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Day 91: bev’s take / our stake in the story

Today is DAY NINETY-ONE in the BP crimes against our planet and people. The corporatacracy of US-BP wants you to believe that because (they SAY) the "leak" is capped, the story is happily ended. NOT. First, the leak is NOT stopped. Second, the story of their lies and murderous ways continues below. Below first is a quote apropos to this post, and then my commentary, and then another installment of (33) excerpts and links about what’s going on a mile below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, while the ticker tape tells us more tricks… [NOTE: I’ve been aiming for shorter more frequent posts with fewer links, but since my last post, my car has given me serious headaches and taken up a lot of energy and time. I don’t like when my job and personal life derail my work, but sometimes I just have to ride that wave…Thankfully, writing is one of my rafts on that river…]

[ALSO NOTE: I’ve gotten several inquiries about where my writings are archived, so…at the end of this post is a listing of links of all the posts I’ve done since the 20th of April, when the catastrophic B-iological P-redation of BP started. I want to thank Lo Daniels of Dandelion Salad, the folks at Kasama, Carolyn Baker, and Lew Rosenbaum and The Chicago Labor and Arts Festival Blog for posting my commentaries and collections!]


"Maybe...We don't have a soul of our own...Just a little piece of a big soul...the one soul that belongs to everybody. Then...It don't matter... I'll be all around in the dark...I'll be everywhere...wherever you can look. Wherever there's a fight so hungry people can eat, I'll be there...Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there...I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad; I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready. And when the people are eatin' the stuff they raised livin' in the houses they build, I'll be there, too...." ~Tom Joad, __The Grapes of Wrath__, by John Steinbeck, 1939


Bev is her name. Long brown hair with graying streaks, usually dressed in a T-shirt too big for her, and gender-neutral pants that every woman knows how to wear to hide from predators, and every solitary homeless woman knows is the best costume for safety’s sake. She isn’t constantly asking for money, not from everyone she sees; seems to make conscious choices about who to ask, and I often see her stare off into space, thinking. One time, outside the co-op, a woman handed her a bag of food with some money. She burst into tears as the woman walked away and said, looking at me because I happened to be passing by slowly enough to see the exchange, sobbing, “Why did she do that?” I touched her back lightly, “I think she just wants you to have a nice night…”

But I didn’t know her name until yesterday.

Yesterday, I finished my job while the sun was still out, so I took a little stroll to unwind after the day’s work. I had two twenties in my pocket. I was thinking about dinner, but had no appetite, a condition which is a constant lately, a condition of living conscious to the collapse of empire, knowing I have no safety net, knowing nothing I do is enough to stop the oil from flowing into the gills of the gulf fish, knowing that I can walk anywhere to any street corner, into any place I do business and say, “Did you know that there are 27,000 abandoned oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico?”, as I have said at nearly every encounter this past week or so, and know that the most passionate response I’ll get will be, “World’s going to hell anyway…” So, $40 in pocket, I wandered for a block, not sure what to do about food I didn’t want anyway, because food is not a need lately, while living with the pain is, and there she was, on the ground. She doesn’t always ask me for money, and she didn’t as I walked past her to deliver the film, “The Grapes of Wrath” to the slot at Blockbuster Video, a film I decided to see again, after reading this article about how current times are reminiscent of the Great Depression Era: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/7871421/With-the-US-trapped-in-depression-this-really-is-starting-to-feel-like-1932.html

On my way back, passing her, I did something I’ve never done. I gave her a full $20. It was in a rush of thoughts, such as, “I’m not even hungry, and she has probably not eaten much in the past 24 hours…” And…”I’m worried about losing my broken-down car, and I’ve got two twenties in my pocket, while this woman probably eats 10 meals from my two 20’s…” And… “I am so damn tired, and nothing anyone can do can change that…But maybe, just maybe, I can help turn this woman’s day around…” And…”Here I am worried about costs in the possible thousands for a car, and this woman likely doesn’t even have a single twenty for a single meal…” She said as she took the bill, “Thank you, Ma’am…” Then her mouth dropped open and she said, “Oh wow, I am soooo lucky today! Someone just gave me that bike, too!”, pointing to the bike leaning against the tree across from her.

I said, “Someone gave you a bike???” “Yup”, she said. A Raleigh is not my first choice, but this was one snappy looking brand new bike. I asked her if she minded if I touch it, as I lifted it. I was impressed that Raleigh started making lighter bikes! This bike had what I call flight possibility. Bev told me about how the cushy seat helps her butt, and how pretty the bike is, and how lucky, how very lucky she’s been today. She told me how she feels like the seat pushes her forward, and maybe she could get our friend, Ethan at Campus Wheelworks bike shop, to adjust the seat so that wouldn’t happen. I wanted to understand what she meant, so I asked her if I could take a little spin in the parking lot next to where we stood talking. It was a bike ill suited to my size, and to her size, and it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter, because before she had this bike, she had only her feet on ankles that hurt from her ex-husband smashing her ankles in the car door. She told me that. I wouldn’t have asked more questions, but she initiated the exchange about her personal life. I winced, said, “I’m sorry.” She said, “Well, it’s not your fault! It’s over now, anyway...”

I looked at her, and again, since that day at the co-op, saw her beauty and her power. I was impressed with her story-telling ability. She had my ear, and she knew it. As I asked her about her husband, I suddenly felt self-conscious. Should I ask her a personal question? What if she thinks I’m prying? I said, “Is your husband still doing that?” Then quickly…”Is it okay to ask?” She said, “Well, how you gonna know unless you ask? Too many people don’t ask at all, and they just assume things, and pretend they know, and just look past you…” At this moment, I could feel heat in my heart, the kind that happens when you know you’re connecting with another living being, and I wondered for a moment how many other times this opportunity passed me by, when I could have talked to Bev like this, but did not, over the course of the past 3 yrs that I’ve noticed her in our neighborhood… Wondered why it was at this moment we finally connected, and felt my mind focus in the way that it does when I know a moment is significant, without significant substance to why, but knowing it is indeed significant…

She launched into her story of how she arrived in Buffalo, and where she came from, not saying too much detail about her abusive ex-husband. Then onto her story of how that very day, she saw a man drop his wallet on the street, and how she called out to him. She said, “He didn’t want to look at me, so he kept walking away, and I had to say, “Sir! Sir!” …“ “Did he finally look at you?” I asked. She said, “Oh yeah! He was glad!!” One story after another she told me, including the time she saw, at the convenience store across from where we stood, one car collide into another, and the car that did the colliding drive away. She got the license plate and gave it to the owner of the car that was damaged.

While Bev was telling me all these stories, her face lit up. I noticed how confident she was in her speech and body language; how fully lived in her body she was, and how her arms and hands moved so naturally as she spoke; how lucid she was: her eyes sparkled and her face was more animated than most people I speak to every day. I thought about this mashup song put together by my friend Mad Love: http://tinyurl.com/BancoDeGaiaDerrickJensenMadluv She stood close to me, like friends do. I liked that she didn’t back away to a “polite distance”. I’d spent the day while working in my body, thinking and worrying about how I’d get by without a car again, how long it would take, how much that would slow things down, and how much time and energy that would take out of my life. Bev spent her day marveling over her new bicycle, and wondering if she’d eat that day. And now she stood with me, telling the stories of our community, from her standpoint, from the standpoint of a community guardian; an invisible guardian whose work most in our community will not even see, but whose stories about us are there for the asking.

We got back to talking about her bike again. She told me that one of these days she’d get a good lock, so when she sleeps, no one can take it from her. I asked her where she sleeps. She pointed to a nondescript location nearby, saying, “I got a good secret spot not too far from here…” I looked at the bike shop across the street, said, “Can I buy you a lock? We can go right now before they close…” She hesitated. “No—I got another pretty good lock for now. I don’t like to accumulate too much stuff, you know. Too many people worry about too much stuff. There’s no reason to spend so much time worrying in life. I used to do a lot of that. Then people say things to me like, “You could do so much better for yourself than this…”—But I’m doing fine—Much better than I was before—At least I don’t worry as much…”

Then Bev told me she thinks that “so much worry makes it hard to pay attention to what’s going on around us.” She told me about the time she saw the woman who was on a bicycle hit by a car that drove away, and again got the license plate number and gave it to the bicyclist. She was in the middle of sharing that story when a man stopped and interrupted and said, “I gotta tell you a story, Bev…” She said, “Hello, Al”. I wanted to hear her story, and I noticed the guy was not quite sober, and I thought I should be going, soon, so I said, “Oh, hi!—How about if Bev finishes telling me her story and then you tell her yours?” He agreed, but when he started walking away, I said, “No—You don’t have to leave! Listen to the story with me!” When she finished her story, in which she’d said, “…So, I ran my fat ass across the street to grab that license plate number, before they could speed off…”, Al said, “You don’t have a fat ass!”… I watched her handle Al, with kindness and finesse, saying, “You know, Al, I know you’re a drinker, so you don’t know what you’re talking about, and besides, you’re my friend, so what do you know about my fat ass?”

As I left, I smiled at the warmth between the two friends I’d just met and made, and then laughed, shaking each of their hands, thankful for the stories from Bev.

She had no idea that she liberated me from being held captive by the lies being told about what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico; no idea that her stories were a window of possibility on the work of artists as story-tellers, in solidarity with her spirit of reverent observation of the world in which she lives, sometimes only barely surviving; no idea that her stories gave me a break from my worries I cannot shake about how the truth of what is happening to our shared world are a threat to her existence, to the very existence of story at all… But she did give me that, she surely did.

That was yesterday. Today, and below, is the truth of the story of their continuing lies and murderous ways… As usual in recent posts, the links include 1. What We Are Up Against 2. What Is At Stake, and 3. How We Can Stop It

-Roxanne ***

1. WHAT WE ARE UP AGAINST [First EG: Oil spill media blackout UPDATE for Tampa, Florida: Gulf oil spill sea floor leak now confirmed July 19, 12:57 …TOBIN...While the live BP video feed has been focused on the BOP, some oil industry experts have suggested that…may now be emerging from behind what many believe has been an oil spill media blackout... Read
2. WHAT IS AT STAKE [First EG: Rikki Ott-- toxicologist on dispersants: Watch
3. WHAT WE CAN DO TO STOP IT [EG: "...Those who work human beings 2 death in overcrowded factories in China & turn the Gulf of Mexico into a dead zone R the enemy. They serve systems of death. They cannot B reformed or trusted...We will either defy the corporate elite, which will mean civil disobedience, a rejection of traditional politics 4 a new radicalism & the systematic breaking of laws, or C ourselves consumed..." More

1. WHAT WE ARE UP AGAINST: [First EG: Oil spill media blackout UPDATE for Tampa, Florida: Gulf oil spill sea floor leak now confirmed July 19, 12:57 …TOBIN...While the live BP video feed has been focused on the BOP, some oil industry experts have suggested that…may now be emerging from behind what many believe has been an oil spill media blackout... More

The Oil has NOT stopped gushing:

July 19, 2010...Rush Transcript Excerpts, starts 2:00 minutes in...There have been three general areas of anomalies detected since the 17th of July...First was seepage located 3 nautical miles from wellhead, we do not believe related to Macondo well, but doing tests...We also have picked up some anomalies within several hundred meters of the wellhead itself... continuing to take a look at that and what that might portend...Finally, we do have some bubbles that have arisen around the base of the legacy blowout preventer... overnight we established leakage in the capping stack itself. ...Leakage occurring in flange, and hydrate formation on the capping stack. Do not know...[IF]...this is consequential at this time. ..." Watch

BP launches effort to control scientific research of oil disaster July 18, 2010...Foreign oil giant BP is on a spending spree, buying Gulf Coast scientists for its private contractor army. TP’s Brad Johnson has the story....Scientists from Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University and Texas A&M have “signed contracts with BP to work on their behalf in the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) process” that determines how much ecological damage the Gulf of Mexico region is suffering from BP’s toxic black tide. The contract, the Mobile Press-Register has learned, “prohibits the scientists from publishing their research, sharing it with other scientists or speaking about the data that they collect for at least the next three years.” More

Democracy Now! VIDEO:..."...(Coast Guard Admiral Thad) Allen said he had gotten some complaints from local officials worried people might get hurt. We do not know who these officials are, we’d like to. ...we’ve heard far more from local officials not being able to get a straight story from the government or BP." -Anderson C...ooper
AMY GOODMAN: You have said these restrictions remind you of working in The Congo. GEORGIANNE NIENABER: Absolutely. I find myself before I plan to go back down to the Delta thinking how am I going to get access to places? How am I going to to hide my camera, how am I going to hide my film? What will I do if somebody demands I open my camera? And I never working in this country have had that feeling, and its really terrible feeling I’ll tell you that...." More

Monday, July 19, 2010...BP photoshops fake photo of crisis command center, posts on main BP site by John Aravosis (DC) on 7/19/2010 10:37:00 PM...UPDATE: 11:14PM Eastern: BP has now posted the "original" photo, they claim. Except - surprise - they are refusing to post the high-resolution version of the new "original" photo. They posted the high-res version of the altered photo earlier, and in fact, that version is still live via a link below the new photo. Why not post the high-res version of the new "original" photo? Afraid someone is going to enlarge it and find out it's fake too?...UPDATE 10:37PM Eastern: The Washington Post has the story now. Oddly, BP is now claiming that the photo is real - but it showed blank screens, and rather than show blank screens at AP's crisis center, they instead put fake content-filled screens in the photo. Uh, a few questions.... Read More

Oil spill media blackout UPDATE for Tampa, Florida: Gulf oil spill sea floor leak now confirmed July 19, 12:57 PMTampa Gulf Oil Spill ExaminerMARYANN TOBIN...While the live BP video feed has been focused on the BOP, some oil industry experts have suggested that the leak being reported today has been played down, despite a report from Florida Senator Bill Nelson last month. (See video below)...The third oil leak, which was admitted to by BP shorty after the Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20,1020, may now be emerging from behind what many believe has been an oil spill media blackout... More

BP's Incentive: To Not Capture All the Oil...by Robert L. Cavnar...Global Research, July 19, 2010..."...BP also has every incentive to not capture 100% of the well flow until they do. As soon as they do capture all the flow, then a real, measurable number will be in front of the public, and that's the last thing BP wants, since that number will then be used to extrapolate environmental damage, hence per barrel fines that will likely run to the tens of billions anyway..." More

Oil seeping from Gulf floor near well, but Coast Guard allows cap to stay in place another 24 hours
Published: Sunday, July 18, 2010, 8:42 PM Updated: Sunday, July 18, 2010, 9:20 PM More

BP, Feds Argue Over Well Seepage By: David Dayen Monday July 19, 2010 7:40 am..."...The federal government has ordered private company BP to unseal the cap on the Macondo well because of worries of underground leakage of oil that could grow into a bigger problem, but BP has refused to remove the cap, which would cause more oil to flow into the Gulf....BP over the weekend denied that there was any leaking from the seabed. But the government wants to release pressure on the well, which has been capped but not sealed, by bringing oil to the surface. The pressure readings on the well fell below expectations, which led to concerns about leaks elsewhere in the wellbore...." More

Dave Lindorff--Spill can't be stopped: More


2. WHAT IS AT STAKE: [First EG: Rikki Ott-- toxicologist on dispersants: Watch

Methane in Gulf ‘astonishingly high’-US scientist...As much as 1 million times the normal level of methane gas has been found in some regions near the Gulf of Mexico oil spill enough to potentially deplete oxygen and create a dead zone....Last Updated: Sat, July 17, 2010 - 2:56 pm CST...7384 Views Short URL: http://wkrg.com/906669 "...As much as 1 million times the normal level of methane gas has been found in some regions near the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, enough to potentially deplete oxygen and create a dead zone, U. S. scientists said on Tuesday....Texas A&M University oceanography professor John Kessler, just back from a 10-day research expedition near the BP Plc (BP. L) oil spill in the gulf, says methane gas levels in some areas are "astonishingly high."..." More

Gulf Oil Spill New BP Data Shows Payments on Less Than a Third of Claims...by Sasha Chavkin ProPublica, 15 minutes ago...mon-19july2010 More

REPORT FROM GULF COAST RESIDENT (Artist and activist, Stephanie McMillan)…: Oil/dispersant mix now on Florida's east coast. Damn them. Share Saturday, July 10, 2010 at 3:11pm I was just at a meeting of South Florida activists and heard upsetting news. A person who flies a small airplane said he saw orange oil/dispersant mix in the ocean off the east coast, all along up to Cocoa Beach. Also someone else said that there are tar balls coming up on Vero Beach, also on the east coast, up toward the middle of the state....The reason it's not on the beach where I am yet, in Fort Lauderdale, is because the current swings out a few miles right here and then comes back in. Now the ring of poison is tightening around this area....It's not that I care more about where I am than I care about anywhere else on this planet -- I care about it all. But it does hurt in an even more particularly sharp way to to know that the creatures I encounter on a daily basis are likely to face this oil. Yesterday I saw a beautiful big blue crab scuttling along the grass near a waterway that leads to the ocean. I see water birds all the time: herons, egrets, pelicans. A group of pelicans roost in trees 2 blocks away from me. Fish leap from the water with big splashes. I can't deal with the idea of them being suffocated with oil, I just can not handle it. I feel like screaming... More

Rikki Ott-- toxicologist on dispersants: Watch

Oil spill probe now includes abandoned wells...AP...ABANDONED OIL WELLS FIX AP – Graphic includes missing jpeg image of abandoned oil and gas wells; Map show the locations of the abandoned...By JEFF DONN, AP National Writer Jeff Donn, Ap National Writer – Thu Jul 15, 8:12 pm ET...A lead congressional committee investigating the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has broadened its inquiry, now checking if tens of thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells are leaking or even being monitored for leaks...Committee members wrote in a letter Thursday to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar that they were responding to an Associated Press investigation released last week on the 27,000 abandoned wells in the Gulf. The AP reported that the wells are not routinely inspected when plugged or subsequently monitored for leaks."... More than 27,000 abandoned oil & gas wells lurk in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental minefield that has been ignored for decades. No one — not industry, not government — is checking to see if they are leaking. The oldest of these wells were abandoned in the late 1940s, raising the prospect that many deteriorating sealing jobs are already failing..."
Read More

photos not authorized to see, abt BP: More

Scientists Say Gulf Spill May Permanently Alter Food Chain Gus Lubin Jul. 14, 2010, 11:11 AM...After various reports of dead and mutated animals, scientists have concluded damage will infiltrate the entire food chain....Here's a rundown of the early ecological impact of all that oil, from the AP: More

Gulf Seafood Gets Chemically Tested for Oil, Not Dispersant...by Marian Wang ProPublica, July 14, 3 p. m....NOAA, the FDA and the Gulf states have been rigorously testing [1] Gulf seafood for oil—doing smell tests [2] with teams of human sniffers, and performing chemical tests for the harmful polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, found naturally in crude oil....But they’re not chemically testing—at least, not yet—for the presence of oil dispersant. BP has thus far applied more than 1.7 million gallons [3] of one chemical dispersant, Corexit, to the Gulf. (The lack of dispersant testing for seafood has been mentioned by The Palm Beach Post [4] and CNN [5], but we first noticed toward the end of this Los Angeles Times piece [6].)... More

LEAKED: What's in gushing crude oil? Question: How does it all react to Corexit? "...Chemistry is a fascinating science. Mix chemical A with chemical B, raise the temperature and bang... a new compound. It could be good. It could be bad. It could be nothing. To know something, it needs extensive testing. Simply testing in a flask or test tube is not enough. Proper testing takes time and is expensive....The question to which no one knows the answer is how Corexit reacts to all the chemical and compound elements gushing from BP's volcanic crude oil disaster. It is a difficult question because there are hundreds of variables at play - Examples are pressure, water salinity, temperature, light, bioaccumulation, wave action, so many others and the hardest... time. There are also allegations that Corexit was responsible for "work injuries" and linked to possible deaths during the Exxon Valdez disaster..." More

For Immediate Release Contact: Robert Johns, 202-234-7181 ext. 210...Many Gulf Spill Cleanup Efforts Ineffective and Harming, not Helping Birds...New Report and Recommendations Issued Today by American Bird Conservancy...(Washington, D. C., July 19, 2010) "...A report released today by American Bird Conservancy, America’s leading bird conservation group, shows how some of BP’s oil spill cleanup efforts are actually causing harm to birds and their habitats rather than helping them..." More

The Eco-cost of the Oil hemorrhage: More

More Animals Are Dying, but the Causes Have Not Yet Been Determined…As of July 19, more than 4,000 birds, sea turtles and dolphins have been found dead or debilitated in the gulf since the oil spill began. A majority of the dead were not visibly oiled, and officials have yet to determine why they died. But they have confirmed that many more animals are dying than during the same time period in previous years…. More


Fish kill covers shore in Gulfport near Jones Park Posted: Jul 19, 2010 11:46 AM EDT Updated: Jul 19, 2010 4:30 PM EDT...Millions of fish wash up on Gulfport Beach
2:13...By Steve Phillips...GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - "...Something besides oil washed ashore along a section of beach in Gulfport. Construction workers at Jones Park called WLOX Monday morning with news about a fish kill....You could smell the problem before seeing it. Dead menhaden, or pogeys, washed ashore along the beach....The large fish kill created quite a mess...." More


3. WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT: [First EG: "...Those who work human beings 2 death in overcrowded factories in China & turn the Gulf of Mexico into a dead zone R the enemy. They serve systems of death. They cannot B reformed or trusted...We will either defy the corporate elite, which will mean civil disobedience, a rejection of traditional politics 4 a new radicalism & the systematic breaking of laws, or C ourselves consumed..." More

"...Right now, we’re all being bought off, which is bad enough when you simply consider oppression. We’re being bought off on our silence about the atrocities in Iraq, our silence about the atrocities in Palestine, our silence about the atrocities in the United States. We’re being bought off, and that’s bad enough, but at this point, we’re talking about life on the planet. And we’re being bought off with computer games, with television, access to ice cream 24/7 like I said, and a very false sense of security. We are standing by watching the end of the world, eating ice cream. I like ice cream, but I don’t like it better than a living world..." More

To listen to a special one-hour podcast of Chris Hedges, Derrick Jensen, and Prof. Michael Truscello discussing the prospects of militant anti-capitalist resistance in America, click on this link: Derrick Jensen and Chris Hedges discuss militant resistance July 5 2010. mp3 More

Capitalism Is The Crisis is a documentary film about radical politics in Canada and the United States in the age of neoliberal austerity. Beginning with the 2010 G20 Summit in Toronto, this film examines radical politics and features original interviews with prominent thinkers such as Chris Hedges, Derrick Jensen, Richard Day, David McNally, Leo Panitch, Gary Kinsman, Heather Gautney, James Howard Kunstler, Peter Gelderloos, and more! More

Adam Dillon, BP Contractor Who Once Blocked A Local Reporter, Became A Whistleblower (VIDEO)...First Posted: 07-12-10 11:26 AM | Updated: 07-12-10 04:04 PM... Watch

Our Planet, Our People Are Not Expendable (Stephanie Mcmillan) Watch


tim dechristopher: More


1. Oceans of Oil:

2. Earth Day, Questions from the Allegheny Forest:

3. BP is Burning Sea Turtles in the Gulf... Burning turtles, Hanging Questions:

4. Day 65 – Heart in hands – Issues at hand by Roxanne Amico Posted on June 25, 2010 by dandelionsalad

5. Day 72 – linking what the world needs now by Roxanne Amico Posted on July 2, 2010 by dandelionsalad

6. Day 76: SOLIDARITY in the spirit of ’76 by Roxanne Amico Posted on July 4, 2010 by dandelionsalad

7. Below the surface of oil hemorrhage, Part 3 by Roxanne Amico Posted on May 25, 2010 by dandelionsalad

8. Below the surface of oil hemorrhage by Roxanne Amico Posted on May 15, 2010 by dandelionsalad

9. miles below the surface of the oil hemorrhage: capitalism:

10. whose story / what story & those significant minorities:

* * *
derrick jensen & radio roxanne-premise one: More

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