BP Is a Corporate Criminal by Jim Hightower
Gosh, how quickly things turn. One day, you’re a strutting peacock — the next day, you’re just another gasping, oil-covered bird.
From the time it was known as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company and set out to grab and control the rich petroleum reserves owned by what is now Iran, BP has been a recidivist global criminal. In the past three decades, it grew huge by swallowing such competitors as Standard Oil of Ohio, Amoco and Arco. Along the way, it has been implicated in bribery, overthrowing governments, plunder and money laundering, plus having established one of the worst safety and environmental records in an industry that is notoriously reckless on both counts.
And now, its rap sheet grows almost daily. In fact, the Center for Public Integrity has revealed that the oil giant’s current catastrophic mess should come as no surprise, for it has a long and sorry record of causing calamities. In the last three years, the center says, an astonishing “97 percent of all flagrant violations found in the refining industry by government safety inspectors” came at BP facilities. These included 760 violations rated as “egregious” and “willful.” In contrast, the oil company with the second-worst record had only eight such citations.
“It wasn’t our accident,” CEO Tony Hayward declared, as oil was spreading. They own the well and their decisions to cut corners led directly to the catastrophe.
Eleven oil workers are dead, thousands of Gulf Coast people have had their livelihoods devastated and unfathomable damage is being done to the gulf ecology. Imagine how the authorities would be treating the offender if BP were a person. It would’ve been put behind bars long ago — if not on death row. READ MORE: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/06/16-2.
The BP Oil disaster in the Gulf is a final wake up call, if it isn’t the exponential cause of total global environmental disaster.
There is a scientific postulate that asserts that the Earth will renew itself – having suffered the depredations of miners, loggers, or nuclear waste makers – given enough time (eons). The Earth will right itself, and all the damage done by humankind will be undone. This postulate is known as the Gaea Effect, after the Earth Goddess Gaea, the ‘deep-breasted,’ whose ‘soil nourishes all that exists and by whose benevolence men are blessed with fair children and all the pleasant fruits of the earth.’ Her majesty was once acknowledged ‘not only by men but by the gods themselves.’ Whenever conservation is mentioned in America, however, many men look as if the devil had propositioned them. Women pointedly mention a husband, father, boyfriend, brother, or hanger-on of male importance, who is gainfully employed as: a well-digger in the oil fields; a logger on a pristine mountain top; a strip miner in the fecund valleys; or, in charge of the nuclear reactors at Three Mile Island.
Freemarket Man thinks of himself as the lord of creation, husband of the universe. How utterly absurd that is. He believes he can rape his bride at will, without conscience, and survive to an unburdened old age. Like any abused wife, the good, old natural continuum will quietly stab Man in the back some dark night. Or, set his bed on fire! The variable is the rate of decay caused by our assault on the biosphere. As our environment disintegrates, we open our amniotic fluid to the outside vacuum – the eternal void of space. We chip the shell from our fragile egg and leave the poorly formed embryo to fry in the empty silence. Word on the street is that the world is ending. We’ve run our course as a species and the forest-destroying masses, the poor and the starving billions, are at last about to bring down Cargill Grain and the International Oil Cartel, not just BP.
The time for bold, visionary leadership for a clean energy future is now. We must develop a plan to move our nation beyond oil in the next 20 years, or perish.
Related article: CORPORATIONS + PARALLEL UNIVERSES
A BIG LOAD OF CRAP
There is so much pure crap going on these days that it is hard to pick a simple few to concentrate on. Here’s a small sample from recent alarms:
- Human Trafficking: Not Someone Else’s Problem Greg Kaufmann
- Broken Promises, Broken Laws, Broken Lives Amy Goodman
- Memories and Misery in CNN Land While Homeowers Seek Mortgage Justice and Foreclosures Mount Danny Schechter
- Rape and Spillage Robert Scheer
- Ethnic Cleansing in Kyrgyzstan Ted Rall
- Obama’s Conservative Call to War Against Oil Ira Chernus
- Humiliation and Shame: Part of Being Insured in America Donna Smith
- The Lesson of BP: Too Much Greed? Too Little Guts? Frances Moore Lappé
8.2 MILLION JOBLESS AT RISK TAXING BILLIIONAIRES July 21, 2008 by CommonDreams.org
Of course, the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010 will provide the GOP with an opportunity to lash out at deficit-creating Democratic “tax and spend” policies-even with taxes specifically targeted at billionaires,
Moreover, Republican indifference to the plight of the jobless running out of benefits-exemplified by Sen. Jim Bunning’s (R-Ky.) infamous “I don’t give a sh*t” response-is already evident. With the mid-term elections less than five months away, more cynical Republicans may calculate that a denial of benefits will cause some of the unemployed to lose faith in Democrats, vote Republican-or refrain from voting altogether.
But clearly, the need for more job-creation efforts and help for the jobless is growing more acute by the day. Jobless workers are losing benefits, and mega-banks are simply drawing interest from the Federal Reserve rather than lending out money to fuel the recovery. May actually set a record for home foreclosures. The American economy has increasingly been characterized by minimal job growth, at best.
In this dire context, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka thundered to Congress, “If you’re not for this bill, you’re not for jobs. Period. And please, no more excuses about budget deficits unless you’re willing to make Wall Street pay its fair share to bring it down.” READ MORE: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/06/11-3
The monopoly corporations have subverted American democracy. The Obama administration is playing kissy-kissy with them. Congress is bending over and presenting to them. The Supreme Court is a terrible farce, no longer dealing in justice, but privilege and power. BP’s sick as hell managers and stockholders, Dick Cheney and the whole ugly Republican and religious fundamentalist elitist mess is a disaster for the country. Nothing short of full-fledged major systemic reform will root out these cancers on the body politic. Let’s start by impeaching the Supreme Court Five, bringing BP to criminal justice, and putting Dick Cheney and his Halliburton gangsters into jail where they really belong.
Amend U.S. Constitution to declare that corporations are not persons and do not have the rights of human beings. Congresswoman Donna Edwards and constitutional law professor Jamie Raskin speak out against the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC and call for a mass movement of people to support a constitutional amendment.
We Move to Amend.
We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to:
- Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
- Guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and to have our votes and participation count.
- Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate “preemption” actions by global, national, and state governments.
Signed by 82,906 and counting . . . CONTACT: http://www.movetoamend.org/
Late Breaking News: Center in Court to Stop Attack on Offshore-drilling Ban