spills prior to this event.  However, the time was short, and an effective solution was needed post-haste.

That’s when Pozzi decided that the huge, empty oil tankers, sitting in the dock, could be used to simply vacuum up the oil right off of the top of the water.

The result was that 85% of the oil was recovered.

In a recent interview with Esquire, Pozzi explained that cleaning up the oil in the Gulf of Mexico should not be that complicated….

Keep in mind that what supertankers typically do is they sit in the middle of the ocean waiting for all the traders to come up with the right price. When they feel that the price is right, the tankers that are full, they take off, and they can be anywhere in the world in a few days. Right now there are probably 25 supertankers, waiting for orders, full of oil. So all they got to do is come to Texas, in the Gulf, unload the oil, and then turn around and suck up all this other stuff and pump it onto shore into on-shore storage. It’s not rocket science. It’s so simple.

So why won’t Barack Obama and BP implement the “supertanker method”?

When asked about it they just brush it off.

Are they that incompetent?

Or is something else going on?

If this crisis had been handled properly, oil would not currently be blanketing our pristine Gulf coast beaches.

An increasing number of Gulf coast residents have become so frustrated that they have decided to take it upon themselves to stop the oil that is headed towards their homes and businesses.

But BP and the Obama administration have been running around trying to keep anyone else other than themselves from doing anything about this oil spill.  In fact, Barack Obama has authorized the deployment of more than 17,000 National Guard members along the Gulf coast to be used “as needed” by state governors, and BP is being allowed to use private security contractors to keep the American people away from the oil cleanup sites.

If they used as much energy cleaning up the oil as they are in keeping the American people away from the spill they might actually be accomplishing something.

Meanwhile, CBS News is reporting that there could be as much as 1 billion barrels of oil under the damaged BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico and that it could keep flowing for more than a decade.

Apparently BP made one of the biggest oil discoveries in history, but the problem is that oil is now coming out of there at such high pressure that we simply do not have the technology to control it.

In addition, experts have discovered a massive gas bubble which is estimated to be 15 to 20 miles across and “tens of feet high” under the floor of the Gulf of Mexico.

So what in the world is going to happen if that thing blows?

Also, there are reports of fissures and cracks appearing on the ocean floor around the damaged wellhead.

If this thing goes from a “leak” to an “eruption” it could be a catastrophe beyond anything any of us could even imagine.

So let’s hope that nothing like that happens.

But there is another very serious threat that we need to keep an eye on.

Some environmentalists are now warning that North America could be facing years of toxic rain because of the highly toxic chemical dispersants that BP is using to control the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.  Because it is so poisonous, the UK’s Marine Management Organization has completely banned Corexit 9500, so if there was a major oil spill in the UK’s North Sea, BP would not be able to use it.  So BP really needs to start explaining why they are dumping so much of it into the Gulf of Mexico – especially since so much of it could end up raining down on us.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama and Joe Biden are busy playing golf and BP chief executive Tony Hayward has been busy watching his yacht race.

Well, considering the fact that Tony Hayward is set for a massive 10.8 million pound ($16 million) payout if he chooses to step down, perhaps he is not too concerned about exactly how things turn out.

As for Barack Obama, his main concern in all this seems to be advancing his climate agenda.  During a recent interview, Obama directly compared the current crisis in the Gulf to 9/11, and indicated that he believed that it would fundamentally change the way that we all look at energy issues from now on.  But the truth is that cleaning up the oil in the Gulf has nothing to do with the “cap and trade” carbon tax scheme that Obama is trying to foist on all of us.

What Obama needs to do is to accept all the help that is being offered, get everybody working together on cleaning up this mess, and find a way to stop all that oil from coming out of the ground. 

Until he makes some progress on those things, the American people are not likely to want to hear the first thing about all of the new taxes, rules and regulations that he is so eager to impose on all of us.

The Gulf of Mexico is literally being destroyed, and already this disaster has been so horrific that the effects will be felt for decades.  If Barack Obama cares one ounce about the American people he needs to start doing his job instead of playing politics with this crisis.

Stimulus Waste

Back in February 2009, the U.S. Congress passed an $862 billion “economic stimulus” bill to help the struggling American economy recover from the horrible financial crisis of 2007 and 2008.  Right now, federal agencies are spending this stimulus money at the rate of approximately 196 million dollars an hour, and they will continue to spend it in staggering amounts up until the September 30, 2010 deadline.  Unfortunately, instead of being spent on useful projects that would revitalize U.S. industry and put American workers back to work, much of this money is being flushed directly down the toilet on some of the most wasteful projects imaginable.  The truth is that nobody is better at wasting money than the U.S. government.  In fact, some of the things that the U.S. government has been spending money on are absolutely mind blowing. 

The following are just some of the examples of “stimulus waste” that we have seen over the last 16 months….   

*Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida used $15,551 in stimulus money to pay two researchers to study how alcohol affects a mouse’s motor functions.

*The U.S. government handed over a staggering $54 million in “stimulus cash” to Connecticut’s politically-connected Mohegan Indian tribe, which runs one of the highest grossing casinos in the country.

*Syracuse professor of psychology Michael Carey received $219,000 in federal stimulus money for a study that examines the sex patterns of college women

*$1.15 million in stimulus funds was allocated for the installation of a new guard rail around the non-existent Optima Lake in Oklahoma.

*Researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo received $389,000 to pay 100 residents of Buffalo $45 each to record how much malt liquor they drink and how much pot they smoke each day.  Instead of spending nearly $400,000, the U.S. government could have achieved the same goal by having a couple of scientists join a fraternity.

*$100,000 in federal stimulus funds were used for a martini bar and a brazilian steakhouse.

*A dinner cruise company in Chicago got nearly $1 million in stimulus funds to combat terrorism.

*$233,000 in stimulus money went to the University of California at San Diego to study why Africans vote.

*The Cactus Bug Project at the University Of Florida was allocated $325,394 in stimulus funds to study the mating decisions of cactus bugs.  According to the project proposal, one of the questions that will be answered by the study is this: “Whether males with large weapons are more or less attractive to females.”

*One Denver developer received $13 million in tax credits to construct a senior housing complex despite that fact that the same developer is being sued as a slumlord for running rodent-infested apartment buildings in the city of San Francisco.

*Sheltering Arms Senior Services was awarded a contract worth $22.3 million in stimulus money to weatherize homes for poor families in Houston, Texas – but a new report from Texas Watchdog says that the weatherization work was performed so badly that 33 of the 53 homes will need to be completely redone.

*A liberal theater in Minnesota named “In the Heart of the Beast” (in reference to a well known quote by communist radical Che Guevara) received $100,000 for socially conscious puppet shows.

*California’s inspector general found that $1 million in stimulus funds for a program to give summer jobs to young people was improperly used for overhead expenses such as rent and utility bills.

*Landon Cox, a Duke University assistant professor of computer science, was awarded $498,000 in stimulus money to study Facebook.

*The town of Union, New York is being urged to spend $578,000 in stimulus money that it did not request for a homelessness problem that it claims it does not have.

*Lastly, who could forget the $3.4 million “ecopassage” to help turtles cross a highway in Tallahassee, Florida?

Yes, the U.S. government sure knows how to waste money.

And the truth is that there is simply no way that the U.S. government would have been able to accumulate a debt of over $13 trillion dollars (and growing exponentially) without being incredibly skilled at wasting money.

In fact, the Pentagon says that there are literally trillions of dollars that it cannot account for.

Now how in the world do you lose track of trillions of dollars?

That takes some major league incompetence.

It is enough to make you want to pull your hair out.  We were once the wealthiest, most prosperous nation on the planet, but we have recklessly squandered our great wealth.  Over and over we kept voting for corrupt politicians who endlessly wasted our money on the most ridiculous things.

So now we will pay the price.

We are already being taxed brutally, but because of all the debt our “leaders” have gotten us into we are going to be taxed even more.  We did not demand accountability from our government, and so now we get to face the consequences.

But no amount of taxes will ever be enough for this government.  If we give them more money they just take that as a signal to get into even more debt.  As a nation we are on a path that can only be described as financial insanity.

So is there any hope that the U.S. government will stop wasting so much money?  Not with the current collection of Republicans and Democrats that currently inhabit Washington D.C. 

The truth is that both parties have been wasting our money for decades.  Many politicians will often talk about the need to “control spending”, but when time comes to do it very few of them are ever willing to take action.

So until the American people decide to start sending a different kind of politician to Washington D.C. we are probably going to continue to see huge mountains of money being wasted. 

Wake up America. 

Will Genetic Modification Usher In A New Age Of Prosperity Or Will It Unleash Health, Environmental And Economic Nightmares Of Unprecedented Magnitude?

In recent years, scientists around the globe have made absolutely stunning advances in the field of genetic modification.  For decades, researchers have been decoding DNA and transplanting genes from one organism into another, but over the past decade things have been taken to a completely new level.  We now have “monster salmon” which grow three times as fast as normal salmon, corn that has been genetically modified to have a pesticide grow inside the corn kernel, cats that glow in the dark and goats that produce spider silk.  Those in favor of genetic engineering believe that such advances will help us feed billions more people, enable us to cure a vast array of diseases and will usher in a new age of unprecedented prosperity.  Those against genetic engineering warn that messing with nature could unleash health, environmental and economic nightmares beyond our wildest dreams.  So who is right?

Most Americans spend very little time thinking about genetic modification, but the truth is that this debate if of the utmost importance.  Some believe that improving upon nature is the number one key to a bright economic future, while others warn that messing with nature could not only destroy our economy but also literally destroy the earth.

But right now there are very, very few limits on what scientists can do when it comes to genetic modification, and many of them are running around like “kids is a candy store” modifying anything and everything that they can get their hands on.

The goal for many of these scientists is to produce plants and animals that are bigger, stronger, grow faster, produce more food and generally make life “better” for humanity. 

Most people don’t realize it, but genetic engineering technology is everywhere now.  In fact, you have probably eaten some genetically modified food recently without even knowing it.   

Today approximately 93 percent of all soybeans and approximately 80 percent of all corn in the United States grow from seeds genetically altered according to Monsanto company patents.

The population of the world is projected to hit 9 billion around the middle of this century, and scientists are hoping that further advances in genetic engineering will enable us to feed all those people.

So many researchers are “pushing the envelope” in an effort to create new creatures that can feed as many people as possible.  For example, one team of scientists recently created a genetically modified “monster salmon” which grows three times as fast as normal salmon.

Three times as fast?

That is impressive by any standard.

But are there dangers?

Well, yes.

For example, a stunning new study that was recently published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences has conclusively demonstrated the extreme toxicity of three genetically modified corn varieties produced by Monsanto.

According to the study, each of the three strains of corn tested cause serious problems in the kidneys and the liver.

Perhaps that could help to explain the absolute explosion of kidney disease in the United States.

Not only that, but prison inmates in Illinois are becoming seriously ill from all of the genetically modified soy that they are constantly being fed.

In fact, there are entire websites devoted to documenting the dangers that genetically modified foods pose.

Despite the potential dangers, the U.S. government continues to promote genetically modified crops as the solution to the global food shortage problem.

For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is attempting to downplay the risks of genetically modified alfalfa, a crop previously banned by numerous federal courts.

The truth is that the U.S. government is being completely reckless in promoting these genetically modified crops before sufficient research can be performed on them.

You see, once these genetically modified crops get out into the environment they can never be contained.  You can’t put the genie back into the bottle.

A perfect example of this occurred in Europe recently.  A genetically modified variety of maize banned in the EU was accidentally sown all across Germany.  But now that it has gotten out there and started spreading there is no way that it can ever be fully eliminated.

The reality is that we are monkeying around with life itself, and that is a power that we simply do not fully understand.

But as frightening as the genetic modification of our food supply is, what scientists are now doing with animals is even more alarming.

How so?

Well, the Canadian government recently approved the introduction of extremely bizarre genetically modified pigs into the Canadian food supply.  These new mouse/pig cross-species hybrids have been nicknamed “enviropigs” and are being touted as being much better for the environment.  This new “breed” of Yorkshire pigs was created by scientists in Ontario at the University of Guelph, who spliced in genes from mice to decrease the amount of phosphorus produced in their poop.

It all sounds very noble.  After all, who wouldn’t want to do something good for the environment?

But will eating mouse/pig hybrids be good for us?

Millions of Canadians will soon be eating them, and it is anticipated that approval for these “enviropigs” will be sought in the United States as well. 

Are you starting to get the picture?

And sometimes scientists genetically modify animals for no particular good reason at all.

For example, scientists have now created  a cat that actually glows in the dark.

Yes, seriously.

A genetically modified cat created by scientists named Mr. Green Genes was the very first fluorescent cat in the United States.

So does such a “creation” have any legitimate purpose?

Well, perhaps it could serve as a “night light”, but other than that there is no good reason for abusing cats like that.

What in the world are our scientists thinking?

They are pretty much running around doing whatever they want these days.

In fact, creatures that are a lot more frightening than fluorescent cats have already been created.

Have you heard of “spider goats”?

A Canadian company named Nexia is actually producing goats that are genetically modified to be part spider.

The genetic modification causes these “spider goats” to produce spider silk protein in their milk that is collected, purified and spun into incredibly strong fibers.

These fibers are reportedly more durable than Kevlar, more flexible than nylon, and much stronger than steel.

Apparently these fibers have some very valuable industrial and military applications.

Perhaps you have never heard of these spider goats.

Perhaps you are skeptical.

The YouTube video posted below contains a television news report that discusses these “spider goats” and features scientists describing exactly how they create these spider goats and what they are doing with them….

Okay, so they are recklessly genetically modifying plants and animals, but they would never do that to humans, right?

Wrong.

Scientists have begun breeding genetically modified pigs with a goal of providing organs for transplant to humans.  These genetically modified pigs actually have human genes in them

So these pigs are actually part human.

Does the idea of a pig/human hybrid bother you?

Well, perhaps they are being grown in your backyard.  These pig/human hybrids are actually being produced in the state of Missouri.

So could these pig/human cross-species hybrids ever end up in our food supply?

No?

You don’t think that they would ever do that to us?

Don’t be so certain.

The truth is that the FDA has already announced that the offspring of cloned animals could be in our food supply right now and that there is nothing that they can do about it.

Isn’t that comforting?

Science is not just crossing new barriers – they are obliterating them.

Our world is rapidly changing, and new species, new lifeforms and even new diseases are being created at a staggering pace.

Once upon a time, only the most highly advanced scientists in the field of genetic engineering would dare do this type of work, but now even college students are transplanting genes and creating new lifeforms.  In fact, a lot of “synthetic biology” startup companies are “developing” new plants, new animals and even new microorganisms in garages and basements.

So what will the result of all this genetic chaos be?

Will devastating new diseases be unleashed upon the world?

Will creatures that are incredibly dangerous to humanity be created?

Will we destroy entire ecosystems?

Could all of this genetic engineering actually cause massive crop failures and bring about a major worldwide food crisis?

Will we soon have creatures that are part human/part animal running around all over the place?

The truth is that we have entered into unknown territory, and the consequences of our actions could end up being much more severe than we ever thought possible.

So what do you think?

Do you think that genetic engineering will enable us to feed the starving masses, cure cancer and bring in an unprecedented era of economic prosperity?

Or do you think that genetic engineering will devastate our economy, our health and our environment?

Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion….

Who Died And Made BP King Of The Gulf Of Mexico?

There is one question that I would really like an answer to.  Who died and made BP king of the Gulf of Mexico?  In recent weeks, BP has almost seemed more interested in keeping the American people away from the oil spill than in actually cleaning it up.  Journalists are being pushed around and denied access, disaster workers are being intimidated and abused and now BP has even go so far as to hire an army of private mercenaries to enforce their will along the Gulf coast.  Are we suddenly living in occupied Iraq?  How in the world did a foreign oil company get the right to start pointing guns at the American people?  The last time I checked, BP did not own the Gulf of Mexico and did not have the right to tell the American people where they can and cannot go.  The truth is that BP could have avoided all of this by running an open, honest and transparent operation from the start.  They could have welcomed help from all sources, they could have tried to be open with the media, and they could have tried to be fair with the volunteers and rescue workers.  But instead BP has been conducting this whole thing as if we are living in a totalitarian dictatorship and they are the dictators.

Over the last several weeks, members of the mainstream media attempting to cover the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have been yelled at, harassed, kicked off public beaches and threatened with arrest.  The Obama administration keeps promising “to improve media access”, but so far their promises haven’t seemed to make much difference.  In fact, a recent AP report detailed several recent highly disturbing incidents of journalist intimidation….   

  • On June 5, sheriff’s deputies in Grand Isle threatened an AP photographer with arrest for criminal trespassing after he spoke to BP employees and took pictures of cleanup workers on a public beach.
  • On June 6, an AP reporter was in a boat near an island in Barataria Bay when a man in another boat identifying himself as a U.S. Fish and Wildlife employee ordered the reporter to leave the area. When the reporter asked to see identification, the man refused, saying “My name doesn’t matter, you need to go.”
  • According to a June 10 CNN video, one of the network’s news crews was told by a bird rescue worker that he signed a contract with BP stating that he would not talk to the media. The crew was also turned away by BP contractors working at a bird triage area — despite having permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to enter the facility.
  • On June 11 and 12, private security guards patrolling in the Grand Isle area attempted repeatedly to prevent a crew from New Orleans television station WDSU from walking on a public beach and speaking with cleanup workers.
  • But it is not just the media that are being pushed around.  The Louisiana Environmental Action Network is reporting that BP is actually threatening to fire fishermen hired to help with the oil spill cleanup for using respirators and other safety equipment that wasn’t provided by the company.

    Seriously.

    The workers say that they are only using their own safety equipment because BP has not provided what they need.  It is a fact that a large number of rescue workers have already gotten sick enough to be admitted to the hospital, so it certainly makes sense that those working to clean up the oil would want to do whatever they can to stay safe.

    But no, BP has to be a bunch of jerks about the whole thing.

    Even the EPA says that workers need to be careful.  Hugh Kaufman, a senior policy analyst at the EPA’s office of solid waste and emergency response, made the following statement during an interview on Thursday….   

    “There’s no way you can be working in that toxic soup without getting exposures.”

    It’s not just the oil that is the problem.  The chemical dispersants that BP is using in the Gulf are even more toxic than the oil.  In fact, because it is so extremely toxic, the UK’s Marine Management Organization has completely banned Corexit 9500, so if there was a major oil spill in the North Sea, BP would not be able to use it

    But the Obama administration has allowed BP to dump over a million gallons of Corexit 9500, Corexit 9527 and other highly toxic dispersants into the Gulf of Mexico.

    Apparently the truth is that BP would rather disperse the oil so that the spill doesn’t look so bad even if it means creating an ecological disaster of nightmarish proportions.

    You see, these days BP does what it wants, and anyone who doesn’t like it gets pushed out of the way. 

    Monique Harden, the co-director and attorney at the New Orleans-based Advocates for Environmental Human Rights, is so outraged over BP’s behavior that she recently made the following statement….

    “BP should not be running the Gulf region like a prison warden, and we’ve got to stop that.”

    But rather than becoming more open and taking responsibility for their actions, BP has now hired private security contractors to keep the American people away from the oil cleanup sites.

    In other words, BP has brought in a horde of private mercenaries (just like the U.S. uses in Iraq and Afghanistan) to muscle the American people around.

    Yeah, we are really going to appreciate that.

    Doesn’t BP understand that the American people do not respond well to this kind of nonsense?

    In fact, it is being alleged that BP has actually attempted to manipulate the search results on sites like Google and Yahoo.

    They seem absolutely obsessed with controlling what we see and think.

    Perhaps what BP should be obsessed with is stopping the oil from shooting out of the ground.

    Meanwhile, BP execs are busy testifying in front of Congress and making half-hearted apologies. 

    Carl-Henric Svanberg, the BP chairman, has even apologized for referring to those affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill as “small people”.

    Isn’t that nice of him?

    While all of this is going on, BP is already trying to ensure that things go their way legally.  Back in May, BP requested that one particular judge be assigned to preside over all lawsuits related to the spill.  Well, it turns out that this particular judge gets tens of thousands of dollars a year in oil royalties and is paid travel expenses to attend oil industry conferences.

    Isn’t that convenient?

    But that is how the game is played these days.

    Meanwhile, the “oil volcano” on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico continues to pump out a nightmarish amount of oil every single day.  BP is even admitting that oil is escaping from the leak at such high pressure that if they try to cap it the entire well may blow.

    So this crisis may keep getting worse for months.

    By the time this is over, will anything in the Gulf be left alive?

    Even now, hordes of dolphins, fish, sharks, crabs, rays and other sea creatures find themselves trapped between the rapidly advancing oil and the shore.  Unprecedented numbers are showing up just off the Gulf coast in an attempt to escape certain death, but once the oil reaches shore there will be nowhere else for them to go.  The tragedy will be unspeakable.

    Things did not have to turn out this way.  BP and the Obama administration could have done things much differently.  But they didn’t. 

    Now we all have to live with the results.

    Bad Economic News

    It seems like almost everywhere you turn these days there is bad economic news.  Foreclosures are setting records, unemployment remains depressingly high, poverty is exploding, U.S. government debt is wildly out of control and Europe is on the verge of an economic collapse that could send the entire globe into a devastating financial panic.  If all that wasn’t enough, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has destroyed the seafood and tourism industries along the Gulf coast and threatens to push that entire region into a depression for years to come.  The truth is that the more you look at the economic statistics coming in from around the globe the more it becomes obvious that we are headed for a complete and total economic nightmare. 

    Just consider some of the most recent economic news…. 

    *The number of U.S. home foreclosures set a record for the second consecutive month in May.  How can the U.S. housing industry be recovering when the number of Americans being foreclosed on continues to set all-time records?

    *As of March, U.S. banks had an inventory of approximately 1.1 million foreclosed homes, up 20 percent from a year ago.  Instead of working their way through the huge backlog of unsold homes, U.S. banks continue to pile up a massive inventory of foreclosed homes at a staggering pace.

    *According to figures from the U.S. Commerce Department, housing starts in the United States fell 10 percent in May, the biggest decline since March 2009.  The data also revealed that single-family home starts suffered the biggest drop since 1991.  There is already a massive glut of unsold homes on the market, so builders simply do not think it is profitable to build many new homes right now.

    *Officials now tell us that the cost of “fixing” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-backed mortgage companies that last year bought or guaranteed the vast majority of all U.S. home loans, will be at least $160 billion and could grow as high as $1 trillion.  The twin pillars of the U.S. mortgage industry have become financial black holes that the U.S. government endlessly pours massive amounts of cash into.  That is not a good sign.

    *Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are to be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange because their stock prices have been trading under $1 per share for more than 30 trading days.  The truth is that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would have completely imploded by now if the U.S. government had not decided to step in and bail them out.

    *The average duration of unemployment in the United States has risen to an all-time high.  Not only are a ton of Americans out of work, they can’t find work for a very, very long time once they are unemployed.

    *For Americans younger than 25 years of age, the unemployment rate is 18.8%.  But even those young Americans that can find employment often find themselves working in very low paying service jobs.

    *Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says that the U.S. unemployment rate is likely to stay “high for a while”.  Considering how badly Bernanke has been doing his job, it would be really nice if we could add just one more person to the unemployment rolls.

    *According to one new study, approximately 21 percent of children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 – the highest rate in 20 years.  There are hundreds of thousands of American children on the streets each night, and yet we continue to insist that we are the greatest country in the world. 

    *For the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.  How many tens of millions of Americans have to be on food stamps before we officially say that we are in a depression?

    *According to the Wall Street Journal, the debates have begun inside the Fed about what it should do in the event of a “double dip” recession.  If they are already debating what to do during the next economic downturn that means it is probably a foregone conclusion. 

    *If you were alive when Christ was born and spent one million dollars every single day from then until now, you still would not have spent one trillion dollars by now.  But somehow the U.S. government is now over 13 trillion dollars in debt.  According to a U.S. Treasury Department report to Congress, the U.S. national debt will top $13.6 trillion this year and climb to an estimated $19.6 trillion by 2015

    *It is being projected that the U.S. national debt will grow to surpass our gross domestic product in 2012.  Needless to say, that is a really, really bad sign.

    *The total of all government, corporate and consumer debt in the United States is now equal to 360 percent of GDP.  At no point during the Great Depression did we ever even come close to such a figure.

    But things may be even worse in Europe right now.  Unfortunately for the U.S., when Europe experiences an economic collapse it will devastate the American economy as well. 

    The economic news coming out of Europe lately has been extremely alarming….

    *George Soros says that a European recession next year is “almost inevitable”.  Considering how much access George Soros has to inside information, the fact that he is so pessimistic about Europe is a very troubling thing indeed.

    *A report by the Bank for International Settlements says that the debt crisis hitting southern Europe resembles the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis.  Is history about to repeat itself?

    *Moody’s has downgraded Greece government bond ratings into junk territory, citing the risks inherent in the rescue package that the rest of the eurozone has put together for them.  Soon Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Romania and a number of other European nations could have their debt downgraded as well. 

    *The U.K.’s  new Office for Budget Responsibility has announced that the U.K. economy was more damaged by the recent financial crisis than previously admitted, and that it may never fully recover.  But the same could be said for many other nations across the world as well.

    *21.5% of all working-age people in the U.K. do not have a job.  It seems like almost every country has a shortage of jobs these days.

    *New U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron is warning that Britain’s “whole way of life” is about to be significantly disrupted for years by the most drastic public spending cuts in a generation.  In fact, severe austerity measures being implemented all across Europe could make this one of the most “interesting” European summers in ages.

    *Spanish banks are borrowing record amounts of money from the European Central Bank as Spain’s financial institutions are finding it increasingly difficult to acquire funds in international capital markets.  But the truth is that it isn’t just Spanish banks that are facing a liquidity squeeze – the entire world is heading for a massive credit crunch.

    But the biggest piece of bad economic news of all is the nightmare that is unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico.  There is no way that the southeast United States is going to be the same after this.  Hordes of businesses and entire industries have been literally destroyed over the past two months.  The total economic damage from this unprecedented disaster will easily run into the hundreds of billions of dollars.  This is an economic blow that the teetering U.S. economy simply could not afford right now.  Once the oil finally stops flowing the crisis will not be over.  In fact, the aftermath from this oil spill could end up echoing for decades.

    So are things bad out there?  Yes, things are incredibly bad and they are about to get a whole lot worse.  In fact, there are so many cancers eating away at the U.S. economy that it would take an entire book to detail them all. 

    What we are dealing with is not “just another recession” or “just another economic downturn”.  What we are witnessing is the fundamental unraveling of the monstrous debt spiral that our economy is based upon.  Any economy that is built on a foundation of debt and paper money is inevitably doomed.

    So yes, the bad economic news is going to continue.  Things may get better for a while here and there, but the truth is that we are caught in a long-term spiral of economic decline from which there is no escape.

    So what do you think?  Do you believe that there is hope for the U.S. economy?  Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion….

    16 Burning Questions About The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill That We Deserve Some Answers To

    The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is a national nightmare that seems to have no ending.  Every day new details come out that are even more shocking than what we learned the day before.  The truth is that life will never be the same in the Gulf of Mexico or for those who live along the Gulf coast.  Now Barack Obama has made a big Oval Office speech and has tried to convince all of us that he is in charge of the crisis.  Well, perhaps if he had tried to take decisive action a month ago the American people may have rallied around him.  But right now the BP/government response to this disaster remains completely and totally chaotic.  Nobody seems to be able to stop the leak, and BP has made the environmental nightmare far worse by dumping over a million gallons of highly toxic dispersants into the Gulf.  U.S. government officials are running around holding press conferences and waiting for BP to do something.  Meanwhile oil is pouring ashore and toxic gases are being detected at very alarming levels.  The biggest environmental disaster in U.S. history is also quickly becoming one of the biggest economic disasters and potentially one of the biggest public health disasters.   

    The truth is that the American people deserve some answers about what in the world is going on down there in the Gulf.  BP does not own the Gulf of Mexico and they have no right to keep the American people from seeing what is happening.  There are some very serious health and environmental questions that have been raised in the media recently, but both BP and the U.S. government are not giving us any answers. 

    But we need some answers.  People are getting sick.  Crops are dying.  Wildlife is being devastated.  Birds are flocking north by the thousands.

    But BP and the U.S. government continue to treat us as though we are on a “need to know” basis and that what we “need to know” is not much.

    Actually, much of what they have decided to tell us throughout this crisis has turned out to be lies anyway.

    The truth is that it is about darn time that someone started telling it to us straight.  

    The following are 16 questions about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that we really need some answers to….

    #1) Barack Obama has authorized the deployment of more than 17,000 National Guard members along the Gulf coast to be used “as needed” by state governors.  So what are all of these National Guard troops going to be doing exactly?  Are the troops going to be used to stop the oil or to control the public?

    #2) Barack Obama has also announced the creation of a “Gulf recovery czar” who will be in charge of overseeing the restoration of the Gulf of Mexico region following the oil spill.  So is appointing a “czar” Obama’s idea of taking charge of a situation?

    #3) Because it is so incredibly toxic, the UK’s Marine Management Organization has completely banned Corexit 9500, so if there was a major oil spill in the UK’s North Sea, BP would not be able to use it.  So why is BP being allowed to use Corexit 9500 in the Gulf of Mexico?

    #4) It is being reported that 2.61 parts per million of Corexit 9500 (mixed with oil at a ratio of 1:1o) is lethal to 50% of fish exposed to it within 96 hours.  That means that 1 gallon of Corexit 9500/oil mixture is capable of rendering 383,141 gallons of water highly toxic to fish.  So why was BP allowed to dump 1,021,000 gallons of Corexit 9500 and Corexit 9527 into the Gulf of Mexico, and why aren’t they being stopped from dumping another 805,000 gallons of these dispersants that they have on order into the Gulf?

    #5) If these dispersants are so incredibly toxic to fish, what are they going to do to crops?  What are they going to do to people?

    #6) If the smell of the oil on some Gulf beaches is already so strong that it burns your nostrils, then what in the world is this oil doing to to wildlife that encounter it?

    #7) Is it a bad sign that birds from the Gulf region are flocking north by the thousands?

    #8) Why is BP being allowed to use private security contractors to keep the American people away from the oil cleanup sites?

    #9) Why is BP openly attempting to manipulate the search results on sites like Google and Yahoo? 

    #10) Why has the FAA shut down the airspace above the Gulf of Mexico oil spill?  What don’t they want the American people to see?

    #11) Senator Bill Nelson of Florida says that there are reports that there are additional ruptures in the sea floor from which oil is leaking.  If there are quite a few of these additional ruptures, then how in the world does BP expect to completely stop this oil leak?

    #12) Why are scientists finding concentrations of methane at up to 10,000 times normal background levels in Gulf waters?

    #13) At some testing stations in the Gulf of Mexico, levels of benzene have been detected at over 3000 parts per billion, and levels of hydrogen sulfide have been detected as high as 1192 parts per billion.  Considering that these levels would be highly toxic to humans, why hasn’t the general public been warned?   

    #14) Why are so many Gulf oil spill disaster workers showing up at local hospitals complaining of a “mysterious illness”?

    #15) If “70% or 80%” of the protective booms are doing absolutely nothing at all to stop the oil, then what is going to stop the millions of gallons of oil in the Gulf from eventually reaching shore?

    #16) It is being reported that the deepsea oil plumes are creating huge “dead zones” where all creatures are dying as they are deprived of oxygen.  If this oil spill continues to grow could the vast majority of the Gulf of Mexico become one gigantic “dead zone”?

    ***UPDATE***

    A reader named Stacy has posted a very alarming comment regarding what is happening in her area down in Florida that we wanted to share with everyone….

    We live in the navarre, florida area and in the past week almost every family we know has had vomiting and diarreha. This could just be anecdotal – maybe we just have a stomach bug circulating, but it is strange. We had a huge storm the week before it happened that blew in from the gulf so who knows.

    Also, the city of destin, florida has taken it upon themselves to close the destin pass with their own purchased boom and barges. This is an elite destination and they are not waiting around for bp and their hired prison workers to clean the beaches. Apparently, the coast guard was at the meeting and told the locals that they will face criminal prosecution, but they don’t care. They are protecting their million dollar properties.

    Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!