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Chris Hedges and BP’s Little Eichmanns

posted by Gus diZerega

Chris Hedges has a wonderful piece on the moral and spiritual culture of America’s elite and the nature of American nihilism.  It’s short and well worth reading.  Yes- as some commentators have pointed out when I praised another piece by him, he knows little of us.  Few do.  But he sees the issues with wonderful clarity and I think his perspective is in perfect accord with a Pagan one.



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Cheryl Hill

posted May 17, 2010 at 6:48 pm


In an ultimate brush-off, BP’s CEO has been downplaying the extent of the oil leak and damage that’s been caused. I can’t believe I’m saying this but — I agree wholeheartedly with FOX News’ Sheppard Smith on this! Me agreeing with something on FOX News…amazing:
http://www.comcast.net/video/Act-Like-You-Care/1496497947/FoxNews/newest/



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paul

posted May 18, 2010 at 8:00 am


As far as I can tell, BP has not been attempting to shut down the oil volcano, but has been trying to keep it going in hopes of getting the oil one way or another. And this seems to go without notice.



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Snoozepossum

posted May 20, 2010 at 11:19 am


Props to Chris Hedges; will be passing that along. Thanx muchly for posting it.
The more I hear various bigwigs waffle about the leak, the more I keep hearing this in my head:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgrX7uOZqHI



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Gordon

posted May 25, 2010 at 5:22 pm


Sure, it’s perfectly in accordance with pagan beliefs if you’re a pagan who loves murderous arson, massive benefits to government employees and borrowing against our children’s future–then expecting someone else to pay when the bills come due. He’s quite a guy, Hedges is.
Do let me know where “an it harm none” fits into this.



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Gus diZerega

posted May 25, 2010 at 6:15 pm


Since its an older post maybe someday you’ll be able to provide us with an argument rather than a squeal.
But I doubt it.
Surprise me.



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Lela

posted May 25, 2010 at 6:18 pm


I agree with Gordon; giving props to someone who promotes violence would seem to be WAY out of the scope of pagan beliefs (unless you are part of some fringe violence-mongering group who simply calls itself pagan). Greek citizens chose violence because their pay would have been decreased by FIVE percent in order to help pay their national costs. Accepting a 5% decrease would seem far more “earth friendly” and respectful of fellow human beings than setting fires, rioting, and killing people.
And what about personal responsibility? In my training (2nd Degree Wiccan at this time), I was taught that the individual is responsible for oneself and accountable to the universe in wise use and stewardship of resources. Since when does paganism equal blaming everyone and everything else for one’s own troubles? Since when does paganism equal refusing to take steps to correct one’s own mistakes and learning to live wisely? When did pagans become such wussies that they have to blame “big, bad” corporations for every tough circumstance in this world rather than looking to themselves for wise evaluation of their own problems and appropriate solutions? Seriously, do pagans need to be diapered, fed, and given a pacifier, or do we live productive lives that actually help ourselves and others?
Other European countries that are part of the European Union and use the Euro as currency, countries that do practice financial responsibility and wise use of resources (such as Germany), are rightly quite upset that the Greeks refuse to do anything to clean up their own financial mess. The irresponsibility and frankly childish and horribly dangerous and destructive behavior displayed by the Greeks is deplorable and a cause of great concern to other countries tied into their economy.
As a pagan, I very much resent any implication that pagans support this murderous behavior. Shame on Chris Hedges!



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Gus diZerega

posted May 25, 2010 at 7:38 pm


OK Gordon and Lela – I do not know what essay you guys read, but it sure does not seem to be the one I linked to. Maybe you can drop the invective long enough to actually point to something the man said.
As to Lela’s bizarre claim that blaming corporations makes us wussies – using the same logic, if that is the word, defending them makes you a coperpetrator.
I suggest you read about the workers imprisoned by Transocean until they signed statements saying they had not been hurt and had no first hand knowledge of the disaster that forced them to jump into the sea, or die. If I did that I’d be charged with kidnapping. Corporations are not.
It reminds me of the woman Hallibortin people imprisoned after she was raped by their workers. No one has been punished for that, either. Did you ever read about it?
Corporations are acting like the States that free marketeers claim to revile.
I am again speechless as I finally was with Faren. What can I say to someone who seems to live in a reality with made up facts, no examples, and lots of invective? Your post and that of Gordon above you make absolutely no sense at all. How about using reason and examples to make your case? Give me the quotes and examples I need to know what on earth you are talking about.



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Gus diZerega

posted May 25, 2010 at 8:23 pm


Lela, and I presume Gordon because otherwise you make no sense at all-
I finally figured out what you were complaining about. I finally found it. You are referring to an essay by Chris Hedges that I did not link to, had not read, and is about a situation about which I know little. I doubt you know any more – but I await enlightenment if you do.
According to Hedges the Greeks are apparently rioting in response to corporate sociopaths who used their government to get rich while impoverishing the average Greek. Lies by those in power have brought the Greek economy to ruin. Assuming Hedges is accurate about the Greek situation, I can understand why people might riot in a Greek context. Unlike us, their democracy has been attacked and destroyed repeatedly by the Greek right wing and military – once with the encouragement of Nixon. Murder was frequent. See the movie “Z” sometime. Decent Greeks play for far higher stakes than we so far.
Aristotle, the greatest Pagan political philosopher, wrote in his Politics that democracies always collapsed because of class war. He also said that they did so because the depredations of the wealthy finally became unbearable. Class war always began with the rich and powerful using their wealth and power against the weak. If that does not sound familiar, you have not been paying much attention to the news.
I would like very much to be a pacifist but cannot quite bring myself to be one. I love this world too much. But absolutely NONE of the above has anything at all to do with what I posted. Worse, your “anti-violence” is actually nothing of the sort, for you appear to me to be busy finding excuses for the moral monsters who dominate many of our biggest enterprises. Apparently you blame the weak for choosing not to be doormats for those seeking to fill through theft a hole in their lives no material good or power to dominate can ever fulfill.
The only institutional cure that avoids violence is the Madisonian one of requiring so many interests to agree on something that it is next to impossible to oppress. His Federalist 10 is the classic statement of that.
We are not at a point where rioting is justified. Our democratic institutions are strong enough still to facilitate peaceful change. But they are not infinitely strong. Those who dominate our government have committed and are continuing to commit murder and violence far beyond anything a Greek rioter has done, and are doing so in many parts of the world. They are also destroying the natural world that most Pagans – perhaps not you – regard as sacred. The challenge of our time is bringing corporations under civilized control.
An Added Thought for Lela-
Lela- I am calmed down a little bit since soon my attention will be on finer things than politics. I want to add one hopefully helpful comment to what you’ve written. “An It Harm None do As Ye Will” is not a complete moral code. I accept it 100% and discuss this very important and very interesting issue at length in Pagans and Christians, pp 149-152.



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Gordon

posted May 26, 2010 at 1:38 am


Gus,
If you’re going to use the term “Little Eichmanns” then you’d damn well better point to the head of the corporation who is creating and administering a plan to murder humans by the millions, using the force of the state. And the Nazis had moral (by their lights) arguments for doing it. That’s what Eichmann did, and why he wasn’t sorry. He thought it was the right thing to do, right up to when he was hung.
So go ahead, and name the corporate bosses who are doing the same. Give us details. Anything less is pure rhetorical crap. Own up to your allusions.
Corporations are soulless? Wow, what a scoop! Of course they’re soulless. They are not physical beings, capable of morality. They can be operated in a moral way, but that’s always tricky, because, as an example, progressive philosophy considers sterilizing the lesser races and other defectives to be the highest form of morality. Whose morality shall we choose? Woodrow Wilson’s? He loved the idea of cleaning up the human race.
The head of BP is no more evil than the man who looked down to answer his phone, and rear-ended the car in front of him. This accident will cost BP many billions of dollars, despite the fact that BP was already spending millions to make sure an event like this didn’t happen. Those are dollars which will not benefit the shareholders, who are people like you and me, and teacher pension funds, and even folks like Al Gore. BP should, and will pay. If you make the mess you should have to clean it up. Unless, of course, if you’re on Wall Street and have enough politicians in your pocket.
Hedges quotes Polyani, as if Polyani had an original idea. He didn’t. He cribbed from Marx, Hitler and Mussolini, who cribbed from others before them. They all think that we need to control the corporations in a beneficient way. The philosophy even has a name: corporatism. Problem is, it really is cronyism at its worst. Go read Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism” and Hayek’s “Up from Serfdom.” Seriously. Both are very readable, and Hayek’s is a classic that every college student should read.
And Hedges thinks it’s wonderful that the Greek civil servants are rioting and throwing firebombs (see his post titled “The Greeks Get It”). They’ve been ripped off, they have. Now me, I’d figure that getting 14 months’ pay for 12 months’ work is a little dodgy. Not to mention the very early and generous retirement plans. But hey, math is hard, right? It’s much easier to throw Molotov cocktails at the police and at banks, barbecuing a man and two women–bank clerks–who had the misfortune to be working for a living instead of sucking off the government teat.
Corporations are not to be trusted. But not because they’re void of moral fibre. It’s because they will always collude with government to stifle competition. They’ll cut deals to protect their profits, while passing money to the politicians who loudly rail against them. This is the real evil, because it hurts the little guy–the guy who has a better idea, but can’t get into the market because he can’t work the regulations the way the big guys can. Did you not notice that the number one recipient of BP campaign funds was none other than Barack H. Obama? Or that Sen. Christopher Dodd, who regularly denounces Wall Street firms, gets more campaign cash from them than anyone else?
Just as the Greeks’ greatest enemy is their own shortsighted greed, so we are our own enemy. Don’t like offshore drilling? Fine, sell your car, heat your home with dung, and give up that computer. All of them require oil. But don’t expect China, Cuba and Russia to follow your lead. They’ll cheerfully step in and grab the markets you abandon. And if you think BP owns politicians, just wait until the Russians have an accident.
And don’t dare think you have any business dictating to the rest of us how to be moral, or passing laws to enforce your idea of what’s good for us. The essence of Wiccan philosophy, such as it is, is that you get to make your own choices. But you are responsible for the choices you make. BP (which heretofore has trumpeted itself as being very green) will be held responsible. But where is the justice for the three bank clerks torched by whiny civil servants?



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Gus diZerega

posted May 26, 2010 at 10:09 am


I try not to pull rank in this blog Gordon. It is bad manners and too often used as an excuse to hide behind a title rather than confront an argument that just might prove the rank-puller wrong. I prefer giving reasons and logic when I respond. That is fair to my critic and helpful to any reader interested in the discussion.
But for you I’ll make a partial exception since you presume to lecture me about people you know little of and about whom I am regarded as something of an expert. And because you have written such a sprawling and seemingly informed name-dropping screed that ultimately translates into a howl some people may actually think you know what you are writing about. You don’t. But do not worry – I’ll give some reasons for my views afterwards.
My Ph.D. dissertation dealt deeply with F. A. Hayek’s work, I have read almost every book he wrote, repeatedly. I have taught about him in college, been invited to scholarly gatherings of his admirers, and regard him along with Jürgen Habermas as one of my two favorite political theorists. (Since they disagree with each other I’ll leave it for you to puzzle out why I like both.)
OK?
Now, try and at least get the name of his book right. It’s titled The Road to Serfdom. And yes, every college student would benefit from reading it. Have you? If you have, go back to chapter ten “Why the Worst Get on Top.” It describes why nasty characters tend to rise to the top of totalitarian movements such as the Communists and Nazis.
Now, Gordon, look at the reasons Hayek gives in his chapter rather than simply his particular conclusions and if you step back a bit, you will see that they apply in a great many instances to any large impersonal organization. Any of them. As the epitome of the large organization where every person is subordinated to the organization’s goals, and is valued only by their contribution to it, totalitarian organizations like the old Communist and Nazi Parties are hideous examples. But the same principles exist in corporations and explains the tendency for their leaders to be moral cretins.
These are not invariable laws. Mikhail Gorbachev is certainly an exception on the Communist side and there are exceptions everywhere else. We are talking tendencies.
I will not go over the rest of your post because it is of a similar level of accuracy. You mix fact with fantasy with distortion with ignorance of context, rather like Jonah Goldberg, of whose book Liberal Fascism, even his personal and ideological friend Michael Ledeen, (who is a genuine expert on fascism) could not support. http://hnn.us/articles/122592.html Try reading a competent discussion of Fascism sometime, such as Robert Paxton’s The Anatomy of Fascism. To equate Goldberg with Hayek is like equating Hostess Twinkies with paella.
Your comments about Eichmann evidence a care in reading Hedges (and me) rather similar to what you exercised when reading Hayek. I won’t waste the space showing how. Just try and understand the damn arguments sometime. As to Polanyi – you simply do not know what you are talking about, and I am too busy to take the time to show why. Learn about Hayek sometime and then we can discuss Polanyi.
You sound as if you are yet another anarcho-capitalist opposed to passing all laws dealing with morality (Murder? Kidnapping? Rape? Theft? Fraud? Assault? Child abuse?) I wish you experiences analogous to my own that enabled me years ago finally to grow up intellectually, mentally, and morally. Like Ayn Rand, libertarianism can be a bracing mental stimulation for young people seeking to carve out a sense of themselves as individuals. But they need to integrate what they learned there into a more balanced appreciation of the world, other people, and yes, of themselves. Good luck.
Until then you are free to be as moral or immoral or amoral as your heart will allow. I do not “dictate” to anyone. And yes, take the consequences of your choices.



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Lela

posted May 28, 2010 at 3:29 am


Gus — I am a bit puzzled here; if your blog has nothing to do with Chris Hedges’ post, why does he link to your blog and use it to claim that pagans agree with his point of view?
See: http://reason.com/blog/2010/05/25/burn-america-burn?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reason%2FHitandRun+%28Reason+Online+-+Hit+%26+Run+Blog%29
If you click on the highlighted “pagans,” the link points to your blog.
Why would he do that unless he is just more of an idiot than I thought, a person who cannot even decipher what he is linking to?



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Gus diZerega

posted May 28, 2010 at 9:40 am


Lela-
I have no control over what a liar like Matt Welch says. Note he, not Hedges, made the link. I imagine Chris Hedges does not even know I exist. Welch’s ability to read clearly is equal to his intellectual integrity. Apparently zero in either case. Here is what I posted below Welch’s lies.
“Matt Welch represents the intellectual and ethical collapse of the libertarian right quite clearly when he links me with support for Hedges’ endorsement of violence, given that the essay I recommended had nothing at all to do with Greece.
“As a former subscriber to Reason who cancelled when it started arguing environmentalists were planning to destroy humanity with an engineered virus or bacteria, he should be utterly ashamed of himself.
“But I doubt that he is.”
Reason once represented an intellectually respectable libertarianism. I do not think it does any more – partly because of the hacks that who now apparently dominate the magazine, partly because I think libertarianism has demonstrated that it has only a piece – and important piece, but a piece – of any philosophy of a decent existence for most people.
If you want to get a sense of what my ethics are, again I suggest reading what I actually wrote on the subject in Pagans and Christians.
Gus



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Gus diZerega

posted May 28, 2010 at 10:09 am


Lela-
One other point, Lela. Your posts impress me as those of a sincere seeker after understanding so you may be interested in understanding this topic more deeply. Please check out chapter 10 in Hayek’s Road to Serfdom- the book Gordon couldn’t remember the title of. That chapter on why the worst rise to the top focuses explicitly on the communists and Nazis.
But if you read carefully you will see that most of his reasons – maybe all (I haven’t read it in a few years) – develop the logic of what happens when people are valued solely by their utility to serving an organization’s goals. Lower down in the organization, amidst the functionaries, is where we find the “little Eichmanns” Hedges wrote about. Hannah Arendt first described this type of person as she watched Adolf Eichmann’s trial. They are not vicious monsters. They illustrate in her words “the banality of evil.” Men and women with no moral compass who identify with an organization/cause that values them for how well they serve, and nothing more. But in their absence evil is virtually powerless. They are its arms and legs.
The genuine sociopaths tend to rise to the top. They are not “little Eichmanns.” But a sociopath alone can hurt only a few whereas one with an organization under him can hurt hundreds, thousands, or in Stalin, Hitler, and Mao’s cases, millions.



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Gus diZerega

posted May 28, 2010 at 10:51 am


Wonderful example of the little Eichmanns – both transcript and video where BP has prohibited clean up workers even from using their own respirators for safety because if BP ever admitted there was a health hazard they would expose themselves to litigation over liability. Better to risk the lives of their clean up workers (who they hired after these workers’ livelihoods were destroyed by their spill) than expose their company to potential lawsuits.
It is incredible, and every “libertarian” and such who continues to shill for companies like this are in no way at all friends of freedom, or even decency. They are whores for industry. Mostly pretty cheap ones.
See for yourselves
http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/27/coast_guard_grounds_ships_involved_in .



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Gordon

posted May 29, 2010 at 11:24 am


Gus,
I’ve been busy the last few days and haven’t had time to reply to you. That’s not a bad thing; it allowed some of the heat to depart, and not only the heat of my arguments.
Let’s not get down in the weeds about Hayek, Goldberg or Polyani. My point, again, is that Eichmann’s crime was not one of indifference. He knew exactly what he was doing, and realized the magnitude of it.
BP’s people did not. You could analyze any of them, and their motivations, and you would not find one who wanted that rig to blow up. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Such drilling is fantastically complicated. Because environmentalists have forced drilling far offshore, the process is more difficult, and there are more ways things can go wrong. Build a complicated system, and you create the possibility of problems you can’t foresee accurately.
What will most likely come from the investigation? That a series of events cascaded, leading to the blowout. And each of those events will be ambiguous–meaning that reasonable people might draw different conclusions from the discrete event.
Complicated systems don’t always work as advertised. Some little thing is off, or the bolts don’t tighten as they’re supposed to. You learn that you can perhaps ignore that one factor, and go on safely. But there’s other people making other decisions about other parts of the system, and they may well be deciding that they, too can ignore some hint of problem. After all, we’ve done it that way before, and it worked that time, right?
We have such decisions being made in complicated systems many times a day. You do it yourself; how many times have you gone through the safety procedures in your car’s manual before starting it and driving it away? Once, perhaps, if ever. Yet some key component might fail on your car because you failed to follow them, and that component failure may lead to you swerving at highway speed.
Another car sees you swerve, and the driver reacts by swerving in response. And the car following him starts to swerve, only to have a small, insignificant part of the steering system fail, just as the car crossed a small bump, which was enough to send the third car out of control.
Which of the drivers is a little Eichmann?



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Gordon

posted May 29, 2010 at 11:32 am


On another point, you mention that BP won’t allow the workers to wear respirators that BP didn’t supply. Whether or not BP feels they’re needed, BP would be foolish to let the workers wear one of unknown origin.
Were we not such a litigious country, it wouldn’t matter. But BP has no way of knowing the provenance of a mask they don’t supply. And who knows? That mask may contain asbestos fibers. Stranger things have happened. And if that worker then contracts mesothelioma, is BP liable for it? Some jury might say yes.
Unintended consequences.



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Gus diZerega

posted May 29, 2010 at 12:04 pm


When car drivers who are careless for a moment refuse to allow an ambulance to be called for those injured, then we can discuss equivalencies. Or maybe a better analogy for you to use is the habitually drunk driver who accidentally kills another driver after continuing to drive drunk after bribing the courts to let him keep his license. I think that’s a pretty good analogy to BP.
BP’s record of lies, safety violations, prohibiting the press access, NOT ALLOWING CLEAN UP WORKERS TO USE RESPIRATORS, and the like, all of which is readily available in links on this blog and elsewhere is public record now. Why do you ignore it? Because Reason Magazine hasn’t mentioned it – though it suggests I endorse violence?
The Norwegian government does deep water drilling. It has for a long time. The North Sea is no bath tub. Their safety record so far has been wonderful. But they don’t lobby politicians to avoid regulations nor apparently do they lie a great deal, though I am sure they must to some degree. Here are two links that challenge your claims with facts and logic.
http://www.salon.com/news/louisiana_oil_spill/index.html?story=/opinion/conason/2010/05/03/norway
http://eideard.wordpress.com/2010/04/30/oil-lobby-killed-safeguards-on-gulf-drilling-rig/
Your comment about environmentalists suggests you have swallowed the libertarian/Limbaugh bilge. You should be ashamed. It’s like the right wingers who blame poor people seeking to buy housing for the real estate bust. Poor banksters were simply the victims of circumstance.
Environmentalists are particularly not to blame for BP’s record of sloppy maintenance, safety violations, and dishonesty. (Read my piece in walruses in the Gulf of Mexico sometime and then come back to me to discuss complex systems). As a matter of fact, just read outside your bubble. This disaster is about as thorough a rebuttal to libertarian dogma as any reasonable person could request.
And read about the Milgram experiment sometime. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment Normal people are capable of doing hideous things once the context encourages it. Read Hannah Arendt on Eichmann. Or if that’s too time consuming, read http://epicureandealmaker.blogspot.com/2009/02/to-catch-thief.html . The selection processes for rising in big corporations is quite different from the selection processes in small businesses, or businesses with human beings able to exercise responsible ownership.
I am quite confident the little Eichmanns either know or choose not to know the impact of what they are doing – they simply do not care much.
And the issue of Hayek et. al. is not getting down in the weeds – The way you used them is indicative to me that you preferred invective to argument. It is a standard right wing debating tactic, and I will crush as best I can anyone who tries it here.



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Gus diZerega

posted May 29, 2010 at 12:12 pm


Gordon- You obviously have not bothered to learn anything about the respirator issue. Litigation does play a role, but not the one you suggest. Go learn about it.



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Gordon

posted May 29, 2010 at 5:12 pm


Gus,
For someone who apparently doesn’t like certain debating tactics, you’re pretty free with them yourself. You do like to throw around accusations–that I’m an anarchist, a right-winger, a tool of the oil industry, too dumb to read/listen to anyone but Reason and Limbaugh, a libertarian….
The funny thing is, I’m impressed by your knowledge and arguments. You’re well-read, and articulate. That’s surprisingly rare these days. We could disagree; I respect that. But you seeme to have to make everyone who doesn’t agree with your take on things to be evil or ignorant.
In fact, it would be interesting to debate how Norway’s culture influences the actions of Statoil–and how the lessons from that aren’t necessarily applicable anywhere else. Minnesota used to have a similar cultural mindset, but that’s long gone, now.
It’s not that interesting to debate the acoustic switch, since that system relies on the hydraulic rams which are part of the blowout preventer. And the problem on the well in question was that the hydraulic system failed to operate properly, so having a second way to trigger it (the acoustic switch) wouldn’t have mattered.
Of course, the blogger you cite goes on to state that the “oil lobby” bought off the regulators and the politicians. He doesn’t cite any evidence to refute the statement in the WSJ article that regulators consider the acoustic switches to be unreliable, and possibly ineffective.
Perhaps this is a difference between us. You chose to cite two writers who trumpet an idea that we now know wouldn’t have worked. Then one layers on an accusation, without evidence, that bribery led to the accident. These are the “facts” with which you will convince me?



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Gus diZerega

posted May 29, 2010 at 6:15 pm


Gordon- You gave arguments on this blog that received national attention through Rush Limbaugh – and hardy anyone else. The person who supported you referenced Reason Magazine’s lies about me. Your arguments – charges really, there wasn’t much argument – was libertarian in tone. You blamed environmentalists for the problem, a tactic I have seen ONLY on the lunatic right, and made no mention of the long record of malfeasance and corner cutting that is appearing as to BP’s actions regarding the well.
Maybe you thought this crap up by yourself. If so, look at the spiritual company you keep: Limbaugh and “Reason.” You must be doing something wrong. ;-)
[I AM ADDING THESE TWO PARAGRAPHS because I re-read Gordon's post and am genuinely concerned about one point he made.] I do not think I make those who disagree with me “evil or ignorant.” Over at the discussion about the Magick Circle you can see what I regard as a wonderful discussion between me and Robert Mathiesen, whom I do not know and who has a different take on it than I. I am learning from it, as I do from all good discussions.
As to politics, look at your first posts Gordon. And you call ME harsh? I responded to some pretty nasty personal attacks, and because the right specializes in those attacks and you used their arguments, I adopted a “take no prisoners” approach. The right has so poisoned public debate that many decent people are scared off by their venom. I am not. Even so, I addressed arguments and gave reasons. I do not regard anyone I have dealt with on this blog as evil – though there were once some Christian Fundies who may have come close. Lela, who echoed your charges and gave reasons, received a MUCH more polite response from me – and I gave her reasons why I think she was off base. Be polite and civil and even if you disagree with me deeply I will respond in kind. Address the actual arguments I make and you will have my respect – just as I try and address yours. [end of insert]
Gordon, you continue to avoid the issues I bring up, such as the respirator ban. People working on the spill are going to hospitals now.
You are also changing the discussion about the links I gave. I gave those links to show drilling can be done safely – unlike what you claimed. Accidents do happen, but not every bad thing that happens is simply an accident, as you claimed regarding the spill. We know that the device BP had installed to prevent blow outs was defective and that they KNEW IT. We know that they used less secure methods to finish the well, and did so deliberately. That is called negligence. As to what device is best in what circumstance- I make no claims to know.
I hope BP is sued till not a penny of value remains in the company and their shareholders lose every cent they invested. I am tired of bailing out the big boys, giving them liability caps, and all the rest of the crap that passes forf “free enterprise” in this country. And I support markets, on that issue I am a Hayekian, so don’t go there unless you want to argue liability caps are free enterprise.
If you know anything about politics you know that money talks, especially in private, and that BP has lobbied against requiring technology used in oil fields with better safety records than theirs. Do you really want to challenge that claim? BP has consistently acted to save itself money and belittled the spill until they could no longer. Its dispersant is banned in many countries as too toxic and is showing evidence of making the spill much worse – but it makes it harder to calculate the amount of oil spilled – which reduces BP’s potential liability. For BP that is all that matters.
I’m NOT opposed in principle to all drilling for oil off shore. I AM opposed to drilling for oil when you cannot prevent or rapidly fix the damage if something goes wrong. Save that oil till we have the technology to correct the problems that might arise. It won’t go away. Much more importantly, adopt measures to wean us from oil as much as possible for reasons both ecological and military (we would not have a terrorism problem with radicals in the Muslim world were it not for oil, not would we be in Iraq or Afghanistan). But no- I do not reflexively oppose all offshore drilling, even though I do not like oil companies very much.
Initially I thought “accidents happen.” Not any more – there is culpability, incompetence, dishonesty, and corporate ruthlessness here, and a serious need for corporate heads to roll. Listen to the video I linked to about the safety and respirator issue.



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posted 11:57:03am Apr. 20, 2012 | read full post »

Instructive examples on why interfaith work is a good idea
I deeply believe the problems in our country are more of the heart than of the head. Here are some youtubes courtesy of John Morehead of the Evangelical Chapter of the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy on Facebook. They speak more eloquently than anything I can write that interfaith work is a good

posted 1:08:25pm Apr. 12, 2012 | read full post »

The controversy over Pink Slime - and what it means.
The controversy over pink slime is helping educate Americans to the fact that corporations are as beneficial to agriculture as they are to politics. Tom Laskawy put it pithily: “What pink slime represents is an open admission by the food industry that it is hard-pressed to produce meat that won’

posted 4:03:07pm Apr. 11, 2012 | read full post »

How the "war on religion' backfired into a war on women
Here  is a really good article by Tina DuPuy on how the Republicans got themselves into such a mess with America's more intelligent women.  Left undiscussed is how the extreme pathological masculinity of both their deity and their leaders made that slip so very easy.

posted 12:12:35pm Apr. 11, 2012 | read full post »




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