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Monday Morning Calumnies

By Al Schumann on Monday May 24, 2010 04:37 AM

The Obama regime takes a certain pride in hamstringing itself over BP's toxic catastrophe. That's not the calumny, by the way. That's the regime's business model; hysterical hand-wringing and dredging for specious interpretations of relevant legislation. The interpretations allow the regime to subordinate state action to the corporate requirements of BP. The harm to the Gulf Coast people and the environment they need to live in is regrettable, but rules must be seen to be subject to adherence-related program activities.

What they've managed is the procedural equivalent of placing condom use guidelines in torture chambers. Their justifications consist of demanding, "What? You'd rather see the victims contract STDs?"

Anyway, the calumny concerns the regime's remaining supporters. My nasty hypothesis is they're not so nutty that they really believe the regime is trying ever so hard, but they are nutty enough to enjoy the minor roles they played in foisting the Democratic version of malign neglect on the country. Sort of a "turn about is fair play" thing. Baby Doc Bush and the American Enterprise Institute's intellectual Tonton Macoutes had their fun. Wingnut triumphalism filled the air for eight years. Why shouldn't passive aggressive goo-goo savagery get some play too?

I find the hypothesis tempting, but badly flawed. It only explains the comprador pundits and foundation shit shovelers. Their interests are aligned with the party's. The rest are hemmed in by the party's Stakhanovite attention to punishing every decent impulse they might have.

Comments (11)

Is it possible that Administrations will always find supporters (even if from dwindling seed pools) because we spend so much money and time (in schools) churning out the sort of people who take comfort in obedience?

On a side note: seems the ocean floor is collapsing around the blow out hole and that this is a very, very, very bad thing.



"we spend so much money and time
(in schools)"
period full stop end of acute observation

".. churning out the sort of people
who take comfort in obedience"

schools also
evaluate us
assign numbers to us in n dimensions
pit us against each other
order us by merit rank
divide us to conquer us

if to belong u must "obey"
the monocrat
or her deputies
well what else can u expect
from us still raw and mushy little folks

seems a god sent
to find comfort in conformity

if you ever marched and drilled
you've senses
the gay power and beauty
of uniform action
the more of us in the line of march
the merrier we are

Al Schumann:

Jack, school socialization definitely pushes that along. I've read some eye openers in addition to having lived through factory farm schooling myself. Interestingly, the cohorts are not as conformist and docile one might expect. Some run into good teachers; some don't, and get uppity anyway; a bit less than a third of each cohort disengages from the game as much as it can; some of the engaged, and thoroughly socialized have their moments of obduracy and, if they're welcomed, get more and more obdurate. My rough guess is that no more than 3/5 of the electorate is crushed into feckless servility.

The biggest problem lies in the livelihoods people are backed into. There's not a lot of time, nor much in the way of resources to form effectively rebellious blocs. Add to that the quotidian struggle to raise kids, tend relatives, help friends, care for lovers etc. etc. and there's the appearance, anyway, of the beginnings of something to work with. Put another way, there are a lot of people who would be happy to go along with something a lot better than what we have. It's anyone's guess how may would take a stubbornly active role.


Al i dig your point

school trains us for the jobs we have
not the jobs we'd like to have

then again could be worse

consider this
consider te jobs donn rummy
would like us to have

why the prep school for that ewould be srtaight off the island of doctor moreau

insert here audio
of bela lugosi
with his patented blue danube mournfullness
pulling this line
slow as taffy
out of his soul

"the house of pain"


I think we're fairly on the same page. I don't think compulsory ed. produces unthinking automatons. It just presents history as the succession of powerful men, science as the work of gifted rich people, economics as the management of mystified money and sport as a way to get ahead. In a very deliberately taylorized version of the Prussian model. Those disinclined to or constitutionally incapable of taking the instruction can come out even more hardened adversaries of "the system."

That's my own experience, anyway.

But I agree with you, where you go further than I initially did. Feeding self and family means taking the work available, and all that shit is junked up by very bad people.

Or you can go my route, which is to opt out near entirely, and reduce inputs and needs to a manageable minimum. It's not easy, and it can be really self-isolating - but I'm one of those you mentioned above: burned out to the point of obduracy.

I was more human hiding from the cops, slinging mid-level quantities of el cid and grass, than I ever was once I went straight and climbed my way high enough up to not be able to look at myself in a mirror.


"self-isolating "

how so ???

"climbed my way high enough up to not be able to look at myself in a mirror."

if so
it was that climb
that prolly made a real man out of you

he who has not exploited
can't throw
first stones ...at least
throw em very well

Looks like we're not only going to need a new planet, but a new environmental movement. Anybody here seen this?

(user: flugennock@sinkers.org, pass: ststephen)

In the days after the immensity of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico became clear, some Nature Conservancy supporters took to the organization's Web site to vent their anger.

"The first thing I did was sell my shares in BP, not wanting anything to do with a company that is so careless," wrote one. Another added: "I would like to force all the BP executives, the secretaries and the shareholders out to the shore to mop up oil and wash the birds." Reagan De Leon of Hawaii called for a boycott of "everything BP has their hands in."

What De Leon didn't know was that the Nature Conservancy lists BP as one of its business partners. The Conservancy also has given BP a seat on its International Leadership Council and has accepted nearly $10 million in cash and land contributions from BP and affiliated corporations over the years.

"Oh, wow," De Leon said when told of the depth of the relationship between the nonprofit group she loves and the company she hates. "That's kind of disturbing."

The Conservancy, already scrambling to shield oyster beds from the spill, now faces a different problem: a potential backlash as its supporters learn that the giant oil company and the world's largest environmental organization long ago forged a relationship that has lent BP an Earth-friendly image and helped the Conservancy pursue causes it holds dear.

The crude emanating from BP's well threatens to befoul a number of alliances between energy conglomerates and environmental nonprofits. At least one group, Conservation International, acknowledges that it is reassessing its ties to the oil company, with an eye toward protecting its reputation.

"This is going to be a real test for charities such as the Nature Conservancy," said Dean Zerbe, a lawyer who investigated the Conservancy's relations with its donors when he worked for the Senate Finance Committee. "This not only stains BP, but, if they don't respond properly, it also stains those who have been benefiting from their money and their support."

Some purists believe environmental groups should keep a healthy distance from certain kinds of corporations, particularly those whose core mission poses risks to the environment. They argue that the BP spill shows the downside to what they view as deals with the devil.

On the other side are self-described pragmatists who, like the Conservancy, see partnering with global corporations as the best way to create large-scale change.

"Anyone serious about doing conservation in this region must engage these companies, so they are not just part of the problem but so they can be part of the effort to restore this incredible ecosystem," Conservancy chief executive Mark Tercek wrote on his group's Web site after criticism from a Conservancy supporter.

The Arlington County-based Conservancy has made no secret of its relationship with BP, just one of many it has forged with multinational corporations. The Conservancy's Web site lists BP as a member of its International Leadership Council.

BP has been a major contributor to a Conservancy project aimed at protecting Bolivian forests. In 2006, BP gave the organization 655 acres in York County, Va., where a state wildlife management area is planned. In Colorado and Wyoming, the Conservancy has worked with BP to limit environmental damage from natural gas drilling.

Until recently, the Conservancy and other environmental groups worked alongside BP in a coalition that lobbied Congress on climate-change issues. And an employee of BP Exploration serves as an unpaid Conservancy trustee in Alaska.

"We are getting some important and very tangible outcomes as a result of our work with the company," said Conservancy spokesman Jim Petterson.

Reassessing ties

The Conservancy has long positioned itself as the leader of a nonconfrontational arm of the environmental movement, and that position has helped the charity attract tens of millions of dollars annually in contributions. A number have come from companies whose work takes a toll on the environment, including those engaged in logging, home building and power generation.

Conservancy officials say their approach has allowed them to change company practices from within, leverage the influence of the companies and protect ecosystems that are under the companies' control. They stress that contributions from BP and other corporations make up only a portion of the organization's total revenue, which exceeds half a billion dollars a year.

And the Conservancy is far from the only environmental nonprofit with ties to BP.

Conservation International has accepted $2 million in donations from BP over the years and partnered with the company on a number of projects, including one examining oil-extraction methods. From 2000 to 2006, John Browne, who was then BP's chief executive, sat on the nonprofit's board.

In response to the spill, the nonprofit plans to review its relationship with the company, said Justin Ward, a Conservation International vice president.

"Reputational risk is on our minds," Ward acknowledged.

The Environmental Defense Fund, which has a policy of not accepting corporate donations, joined with BP, Shell International and other major corporations to form the Partnership for Climate Action, which promotes "market-based mechanisms" to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

And about 20 energy and environmental groups, including the Conservancy, the Sierra Club and Audubon, joined with BP Wind Energy to form the American Wind and Wildlife Institute, which works to protect wildlife through "responsible" development of wind farms.

On May 1, Tercek posted a statement on the Conservancy's site, writing that it was "difficult to fathom the tragedy" that was unfolding but that "now is not the time for ranting." He made no mention of BP.

Nate Swick, a blogger and dedicated bird watcher from Chapel Hill, N.C., chastised Tercek on the site for not adequately disclosing the Conservancy's connections to BP and for not working to hold the company accountable. Swick said in an interview that he considered BP's payments to the organization to be an obvious attempt at "greenwashing" its image.

"You have to wonder whether the higher-ups in the Nature Conservancy are pulling their punches," said Swick, who added that he admires the work the Conservancy does in the field.

A Conservancy official quickly responded to Swick's accusations, laying out the organization's ties with BP. A subsequent post by Tercek named BP and said the spill demonstrated the need for a new energy policy that would move the United States "away from our dependence on oil."

"The oil industry is a major player in the gulf," he said. "It would be naive to ignore them."

There might be a sense of the past among long-timers at the Conservancy.

Years ago, worried officials quietly assembled focus groups and found that most members saw a partnership with BP as "inappropriate."

The 2001 study, obtained by The Washington Post, found that many Conservancy members felt a relationship with an oil company was "inherently incompatible." And to a minority of members, accepting cash from these types of companies was viewed as "the equivalent of a payoff."


Tercek: "The oil industry is a major player in the gulf," he said. "It would be naive to ignore them."

Is that one of those false dichotomies people are always taking about?
Ignore BP or climb into the sack with BP.


'too interconnected to fail'


I think it's simpler than that. I think that to be a Democrat is to be opposed to the police state while supporting every condition that enables the police state to exist, with the disconnect explained by ignorance.

Americans have been so long removed from the experience of real tyranny that we simply don't notice when it bites us on the ass.

Non-confrontational environmentalism ranks right up there with business unionism for incoherence.

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