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'Riding herd' on BP

Mark Mardell | 14:48 UK time, Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Louisiana

The man in charge of the government's operation in the Gulf is complaining that BP isn't being open enough.

Admiral Thad Allen, of the US Coast Guard, has written to BP's boss, Tony Hayward, reminding him of the company's promise and obligation to pay "just and timely" reimbursement to families and business that have suffered economic damage because of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

His essential complaint is that BP has not allowed the authorities access to its data base to check that it is making the payments. He says the government needs more openness and detail on what he calls "this critical issue". This is "riding herd" on BP, as President Barack Obama promised.

When I quoted the president in a radio piece, a colleague said he'd never heard the phrase and asked me to explain it. But to me it is a rather graphic metaphor of a cowboy tightly controlling cattle, making sure no beast wanders off. I can almost smell the rawhide. But it is not clear whether the rodeo performance is all for show.

The letter comes less than 24 hours after a statement from BP proudly saying that it had paid out $49m and issued nearly 18,000 cheques from its 25 claims offices. Importantly, the company adds, it has not denied a single claim.

People here say BP is paying out, but slowly. The boss of a crab processing factory told me he had been forced to ransack his house for every last piece of paper. "I've given them everything except my birth certificate: I've given more than I have to give the tax people." But he had got a cheque for $5,000.

But he was worried that this only covered last month. And he didn't think his Mexican workers, in tears on the phone when told they were being laid off, would see any of the money, although presumably they are entitled. Of course, BP can't be expected to pay any claim without evidence - but the last thing fisherman, oil workers and small business people here feel like doing is paperwork.

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  • 1. At 4:14pm on 09 Jun 2010, HabitualHero wrote:

    Has anything else happened in america lately? Anything at all?

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  • 2. At 4:19pm on 09 Jun 2010, thelakebiscuit wrote:

    There are some reports in the weekend press, of the rise of anti- British feeling, in the States affected by this disaster.

    Have you come across any yourself.

    If this is true, why to my knowledge has the BBC, and other tv stations in the UK , failed to report it.

    This could have serious ramifications for British visitors and business in the US , and therefore should surely be reported on.

    Is this just another example of our poodle like relationship ( so aptly displayed by Tony Blair )to America , of being happy with any treatment ( fair , or not as in this case ) the USA meats out to us.

    Judging from the increasingly negative portrayal of us in there film and media, it is a policy that CLEARLY ISN'T WORKING .


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  • 3. At 4:59pm on 09 Jun 2010, CastlesMadeOfSand_ wrote:

    It sounds to me like BP are being very fair assuring that claims are legitimate before paying out any compensation, otherwise you'd have every pauper to a king trying to claim. I'm really impressed that BP as made so many payments already, and folks there in the states effected by the accident should perhaps be a little more thankful that it's BP's mess and not some American companies I could mention that would be a lot more evasive about the whole issue. Remember the Bhopal chemical accident in 1984, the site of the incident as still not yet be cleaned up properly, 26 years on; 26 YEARS!, and the people there are still drinking poisoned water, and Union Carbide the company who were responsible for it, what did they do? – sold it on and practically washed their hands of it once the fan fair had died down.

    Go on BP, you show the Yankee companies how to handle a crises with some real integrity, set the ethical bar for corporate responsibility as high as you can, then we can use it as a bench mark in the future to measure the response of other global players in similar situations. I have a suspicion though that location might be a downgrading factor!

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  • 4. At 5:01pm on 09 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    thelakebiscuit (#2), I am not aware of any reports of anti-British feeling in US newspapers, and have not experienced any such thing myself. If you know of a report of anti-British feeling by Americans as a result of the BP incident, why not document it and (if you can) link to it? There is no point in discussing a hypothetical.

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  • 5. At 5:05pm on 09 Jun 2010, Wannabeyankee wrote:

    I am not aware of any change in relationship between me and my American friends and colleagues. The only people who mention the "British" connection with BP are the media, who seem to take great pains to keep the "British" connection alive in the BP saga.

    However, I, for one, am getting heartily sick of the news coverage given to this subject, especially on this blog (MM please take note). There must be other things to report upon in a country as vast as the USA.

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  • 6. At 5:20pm on 09 Jun 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    The reason for the event was the unwillingness of various levels of government to enforce the regulations and now they wish to appear on the side of the people. Hypocrits. Beating up on BP makes the government look good but has very little to do with the causes and the roles played by bureaucrats and politicians. There will be people who try to scam BP and make unjustified claims and maybe the government should determine a just punishment for those who do this. You have the two most unresponsive systems in the world working on this, big business and government, neither having a record of support for the average citizen nor any process that would be responsive to their needs. Neither big business nor government officials have any understanding of financial situations that require payments on a monthly basis. Republicans will invent people to claim the Obama adminsitration is treating them poorly for political reason and the media will show that over and over, never varifying the stories. BP is as bureaucratic as any government so the responses will be the same. Events caused because of political corruption often take a lot of time to resolve because the politicians all need to work out their cover and as they abandon BP, after being their legisltive advocates, BP slows the process as a way of showing displeasure to those who benefited from the corruption. It is the way of the world and big business and political parties are simply competing criminal organizations trying to work out what each sees as a public relations problem.

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  • 7. At 5:27pm on 09 Jun 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    I have not sensed anti-British sentiment where I live as a result of the oil spill, but most people hold BP responsible for the accident and expect that company to compensate those affected for the losses they have incurred as a result of what is likely to be human error and corporate negligence.

    I believe our government has the right and, indeed, the duty of ensuring the well is capped, the cleanup is effective, and those affected are compensated, I also believe the BP CEO should not have made the insensitive remarks he has made, and I don't think Barbara Boxer should have needed to go to the extent she did to get imagery of the well to determine the extent of the spill.

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  • 8. At 5:29pm on 09 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "riding herd"


    Perhpas, MM, you should also explain to Tony Hayward what "justice Texas style" means.

    [giving a horse thief a fair trial and hanging him promptly afterwards.

    That's, incidentally, how the expression "kick the bucket" was coined]



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  • 9. At 5:35pm on 09 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "This could have serious ramifications for British visitors and business in the US"


    No, it would not.

    Americans are fair people and they don't believe in a Bolshevik/Nazi concept of 'collective responsibility'

    BP is BP, and UK is UK (Megrahi case notwithstanding).



    And individual Britons will be judged on an individual basis.

    Yes, we can tell a difference.

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  • 10. At 6:14pm on 09 Jun 2010, crash wrote:

    2
    I have lived in the US since 1985 and have never run into anti British sentiment,there is an anti BP feeling due to the fact of BP's pretty appalling safety and their record on the enviroment.
    I find that any one from Britain whining about anti British sentiment amusing,because of some of the terrible things said by my fellow brits,who have never met an American or been to America.

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  • 11. At 6:24pm on 09 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Sand_Castles (#3), Americans here are admonished not to think of BP as a British company, because it is a multinational with a significant American component. The same was true of Union Carbide, which owned 51% of Union Carbide India, Ltd. Indians owned the remaining 49%. The plant at Bhopal was built and operated by Indians, and it is the responsibility of the Indian government to have it cleaned up.

    Things don't move too fast in India, evidently. Just weeks ago, the Indian government convicted and sentenced eight persons (one of them deceased) for an incident that happened a quarter-century ago.

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  • 12. At 6:29pm on 09 Jun 2010, Curt Carpenter wrote:

    Dear "thelakebiscuit" (2 above):

    The United States has it's fair share of morons, and you can be sure that "anti-British feeling" is on the rise within that robust and growing group. It's part of a broader "anti-everything" movement here.

    But most of my countrymen, I think, don't see the Gulf disaster in "British" terms at all. We see it in terms of yet another gigantic, global corporation that has been allowed to get way too cozy with our own government. And we see it as another demonstration of how much damage man (regardless of nationality) can do to the environment in the blink of an eye -- and how little he can do to clean up the mess afterwards.

    Rest assured that we will continue to treasure the BBC, buy Marmite and eat meat pies as we can.

    Now I must be off in my huge eight-cylinder, 12-mile-per-gallon Sports Utility Vehicle to drive the three block to market for a loaf of bread.

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  • 13. At 6:29pm on 09 Jun 2010, CamberwellBeauty wrote:

    #1 - thank you!!

    I have not heard ONE word from any co-worker or acquaintance that has been anti-British - but on some of these other forums e.g World Cup, the anti-American sentiments have been pretty awful, bordering on hate, as they have been on the forums here also.

    Yes, there's been some nasty Americans too, but I would venture to say, the most insulting & personal have come from the UK posters. Pretty sad.

    I really wish we and the press would just move on and find something else to talk about as I feel this "war" between us is being artificially fueled for whatever purpose????

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  • 14. At 6:40pm on 09 Jun 2010, thelakebiscuit wrote:

    GH1618 The article was in , i think the Telegraph ( with picture of an American standing on the Union Jack )sorry if that wasn't clear.

    So it's not hypothetical.

    There are plenty of real examples of negativety towards us Brits in US film and TV. Infact it is hard to find a English character, who isn't shown as arrogant ,and humourless at best.Mel Gibson in particular specailises in the EVIL ENGLISH, in such ' classics as Braveheart, The Patriot.

    It's hard to imagine how this can help American opinion of us. Certainly if some companies product ( say pepsi cola )was shown in such a bad light ,for 1 minute , in one film they would sue the film makers, up hill and down dale.

    I think UK plc should do the same.

    Most other nations, quite rightly are far more pretective of their citizens image. The Japanese, Brazilians, Russians , etc are quick to jump on Hollywood etc, when they are treated in a similar vein.

    Only the love sick puppy, which is the UK, seems willing to take a good kicking, and come bouncing back for more.



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  • 15. At 7:13pm on 09 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    I'm guessing the moderation is done in India, where things proceed at a glacial pace.

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  • 16. At 7:42pm on 09 Jun 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    11. At 6:24pm on 09 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Things don't move too fast in India, evidently. Just weeks ago, the Indian government convicted and sentenced eight persons (one of them deceased) ...

    ____________

    Presumably he (the deceased guy) was sentenced to life with no parole?

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  • 17. At 7:46pm on 09 Jun 2010, Barbara wrote:

    "Sand_Castle" are you BP (British Petroleum's) CEO? You certainly sound
    like it. Hitting all the right 'corporate' points. Perhaps you and Mark should at least attempt to be fair and balanced. All Brits should know that BP has a long list of safety violations in their North American operations. Even before this crime against nature the MMS was looking to suspend BP for putting profits over safety.

    The Valdez tanker spill was caused by a drunken ship captain. The oil spill was horrendous but the volume was FINITE. The volume of this man-made crime against nature is INFINITE.

    What's worse, all along the British Petroleum CEO was telling the American public that this spill is small, that BP knows what its doing, yadda-yadda-yadda.

    Simply put: BP can't be trusted to tell the truth. That's why the Admiral wants to double-check everything BP puts out.

    Stop worrying about BP and doing this 'clean-up' in the future. There IS NO FUTURE for BP. Not after the U.S. government and the American people get through with them!

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  • 18. At 7:46pm on 09 Jun 2010, thelakebiscuit wrote:

    Comment, were is my last comment.

    Is Mel Gibson the moderatator

    Maybe that's his next film. The Moderator. Has a ring to it.

    Starring MEL as the hero.A Brit as the EVIL ENGLISHMAN, who needs to be MODERATED.

    Should earn millions, and maybe the Brit gets thrown an oscar , for his dirty work.

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  • 19. At 7:48pm on 09 Jun 2010, djn wrote:

    I live in the US and haven't encoutered any anti-british sentiment at all. Of course the US media (and Obama) love to have a bad guy, and are trying hard to 'out-angry' each other.

    All BP has to do to save its reputation is start giving away lots and lots of money, in a very visible manner, without penny pinching. I recommend they just walk around the gulf coast throwing stacks of money at passers-by. Or maybe firing rolls of $50s at people during sporting events.

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  • 20. At 8:01pm on 09 Jun 2010, seanspa wrote:

    Lakebiscuit, I am an Englishman living in North Idaho. I am surrounded by Americans. Not one has blamed me or the UK for BP's misfortune. Not one has assumed that I must be evil because they once saw a movie that featured a Brit as a baddy. So the Telegrpah featured one idiot American. Well, all countries have their own idiots. Even the UK.

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  • 21. At 8:09pm on 09 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    thelakebiscuit (#14), a photo such as you mention would certainly be provocative and would naturally end up in the newspapers. That doesn't mean that it is in any way typical. I have not observed any anti-British sentiment related to the BP incident, but in a country of 300 million people, there are bound to be a few who are so inclined.

    The film business is another matter. This is entertainment. Filmmakers are free to make any sort of pap they please. They have no obligation to be fair. I know that Helen Mirren has complained that too often a villain is British. Perhaps. It could be taken as a compliment. Villains are interesting (as entertainment), and British actors are interesting in their portrayals of them. For a great English villain, see Richard Harris as "English Bob" in Unforgiven. (Harris was actually Irish, which perhaps explains his grasp of English villainy.)

    I don't see enough films to know if there is an "increasingly negative portrayal" of the British (or English) as you write, but I have certainly seen many fine British roles over the years. Perhaps you just need to see a better class of film.

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  • 22. At 8:23pm on 09 Jun 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    If BP's boss, Tony Hayward, is not allowing authorities to verify that payments are going out, I have to ask: Who's running this show, the President of the United States or BP?
    BP proudly states that it has paid out $49m & issued nearly 18,000 cheques. This equals about $2,700.00/cheque. Even the $5,000.00 that one individual received seems a long, long way from making this individual “whole”. According to this person, the $5,000.00 only covered last month, and it didn’t reimburse his laid off workers.
    In addition, the government estimated the size of the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico at 5,000 barrels a day, but now scientists and environmental groups are raising questions about that estimate. The questions escalated after a video showed a huge black plume of oil gushing from the broken well. BP said that measuring the plume would be impossible, but just a few weeks ago BP had said there were no underwater plumes. BP also says that its highest priority is stopping the leak, not measuring plumes.
    The issue of how fast and how much the well is leaking has been questionable from the start. For several days after the explosion, the government & BP claimed that the well was leaking about 1,000 barrels a day. Then suddenly — over public objections from BP — the Government raised its estimate to 5,000 barrels a day. BP later acknowledged to Congress that in the worst case, it could not exceed 60,000 barrels a day.
    60,000 barrels/day!!
    This flow rate would dump a plume the size of the Exxon Valdez spill into the gulf EVERY 4 DAYS!!!.
    BP’s chief executive, Tony Hayward, has estimated that the reservoir holds at least 50 million barrels of oil. What is it doesn't stop leaking till the reservoir is dry? Is 50 million barrels the truth?
    Back to those oil plumes, scientists have found huge oil plumes deep in Gulf of Mexico. Philippe Cousteau Jr. and Sam Champion took a hazmat dive into Gulf's oily waters and saw them. So, finally on June 8th, the government acknowledged underwater oil plumes as far as 142 miles from the BP oil spill, but the concentrations are "very low." NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco said oil has been confirmed as far as 3,300 feet below the surface 42 miles northeast of the well site and also oil below-surface oil 142 miles southeast. Lubchenko said the analysis "indicate there is definitely oil sub surface, but the concentration is very low."
    These underwater plumes could create massive dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico. Already coral reefs have been damaged by the plumes of crude oil. The depth of the gushing oil and the use of more than 560,000 gallons of chemicals dispersents, including unprecedented dumps deep into the sea, have helped keep the crude beneath the sea surface. Marine scientists say diffusing and sinking the oil helps protect the surface species.
    Computer models show oil has already entered the loop current that could carry the toxic gunk toward the Keys, the third-longest barrier reef in the world. The oil is now over the western edge of a 61-mile expanse of 300-to-500-foot-deep reef south of Louisiana known as the Pinnacles - one of nine coral banks stretching from Texas to Florida.
    These plumes are being eaten by microbes thousands of feet deep, which removes oxygen from the water. Deepwater coral are abundant on the sea floor in this part of the Gulf, and they need oxygen.
    BP has lied. The United States Government has spun.
    So we, the people, have to conclude that the situation is far, FAR worse than we've been told. Perhaps there is more than one leak; perhaps the entire situation is getting ready to blow sky high.

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  • 23. At 8:27pm on 09 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    thelakebiscuit (#18), Mel Gibson, who was born in the United States and raised largely in Australia, happens to be of Irish descent. That may explain his penchant for playing roles that allow him to beat up on the evil English. The US is not responsible for the bad blood between the Irish and the English.

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  • 24. At 8:41pm on 09 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    BluesBerry (#22) "I have to ask: Who's running this show, the President of the United States or BP?"

    Admiral Allen is the National Incident Commander. He is running it, with oversight of the Secretary of Homeland Security and the President.

    We have due process in the United States. FEMA officials cannot simply barge into the offices of BP and seize the files.

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  • 25. At 8:59pm on 09 Jun 2010, Elena wrote:

    I can only imagine what a nightmare it must be for BP accountants to establish how much recompense each individual should receive, as I am sure that there are those who will try to take advantage of this bad situation and try to scam BP. Unfortunately, as always, the scam artists create more work and trouble for the honest guy who is really deserving of aid.

    Funny how Admiral Thad Allen is creating such a fuss over access to BP's data base of payments... I wonder how much wasted time he and his team would spend overlooking these (and on whose dollar)? Doesn't it make more sense to investigate real complaints of people who aren't getting recompensed (I'm sure they'll make themselves known!) rather than creating much ado about nothing?

    Mark, I for one am very interested in the status of this oil spill as it is clearly having a big impact on US politics (and hopefully it will also raise environmental awareness...) As such, I am glad for all your updates; however, is there really nothing else going on in America? (maybe that's a good thing?... no news is good news?)

    Finally, as an avid reader of this blog, I am having a really hard time understanding why it is that most of those opposed to Obama feel the need to smear him to the nth degree. I understand not agreeing with how he may handle a certain situation, or some of/all of his policies, but to go as far as to say that he has never accomplished anything in his life or that everything was handed to him on a silver platter? Um... he did manage to convince a sizeable population of America to vote him in as President; surely that in itself is an achievement worth noting (and not one handed to him without justification)? To say that he is completely and utterly 100% undeserving of anything he has ever "achieved" (including his university degrees and past posts) is to say that a good chunk of your fellow Americans who voted for him (and continue to support him) are *way* out of whack, isn't it? (yes, I know it may not be the majority of Americans, but certainly not a negligible portion). And if you really believe that all those Americans who contine to support him have lost all reason, what does that say for the state of your country??

    From my point of view, most of the time I STRONGLY disagree with the policies and view points of my (Right Honorable) Prime Minister, but I do acknowledge that he's not stupid; he's just not doing what I believe to be in the best interests of my vision of Canada. And I have agreed with *some* of what he has done, and am not ashamed to say it - I won't poo-poo a good idea just because it came from him. Does Obama really have *no* redeeming qualities to his opponents???

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  • 26. At 9:06pm on 09 Jun 2010, thelakebiscuit wrote:

    seanpa what do you mean A MOVIE,and A BRIT, they're common currency. Name ONE RECENT US FILM , were a Brit and a American is the villain !

    Americans the villain. As all foreign film makers know if you want to sell a film to the US, YOU must HAVE an American hero.Strange how the US only want to see themselves portrayed in a positive way. Why don't they EVER want to play all those intersting roles ( the nasty ones )we Brits are always given.Seems it's baddies areONLY

    GH1618, "They have no obligation to be fair" That says it all !!

    I wonder why Hollywood don't pay such a ' COMPLIMENT' to African Americans, Hispanics, Koreans. As you would say " what hog wash "

    Nothing good comes from negative stereotyping. In the end these stereotypes are justifyed eg 'Harris was actually Irish, which perhaps explains his grasp of English villainy'

    From sterotyping to Bigotry in one easy leap .

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  • 27. At 9:13pm on 09 Jun 2010, CamberwellBeauty wrote:

    Good lord, what is the sensitivity about movie roles for crying out loud?
    (oh well, at least it change the subject from "black gold")

    Look how Americans are portrayed, gun toting hot dogs, all living in fabulous houses driving big cars, fat, good teeth. Or those nasty people up in the mountains, 3 teeth between them, cars up on blocks, one eyed people playing banjos & making people squeal like pigs!! (you know the film!) - by golly, there's probably a fraction of truth in both genres.

    Being an ex-pat, I don't think I have suffered because of the negative evil portrayed in films!I think we just need to get over it, both side of the ocean! Anyone influenced or "hurt" by movie portrayals is a little soppy in my opinion.

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  • 28. At 9:18pm on 09 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    I was absolutely shocked when I read an article about BP's emergency spill plans. BP concluded that the animals (many Artic ones- strange) and the other wildlife would be fine, despite having a giant oil spill. There were many people on their list that BP named as people to talk to if something went wrong that have now defunct websites, are not available, and even one who was dead before the report was published. The emergency spill plan was/is a joke.

    This is where prosecuting the criminal acts by BP come in, but I am also unhappy and appalled that the USA allowed BP to issue this emergency spill plan, which was inadequate and contained false info. Aren't we supposed to have internal checks of such matters? Big govt. was unchecked when they made this deal with BP and Congress nor govt. agencies did not check it out, either.

    So as much as I blame BP, I also blame our govt. for failing to check all the info on the emergency spill plan, as well as ensuring that it was adequate, which it was not. Their emergency spill plan should have never passed in the first place. Their actions should be monitored, just as any corporation is monitored.

    I do not blame the British people at all, because they have absolutely nothing to do with it.

    BP's emergency spill plan our govt. passed is just plain wrong.

    To have both corporations and our country be successful, the corporation must play by the rules/laws. But the country's laws must also be enforced and checked, or else the laws are pointless and the corporation is unchecked and free to commit whatever crimes they want.

    USA cannot let the corporations go unchecked. They must abide by our laws, which must be enforced.

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  • 29. At 9:28pm on 09 Jun 2010, ltpul wrote:

    No evidence I can see of anti-Brit sentiment here in New Orleans. Overheard a conversation between three locals and young Brit bartender. The discussion centered on cleanup effort and related jobs available. The young man wondered if he could get such a job. One gentleman suggested (CLEARLY IN JEST) that "if they don't beat you up, they'll hire you."
    New Orleans is justifiably sick over yet another case of too little effort to do things properly, but it will come through this just as it did Katrina.
    Just bring your tourist dollars to NOLA and enjoy.

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  • 30. At 9:42pm on 09 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    USA has the right to make as many movies with Americans as heroes as they want to.

    Great Britain has the right to make as many movies with British as heroes as they want to.

    In fact, most countries tend to show their citizens as heroes.

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  • 31. At 9:42pm on 09 Jun 2010, thelakebiscuit wrote:

    Gibson is a name that spans the English and Scottish border it is NOT IRISH.

    He is an American citizen, and the film was
    American and more to the point the US made millions from it

    Nothing to do with the Irish , but certainly highly offensive to the English, even the hundreds who are called Gibson.

    As i said, stereotyping leads to justifying predjudice, and then Bigotry.

    We the Brits have made many films about the Ireland , and some of the terrible things we did there.We do not hide our past, and we don't need the US to give the World a 2 dimensional view of i t.

    All powerful nations ( and many small ones ) have done terrible things in the past, Spain ,France,Russia, China, Japan, yes and even America. Yet Hollywood for some reason only seems interested in showing the UK bad history ,never anything good we might of done.

    If we had dealt with the IRA and the Irish, the same way the Israelis have dealt with the Palestinians , then what interesting films you could of made ! I look foreward to seeing ANY US films about that.

    How quickly you went from we Americans aren't anti- Brit, to British villainy, is worrying indeed.



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  • 32. At 9:42pm on 09 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    thelakebiscuit (#26), you seem to have a chip on your shoulder.

    I don't see Mel Gibson films, but I did see Liam Neeson (and Jessica Lange!) in Rob Roy. There is a fine example of an English villain in that film, Archibald Cunningham, played by Tim Roth (who is British).

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  • 33. At 9:58pm on 09 Jun 2010, thelakebiscuit wrote:

    ghi618 Tim Roth thats my point Do'h

    Lucy the bRITISH SHOW YOU AS HEROES, you show us as villains .Enough said.

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  • 34. At 9:59pm on 09 Jun 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    1. At 4:14pm on 09 Jun 2010, HabitualHero wrote:
    Has anything else happened in america lately? Anything at all?

    Yes. The Philly Flyers could win the Stanley Cup.
    Why Mark isn't covering THAT?? I have no idea...

    Otherwise... um... well... a friend just sent me an email with an address to which I can send hand towels and soap for washing dolphins. Is that kinda what you're looking for?
    __________

    @ Camberwell: I'll second that point about American stereotypes.

    So, just for the record: I do not, nor have I ever owned a horse. Neither have I, nor anyone I know, ever worn a ten-gallon hat with chaps and jingle-jangle-spurs. Or chased cattle around.
    And -- I know of NO ONE in this fine city who owns a gun. No one. Really. Not even for 'self-defense.' Just thought you should know.

    Horses in Philly pull carriages for tourists over by the Liberty Bell.
    Our park cops don't even bother with horses. They ride bicycles.
    Most of us Philly Folks walk, ride bikes, drive cars or take trans. Shocking, isn't it?

    I do grow tomatoes in buckets and I have a friend who keeps a bee hive on the roof of his row-home -- but, that's because we're trying to avoid processed foods.

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  • 35. At 10:04pm on 09 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Mel Gibson, like most people, has two parents and took his surname from his father. His maternal grandparents were both Irish immigrants in Australia, so genealogically he is half Irish.

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  • 36. At 10:20pm on 09 Jun 2010, JMM_for_now wrote:

    25. At 8:59pm on 09 Jun 2010, Elena wrote:
    “I won't poo-poo a good idea just because it came from him. Does Obama really have *no* redeeming qualities to his opponents???”

    My dear northern neighbour, you have put your finger on precisely the problem bedevilling politics in the US. The right, left and special interests have so polarized the US that there is little or no respect or trust between people with different views.

    John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, political rivals, were able to debate each other respectfully and work together for the common good [and occasionally against the interests of Britain]. They developed an odd sort of friendship, in fact.

    Now, venom flies continuously. It is encouraged by FOX news, and such “entertainers” as Rush Limbaugh, Anne Coulter, and that ilk. Nor is there a lack of left wing haters and propagandists like Michael Moore.

    In answer to your question, yes the right-of-center has bought into the “Obama is the devil” propaganda quite as much as some bought into the “Obama is the Messiah” propaganda of the other side.

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  • 37. At 10:29pm on 09 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Correction: Mel Gibson's mother and paternal grandmother were Irish.

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  • 38. At 10:33pm on 09 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    JMM.. (#36), I have just finished a biography of John Adams. Adams and Jefferson, who were friends during the Revolutionary era, had a falling out after the development of political parties, when they were on opposite sides. They were not on speaking terms for many years, reconciling only after both had retired from politics.

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  • 39. At 11:17pm on 09 Jun 2010, ninetofivegrind wrote:

    I'm sure the American public are more than capable of differentiating between a multi national oil major and individual UK citizens.

    Re the British always being portrayed as villains in Hollywood films; I suggest Ben Kingsley play BPs Tony Hayward in the movie adaptation of this tragedy.

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  • 40. At 00:17am on 10 Jun 2010, John Galt wrote:

    Who really saved the planet?
    With the recent success of the oil spill cap installed by BP that coincided with the government's initiative to take "full responsibility", an important debate has sprung as to who is really responsible for such success.
    In a most unique approach the site http://www.robbingamerica.com
    examine both claims, the government's actions, and BP's fascinating live imagery of how they implemented the deep sea technology.
    Who really saved the planet? You decide.

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  • 41. At 01:29am on 10 Jun 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:


    About 'anti-Brit sentiment':
    James Earl Jones, the voice of Darth Vader, was from Mississippi.
    Oh, but wait... Darth turned out to be a good guy in the end. Never mind.
    You're the evil empire. Shame on you all. Clean up our Gulf, will you? Don't you have, like, sheep over there? Send 'em over. They're absorbent.
    ________

    About Mark's Post:
    -- Thank you Mr. Mardell! This is an important perspective.

    This is exactly the kind of dirt that I've been waiting to surface.
    People's livelihoods are being affected by this spill.
    This isn't just about dolphins and birds. It's about people.
    THAT's why this is such a messy, ugly, time consuming, lingering problem.

    When BP kept smiling and nodding and saying that they'd happily pay out 'legitimate' claims -- I got worried. Of course, BP will have to validate the claims. And I'm sure they will, very... very... VERY carefully...

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  • 42. At 03:09am on 10 Jun 2010, ScottBostonMass wrote:

    To all of the UK residents, I have had many discussions about the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and nobody has ever said a thing about the UK. Americans do understand that BP is a global company and has no ill will for anyone in the UK. Frustration with BP management is another thing, but that's just the way it is. Summertime is coming and we welcome all visitors to the US on their holiday. no one has a bad thing to say on American TV, ABC, NBC, CBS, and the news channels as well. I have never heard any reporter or person bad mouth the British, and I am sure that won't happen,
    Scott

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  • 43. At 03:18am on 10 Jun 2010, timohio wrote:

    re. 26. thelakebiscuit:

    Oh, let's see: James Bond, Monty Python, all of those British detective series we get on PBS (yes, the baddies are British, but so are the detectives), Peter Sellers, all of the Harry Potter books and movies, Shakespeare, Shakespeare in Love, Russell Crowe (yes, he's Australian, but he usually plays a Brit. Nobody here can tell the diff.) Bridget Jones's Diary (yes, Renée Zellweger is American, but she studied hard and did a good job of playing a Brit), anything Kate Blanchett or Kate Winslet are in, Austin Powers (yes, Mike Myers is Canadian but he plays a Brit), David Beckham, Bend it Like Beckham, Jane Austen, anything Michael Caine is in, anything Ewan McGregor does...

    Get the picture? You Brits have a very positive image in American popular culture. These are mostly British movies, but American audiences loved them. And they do a lot to shape American perceptions of Britain and the British. Why worry about distortions of Brits in a handful of American movies when you have Harry Potter, Obi-wan Kenobi, and Monty Python on your side? And then you have your charming countrymen and -women who either emigrate to the US or live here for a time. Honest to God, you guys are everywhere. A British accent is almost automatically perceived in most parts of the US as cute and sexy. You need a date? C'mon over. All you have to do is open your mouth. Really, the general perception of Brits in the US is very positive. Don't believe everything you read in the newspapers. I don't.

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  • 44. At 03:27am on 10 Jun 2010, samalex wrote:

    In terms of anti-British sentiment, what I have noticed is a reluctance of American media and politicians to recognize that the vast majority of people involved in the BP American operation are American not British.

    Here is what one Congressman said on an American cable news channel:
    "Here's a viewer's guide to BP media briefings. Whenever you hear someone with a British accent talking about this on behalf of British Petroleum they are not telling you the truth. That's the bottom-line"

    Oddly enough the daily BP media briefings have, from the very beginning, been given by an American - BP COO Doug Suttles (with an American accent) who has been widely criticised for being less than forthcoming with certain facts.

    Anti-British? Perhaps not but there is a definite "blame the foreigners" meme in the American media and politics.

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  • 45. At 03:35am on 10 Jun 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    25. At 8:59pm on 09 Jun 2010, Elena wrote:

    "Finally, as an avid reader of this blog, I am having a really hard time understanding why it is that most of those opposed to Obama feel the need to smear him to the nth degree."

    ____________

    You've missed the point.
    They have no intention of judging the man on his merits, or of letting anyone else have the opportunity to judge the man on his merits, if they can help it.

    The criticism started even before the man took the oath of office!
    It has been unceasing.
    It has been without reason.
    It has been impervious to reason.
    It is obstruction at all times.
    It is opposition to all things and at all times.

    These are people who have never accepted, refuse to accept, cannot accept, that they lost the last election.

    Although I did not believe it at first, I have come to believe that about a quarter of this opposition comes from people who have not accepted, refuse to accept, and cannot accept, that an even partly black man should ever be President.

    These are people who have not accepted, refuse to accept, and cannot accept that anyone should hold office that is not their captive puppet, a slavish servant of their narrow sectoral views -

    be it on oil or the environment
    (Drill, Baby, Drill)

    be it on public health care
    (OOOOH let me scare you with "Death Panels" and any other lie we can dream up just so long as America can keep spending 16% of GNP on health care, instead of 10% of GNP like most other rich democracies)

    be it on "social conservative" issues
    (abortion, aversion to science, aversion to education generally)

    be it on gun control
    ('cause we don't give a damn about the 11,000 - 12,000 people needlessly killed every year, or the many times that number injured, just so long as we can keep ranting about the 2nd Amendment)

    be it on the middle East
    (we expect a blank cheque and blind, unthinking support for the ever more extreme policies required to mollify the right-wing religious splinter parties of the governing coalition in the Israeli Knesset. Heaven forbid that America should ever consider whether its own strategic interests are served by those policies.)

    be it on campaign finance reform
    (what? Require legislators to recuse themselves from voting on legislation that would benefit any campaign contributors?)

    be it on tooth-and-nail opposition for the sake of obstruction on every possible topic in Congress.


    They have learned that in political campaigns negative advertising always works if you are relentless, if you spend enough money on it, and if you keep at it long enough.

    If you yell loud enough, keep tarring your opponents with labels, never acknowledge that you are wrong, never answer any questions, never defend you own position, just keep yelling, eventually people will believe what you are yelling even if it is completely untrue. The more outrageous the smear, the better.

    So these people have been campaigning, flat out, since November 6, 2007.
    There is absolutely no pretense of giving the man a fair chance. There never has been. It is all criticism, all the time.

    They rely upon voter ignorance and apathy as a deliberate strategy. They fan the flames of prejudice for tactical political advantage as a deliberate strategy, even though they know better.

    These folks hate democracy. Above all they hate free speech. They hate the idea that any view critical of their own might possibly be given airtime on anything approaching balanced or equal footing.

    They scream about their own Constitutional rights, while in fact by their deeds and by their postings you quickly see that they despise everything for which the US Constitution stands.

    They hate the thought that government policy might be formed on the basis of careful and rational reflection on the facts and on America's interests, by thoughtful compromise among moderate men and women of good will.

    They hate the thought that government policy should be anything other than what they precisely want for themselves; logic, reason, the good of the good of the country, and the good of their fellow citizens be damned.



    And Barack Obama is a young, intelligent, articulate, black man,
    who stands for the rule of law,
    for the rule of reason over ignorance,
    of logic over prejudice,
    of careful reflection over the counsels of impatience;

    who defends the Constitution like somebody who genuinely believes in the things for which it stands;
    who owes most of these interest groups, industry lobbyists, and political action committees absolutely nothing;
    and whose election they opposed with the same shrillness they now devote to opposing his re-election.

    They have no store of favours to call in.
    They have no skeletons from his closet with which to blackmail him.
    He is not beholden to them or afraid of them.


    So without a doubt they must pull out all the stops to make sure that the mistake of November 2007 is never repeated.




    No, you've missed the point.

    How could anyone possibly be so naive as to think politicians should be judged on the basis of a fair minded assessment of the strength of their character, the quality of their thought, or their past performance in office?

    You've completely missed the point.


    This is not merely an attack on Barack Obama.
    At root, it is a full frontal 24/7/365 attack on the institutions of American Democracy: whether rational government of the people, by the people, and for the people can ultimately be derailed by well funded, relentless, attack politics.

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  • 46. At 03:44am on 10 Jun 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    43. At 03:18am on 10 Jun 2010, timohio wrote:

    re. 26. thelakebiscuit:

    Oh, let's see: James Bond, ...

    ____________

    Tim, you've missed the best, though it is possible that in Britain people would not necessarily be aware of it.

    The most trustworthy, most reliable British hero of all, the one who sets an example of fairness and dignity, the one for whom there is deep and enduring affection around the globe, is our good, much loved, long serving monarch.

    God Bless and save our good old Queen.

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  • 47. At 04:42am on 10 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Anger at BP in America is growing so great it may not be safe for BP executives, esepecially with English accents to visit the US. America's sentiment is one of rage, at BP, at the oil industry, and at its own government. Anecdotal evidence in the media continues to pile up that the underlying cause of the accident is entirely BPs fault and that had BP just followed the rules and not tried to cut corners, the accident never would have happened. America seems in a mood for revenge. The oil spill is becoming a focal point for a wide range of frustrations.

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  • 48. At 06:10am on 10 Jun 2010, turningblueandgrey wrote:

    45 - IF

    Very well put, one small qualification though. The people of whom you speak don't entirely hate free speech. After all, when corporations can buy all the free speech they want, it's considered a good thing.

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  • 49. At 06:13am on 10 Jun 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    IF -


    Thank you for a passionate and direct statement of what our country is up against right now.
    Among your many clear analyses, the following statement seems to me to be at the heart of the problem -

    " They hate the thought that government policy might be formed on the basis of careful and rational reflection on the facts and on America's interests, by thoughtful compromise among moderate men and women of good will."

    This 'thoughtful compromise among moderate men and women of good will' is the clear premise upon which our democracy was founded, by men of different interests but determined moderation and good will. They knew that their own interests would falter unless they could work together for everyone's benefit.

    Perhaps this generation is so spoiled by recent success that many of us cannot understand why they should not have it all their own way. I sense that much of the Right is so terrified that its values and way of life could be lost that they have given up honesty, reason, and the awareness that others have equal rights to theirs.

    Some but not all of the conservative voices here and in the country write only to attack. They make accusations and statements but not arguments; they have no patience for any other position - and in those ways they show themselves no longer willing to live in a democracy.

    What a shame.

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 50. At 06:25am on 10 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    " As all foreign film makers know if you want to sell a film to the US, YOU must HAVE an American hero."


    James Bond? :-)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

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  • 51. At 06:48am on 10 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    I recall that even at the peak of the Cold War no American I knew or ever heard from thought all Cambridge graduates (let alone all Englishmen) were like Blunt, Burgess, Philby and McLean.

    Or, after watching, say, "A Bridge Too Far", that all English commanders were bumbling idiots. [except for one Scot]

    Or, after watching a Mexican Gulf disaster, that every British CEO is like Tony Hayward.


    P.S. Please, don't be unduly alarmed by BHO trying "to find out whose asses to kick".

    The man can't tell an ass from a head, just as he could't tell a butt of a rifle from its barrel even if it hit him.

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  • 52. At 06:52am on 10 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re: Mel Gibson.


    I thought Mel Gibson gave more than justice to Hamlet in a movie version of a play written by Bacon or Marlow (not sure which).

    [not that Glen Close was bad as his mom]

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  • 53. At 07:47am on 10 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re : "God Bless and save our good old Queen"



    And the Duchess of York, of course.

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  • 54. At 07:56am on 10 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Shares in BP have plummeted another 16% in US trading, amid fears President Obama will impose massive punitive penalties on the company.

    It means the company's share price has almost halved since the Deep-water Horizon oil spill began on 20 April.
    [...]

    The sharp fall in BP's share price is bad news for UK pension funds, which invest heavily in the firm.

    The oil company has said that it pays £1 in every £7 of dividends that the pension funds receive from FTSE 100 companies."



    I feel your pain. And shall feel even more in 72 hours.

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  • 55. At 08:53am on 10 Jun 2010, working_mum wrote:

    Although BP have taken the blame, the American involvment is rarely mentioned, for example - their drilling partners 'Anadarko' (American oil company) who have disappeared off the news radar. BP was using an American drilling company - 'Transocean' (financially based in Switzerland for tax reasons) to drill the exploration well - these were the folk who made the mistakes and did not shut in, 11 who are dead now. They were using an American company 'Halliburton' (remember them - Dick Cheyneys company) to do the cementing of the well (the bit that probably failed first) and it was an American company - 'Cameron' who built the blow out preventor that failed. The contingency plans were all approved by the US government prior to the horrific accident. And it was a lease that was offered by the US goverment in the first place to feed the US hunger for oil at any cost. There needs to be some division of blame here. BP are not the only people who messed up. I am just glad this might make people think more about the consequences of oil exploration.

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  • 56. At 09:01am on 10 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    British BP shareholders might want to read this:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/06/09/anderson.lawyers.oil/index.html

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  • 57. At 09:33am on 10 Jun 2010, TheRealIncognito wrote:

    I'm sure that BP is, indeed, paying out - as fast as it possibly can.

    How much more profitable will it be for them to pay a fisherman, say, $5,000 now than to wait... two, three, five years from now - when the real costs of losing one's livelihood kick in at exponential rates.

    No doubt, BP has each person/business it pays off now, signing over any right to sue for future damages.

    This is completely calculated as a short-term cost for future benefit to the company. Unfortunately for the people taking these payouts, they are short-sighted and/or desperate enough with the failing US economy to take the bribe.

    It's not a matter of if - it's a matter of when - BP opens their books, to prove they did make these payouts. Certainly they will. The payouts will protect them in the end.

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  • 58. At 09:58am on 10 Jun 2010, TheRealIncognito wrote:

    @ Interestedforeigner -- I would add to your excellent rant, that the US is undergoing a rather bizarre religious war of its own.

    Increasingly, that becomes manifested among three groups: the uneducated populace, who are coincidentally very motivated by their religious beliefs; the educated, but wealthy populace interested in gathering the votes of the uneducated, who are aptly represented by one of the heads of the wealthiest financial industries, Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein who believes he is doing 'God's work' ; and the educated who eschew religion, if not emphatically, at least with a minimum of skepticism with regard to their vote.

    Of further alarm, is that the US educational system being affected by the former two groups. It would appear that the 'dumbing down' of the citizens is activally being persued and will ultimately manifest a terrible backlash on the people and their state of being.

    Christopher Hitchens is very correct - religion poisons everything.

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  • 59. At 10:04am on 10 Jun 2010, AC wrote:

    #47 et al

    Welcome all (America in particular), to the global economy.

    The workers who screwed up in BP were actually former Amoco workers swallowed up when that company was bought by BP. They were Americans. Others have commented that 'fault' lies spread far and wide amongst and number of American companies, ultimately with the US gov. were it not for their legislative indemnity forcing BP to step in. And surprise surprise...British pension funds are expected to sit back and watch the company pay! I don't think so, would this be happening if it were Haliburton on the line? Incidentally, there actually won't be many English accented BP oil workers effected by this at all...they're mostly American! Oh the irony!

    As for BP paying the costs of the moratorium on Gulf drilling?! You must be kidding- that was under your watch Mr Obama not theirs! If you can't trust your own regulatory processes and structures then really why were people ever permitted to drill there in the first place. The two issues are not connected. You need to get your house in order.

    How convenient it is for Obama to create, then jump on, a bandwagon of harassment and issue statement after statement of rhetoric without substance undermining the only actions actually being taken to mitigate the impact of a disaster caused by and effecting his own countrymen. Only in America would this be supported. Actions speak louder than words.

    Obama would be better off supporting BP, giving them assistance, technical, financial, infrastructure, personel...until its actually sorted out. Then fine- send them a bill and force them to pay it. But instead he elects to just slam the company into the ground. Political commentary at its worst and at a ridiculous time namely when the issue is not resolved but everything possible is being done. Get a grip Obama.

    Hayward may go but he shouldn't go yet- even if his final act is to be allowed to resolve the problem/get those wheels in motion, he should be allowed to do it uniohibited. I dont want the board having to think for one second/email about how/if/when/what to say etc in response to white house omments. I want them to focus on resolving through and and every means rectifying the environmental damage, and ensuring that peoples lives are not unduly effected as quickly as possible. This is and has been unprecedented, it is disasterous, and its got to be sorted out so lets work together and get it done. Obama is just looking like an impetulant child first not reacting appropriately now having a little panic attack.

    Finally, regarding the share price this is just crazy and borne out of his silly sentiment and continual bluster from the White House. There must also be some serious shorting going on in the city. Lets refresh our memories...this is a company which makes billions IN PROFIT per year, has billions IN CASH reserves in the bank, and a company which has billions worth of easily saleable global assets. The company has been hit, and hit hard (as it should be) but the financial costs and losses caused by this will perhaps ultimately be a couple of billion. BP will still have made over 7 billion profit in last year alone and for a large part by selling oil to Americans. For once I may agree with the ratings agencies re BP bonds remaining 'investment grade' rather than the market bond prices which suggest they're of 'junk' status! If I were a gambling man i'd be buying BP shares with a long term view- they're either going to sort this out (and make billions in profit as per previous years- just 'slightly' pro rata less) in which case the price will recover, or they're going to get a takeover bid in which case the share price will also recover.

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  • 60. At 10:09am on 10 Jun 2010, yankeetornado wrote:

    As usual these days, it seems like it's easier for everyone to jump to conclusions and play judge jury and executioner in this matter before it's even close to finding resolution. The planet probably should take a step back and draw a breath before deciding the next steps.

    As for BP's stock price, the market is merely a reflection of sentiment and emotion these days, and has little to do with valuations or profitability of a company. We've seen this phenomenon appearing since before the global recession set in, and it is simply altogether too easy to beat a company down based on sentiment alone. I actually re-invested in BP, thinking insanely that it had found a bottom, only to be proven gravely wrong on the subject.

    People here in the states want justice to be served steaming hot, and wickedly fast it seems, failing to see the potential greater disasters that could result in doing so. However, in fairness, I would say that any company responsible for the destruction of thousands of miles of coastline, and countless hundreds of thousands of animal species, entire industries, affecting the livelihoods of potentially millions of Americans, probably has a fair beating in store on the calloused pavement of Wall Street.

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  • 61. At 10:23am on 10 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #55 []sharing the blame]

    United Carbide was only 51% American owned and most of those responsible for Bhopal disaster were Indians.


    Didn't help UC much, though:

    still had to cough up almost $500,000,000.00 in compensation.

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  • 62. At 10:27am on 10 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "The company has been hit, and hit hard (as it should be) but the financial costs and losses caused by this will perhaps ultimately be a couple of billion."



    The current estimate (after all is setlled and done) is more like

    20 BILLION.


    At least that's what market and stock exchanges seem to think.

    [as evidenced by the current BP's stock value.]

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  • 63. At 10:37am on 10 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    There is no anti Britsh feeling in the BP fiasco.


    the only country which right now has had been a major increase in bad feeling is Turkey.

    For supporting the terrorist nation of Iran and escalating the crisis with Israel.

    Boycott Turkish goods!

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  • 64. At 10:51am on 10 Jun 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 51 powermeerkat wrote:

    "P.S. Please, don't be unduly alarmed by BHO trying "to find out whose asses to kick".

    The man can't tell an ass from a head, just as he could't tell a butt of a rifle from its barrel even if it hit him."

    There goes powermeerkat.

    Talking out of his head again....

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  • 65. At 11:12am on 10 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This is not Europe or the third world. There is a complete misconception by many about the relationship between private corporations, government, and the people in the US. Anyone who thinks corporations "own" America and can do as they please should start with the hstory of the anti-trust laws and the breakup of Standard Oil and other megaliths late in the 19th century. Corporations often have leeway and friends in government but they do not have carte blanche and there are limits beyond which they cannot and dare not go. BP has clearly crossed that limit. I've said in the past that before this is over, there is a very good chance BP will not exist anymore. The ultimae cost for this accident will be mind boggling. The numbers will eclipse even BP's vast assets and the government will not take no for an answer.

    The start of criminal investigations portends serious consequences for those involved and American prosecutors like to go for those at the top. They often cut deals with those lower down to get to where the root cause of the problem lies, often those who created the underlying corporate culture that lead to the accident from the start. The hearings and then even the trials are usually held in public and broadcast on the media too inflaming public sentiment as the story of recklessness and indifference unfolds. A pattern of negligent behavior is strong evidence. Disclosures of private documents and events that hadn't come to light earlier, often smack of a coverup and can be very incriminating. Sometimes some of those within an organization under investigation have their own reasons to come forward, other times the prosecutor's arm twisting can be excruciating. When the US Federal government wants to "get" someone, they will be relentless and unyielding no matter how long it takes. BP is like a bone in the DOJ's mouth while for President Obama, it is a torpedo to his re-election. This could be a major factor in the 2012 Presidential election campaign and this fall it could be the nail in the coffin of his bid to hold on to majorities in Congress. It will not be going away, it will not be forgotten by then.

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  • 66. At 11:13am on 10 Jun 2010, arclightt wrote:

    @45 (IF): I read your post. I'd make only one comment: If you believe this all started in 2007, or with Barack Obama's candidacy, you are something like about 42 years too late. There wasn't a single event that "started" the poisonous social environment that we currently swim in in this country, but it began flowering in the mid-1960s. Its roots extend back to the late 1940s in some cases, and in other cases they extend back to the 1930s and 1920s, or even further back.

    I won't go into a long history here, but there's a common thread that extends over this past 45+ years, and that's one of arrogance and self-righteousness, and it's shared by folks from all parts of the political spectrum. This is NOT to say that all the various belief systems of the folks who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s are equal; it is to say, however, that their approach to dealing with people who disagree with them has been much more attuned to emotional reaction and personal destruction (remember calling returning soldiers "babykillers" in the 1960s and 1970s) than to the kind of logical reasoning by people of good will that you cited in your post.

    If the Baby Boomers can be credited with anything in the political and social arena, it is (a) the conversion of government into the perpetual political campaign (reaching its full flower with the ascendency of Clinton in 1993 and continuing full-steam through the Bush years to such things as Rahm Emanuel's declaration about not letting a crisis go to waste), (b) the conversion of the legal system in this country into a weapons system for corporate and personal gain, and (c) the absolute pre-eminence of personal feelings and emotions over every other consideration (as evidence, "if it feels good, do it" was a popular song title many years ago, and that philosophy continues to this very day in our interaction with each other. The comments on this blog all too often represent our taking that approach with each other).

    I have to quit now and get ready for an all-day meeting.

    Regards,
    Arclight

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  • 67. At 11:15am on 10 Jun 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 63 MagicKirin wrote:

    "There is no anti Britsh (sic) feeling in the BP fiasco.


    the only country which right now has had been (sic) a major increase in bad feeling is Turkey.

    For supporting the terrorist nation of Iran and escalating the crisis with Israel.

    Boycott Turkish goods!"

    Ho hum.

    As ever in MKWorld, all roads lead to Israel. And again, as ever in MKWorld, all violence by Israel is the fault of the victims of violence by Israel.

    So – evidence – just for once? Proof that there has been a "major increase in bad feeling" against Turkey? Polling data? Anything?

    [And no, MK - no doubt there has been a major increase in YOUR bad feeling against Turkey, and there has been a similar phenomenon amongst other fanatical, neocon, Likudnik 'Israel right or wrong' types - but that doesn't count.]

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  • 68. At 11:17am on 10 Jun 2010, strontiumdog wrote:

    I'm disappointed with Obama, he doesn’t seem to see the big picture and is only concerned about saving his own skin. If this anti BP rhetoric continues and the company’s shares continue to plummet. There will be no BP and US tax payers will be left to pick up the cleanup bill.. From what I have seen in the financial papers, PETROCHINA are looking to make an aggressive takeover bid, in order to make them the world’s biggest oil company and acquire all of BPs US assets. I wonder how the US would deal with a China owned oil spill on its shores and whether PETROCHINA would be more transparent than BP

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  • 69. At 11:31am on 10 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "There goes powermeerkat.

    Talking out of his head again...."



    Unlike some who talk aut of their...


    When they still can.

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  • 70. At 11:32am on 10 Jun 2010, strontiumdog wrote:

    I've been trying to check out PetroChina’s safety record, but it seems to be a bit of a state secret, (no surprise there). If things carry on this way and BP are forced to compensate other oil companies, and go under the west will lose out and China will gain. Pictures in the Sunday Times of the British flag being desecrated in protest against BP next to headlines of another two British Marines being killed in Afghanistan is going to sour the relationship between the US and UK. Mind you Obama doesn’t particularly like the British so maybe he doesn’t mind.

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  • 71. At 12:10pm on 10 Jun 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 63, Magic

    "...the only country which right now has had been a major increase in bad feeling is Turkey."

    Magic, I don't know where you get your information but I have not met a single American in recent years who is critical of Turkey. In fact, most Americans could care less what Turkey says or does, and many could not even find it on a map.

    Based on what I hear from relatives, friends, and neighbors most of us are worried about the economy, unemployment, budget deficits, our national debt, the oil spill and other matters of domestic interest.

    It is true, however, that our government remains intent on towing the line for Israel, regardless of how damaging that stand may be to our image or interests, and that as a result Turkey's and Brazil's recent efforts to defuse the Iran nuclear "crisis" were not appreciated since the goal is not stability but continuous turmoil in the Persian Gulf region and the Middle East.

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  • 72. At 12:18pm on 10 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    BHO [as quoted by new wires from AP to Reuters]

    We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick."


    In the meantime new poll, shows that, one month out, more people disapprove of the federal government's handling of the oil spill than they did at the same time after Hurricane Katrina, 69 to 62 percent.

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  • 73. At 12:22pm on 10 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #68 strontiumdog:

    "I wonder how the US would deal with a China owned oil spill on its shores and whether PETROCHINA would be more transparent than BP"





    Hardly being a Beijing comrades' aficionado I think it would be hard for anybody to be less transparent than BP.



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  • 74. At 12:45pm on 10 Jun 2010, TonyP wrote:

    Why don't you point your finger at haliburton and Transocean.
    Why don't you also point out that the only "safety" issues BP have had in the world are in the US - Why - shoddy technology, shoddy standards of control, shoddy capabilities and a lust for making money. I think You have "gone native"

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  • 75. At 1:44pm on 10 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #71
    , SaintDominick wrote:
    Ref 63, Magic

    "...the only country which right now has had been a major increase in bad feeling is Turkey."

    Magic, I don't know where you get your information but I have not met a single American in recent years who is critical of Turkey. In fact, most Americans could care less what Turkey says or does, and many could not even find it on a map.

    Based on what I hear from relatives, friends, and neighbors most of us are worried about the economy, unemployment, budget deficits, our national debt, the oil spill and other matters of domestic interest.

    It is true, however, that our government remains intent on towing the line for Israel, regardless of how damaging that stand may be to our image or interests, and that as a result Turkey's and Brazil's recent efforts to defuse the Iran nuclear "crisis" were not appreciated since the goal is not stability but continuous turmoil in the Persian Gulf region and the Middle East.


    ____________

    First I think you may need to get around more there have been several protest against Turkey;'s actions.

    Second Obama has been taking a hard line against Israel. Yesterday a photo op with Abbas (who refused to have face to face negoiations) but Obama has said nothing.

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  • 76. At 1:46pm on 10 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    Interesting artcile in the WSJ (the full article can't be linked unless you are a subscriber) on how Obama administration has mispresented engineer views on drilling moratorium.

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  • 77. At 1:49pm on 10 Jun 2010, ann arbor wrote:

    Mr. Mardell, would you mind running something on Alvin M. Greene in South Carolina?

    I would like to see this man get some support. He actually served his country and experienced the down side of our economy. His heart seems to be in the right place.

    He seems to be getting criticism from the very same people who are OK that their representatives vote on legislation without reading it.

    I would like to see him get a fair chance.

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  • 78. At 1:54pm on 10 Jun 2010, CamberwellBeauty wrote:

    Philly-mom

    Sorry about your Flyers :( - looked good when they tied it up......had to depart for my sleep, nerves couldn't handle the overtime!

    Back to movie roles an anti-Brit - my goodness, what about Hugh Grant, bless his heart, has he ever been evil in an American movie!!!!

    Thinking of American thugs in movies: Brando, Cagney, Hopper, Pacino & goodness, Perkins (Norman Bates).

    I don't see the Brits turning down the parts either! Besides, they are brilliant "actors" and just do a better job in the roles. Americans love them!

    Agree with Timohio, too. I can get away with murder with my accent! Believe or not Brits, but Americans love us! it's just the way it is! So don't get overly sensitive about the "press".

    I reiterate, I have YET to hear anti-British banter from anyone around me.

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  • 79. At 1:55pm on 10 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    72. powermeerkat:

    BHO [as quoted by new wires from AP to Reuters]

    We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick."


    In the meantime new poll, shows that, one month out, more people disapprove of the federal government's handling of the oil spill than they did at the same time after Hurricane Katrina, 69 to 62 percent.

    ***********************

    Polls also show Americans angry with BP. Thus, our president's tough new stance. (Hey, it worked with the bankers.)

    One sure way to get the rare angry word from our president is to be on the receiving end of negative poll numbers.

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  • 80. At 1:58pm on 10 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    [US]"government remains intent on towing the line for Israel, regardless of how damaging that stand may be to our image or interests, and that as a result Turkey's and Brazil's recent efforts to defuse the Iran nuclear "crisis" were not appreciated since the goal is not stability but continuous turmoil in the Persian Gulf region and the Middle East."




    Had I not known this comment was written by Saint Dominick I migh have assumed it was a release by Ahmadinnerjacket's press office.

    [perhaps SD has just accidentally copied&pasted it, am I right?]



    [most recent military/security cooperation deal btween a crypto-Islamist government of Turkey and Saudi Arabia, should not, of course, worry anybody in the U.S. With a singular exception of Bob Gates, perhaps]

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  • 81. At 2:04pm on 10 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    BP shares plunged 12% at the start of London trading before recovering, on fears that President Obama will impose huge penalties on the company.

    It means the oil giant's share price has almost halved since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill began on 20 April.

    BP's share price opened at 345 pence - its lowest level since 1997 [BBC]

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  • 82. At 2:05pm on 10 Jun 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 72, powermeerkat

    "In the meantime new poll, shows that, one month out, more people disapprove of the federal government's handling of the oil spill than they did at the same time after Hurricane Katrina, 69 to 62 percent."

    I reckon that constitutes evidence of the lack of objectivity of some people. Comparing the actions that should have taken place after Katrina to those that have taken place thus far in the Gulf is like comparing apples and oranges. We know how to evacuate people, we know how to build houses, roads, and dams, We know how to provide food, medicine and shelter to those that need, but we sure as hell don't know how to cap a well that ruptured in the deep sea and it is evident that we do not have the resources needed to cleanup the mess this disaster has caused.

    Perhaps those polled should reflect on who granted all the deep sea oil drilling leases, which administration relaxed regulations to facilitate offshore drilling, who was chanting drill baby drill even after the accident happened, and who continues to ask the President to lift the moratorium because it is affected their pocket books.

    When everything else fails, blame the victim (s), or in this case the opposition to deflect attention from what you helped create.

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  • 83. At 2:15pm on 10 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Dutch voters are going to the polls, as opinion surveys show growing support for right-wing parties and those seeking to restrict immigration.

    The Freedom Party of Geert Wilders, who has denounced Islam and suggested a tax on headscarves, looks set to double its parliamentary representation." [BBC]


    I'm sure some racist opponents of "white suprematism" will be saddened by the news. Sorry 'bout that.

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  • 84. At 3:09pm on 10 Jun 2010, Bro_Winky wrote:

    21. At 8:09pm on 09 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:
    The film business is another matter. This is entertainment. Filmmakers are free to make any sort of pap they please. They have no obligation to be fair. I know that Helen Mirren has complained that too often a villain is British. Perhaps. It could be taken as a compliment. Villains are interesting (as entertainment), and British actors are interesting in their portrayals of them. For a great English villain, see Richard Harris as "English Bob" in Unforgiven. (Harris was actually Irish, which perhaps explains his grasp of English villainy.)

    I don't see enough films to know if there is an "increasingly negative portrayal" of the British (or English) as you write, but I have certainly seen many fine British roles over the years. Perhaps you just need to see a better class of film.

    --------------------------

    Have you ever seen any of the Star Wars films? Pretty much every one of Darth Vader's imperial officers is British (or at least has a British accent). :)

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  • 85. At 3:09pm on 10 Jun 2010, Freeman wrote:

    From another BP thread...
    "99. At 12:51pm on 10 Jun 2010, Justin150 wrote:
    It is clear to me that there is serious anti-British sentiment in the US administration.

    Obama is not stupid he does not refer to BP as "British Petroleum" by accident.

    I see US govt has now said we should start negotiations to hand over the Falkland Islands to Argentina. Presumeably little details such as the Falkland Islanders own wishes and democracy are of little relevance to Obama"

    Any news state side on the latter item or is this just more tosh from webland?

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  • 86. At 3:22pm on 10 Jun 2010, Shawn wrote:

    If Britain made anything anymore, I would certainly boycott your products. It's clear that corporate culture in the UK is even more greedy and deranged than in the US. It's sickening. I will never EVER visit the UK again. The nastiness and hypocrisy of the people was pushing me that way, anyway. Now it's done. Shame on you.

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  • 87. At 3:51pm on 10 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    What is TonyP driving at? (post #74) BP is the prime contractor, hence is responsible for the entire drilling project.

    Transocean is a worldwide company with headquarters in Switzerland. Halliburton is a US company, but also has worldwide operations. The oil industry uses the same technology wherever in the world it operates.

    The question who contributed what to the accident remains to be determined. In the meantime, BP is responsible for getting the well capped and the mess cleaned up.

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  • 88. At 4:30pm on 10 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Freeman (#85) "I see US govt has now said we should start negotiations to hand over the Falkland Islands to Argentina."

    There was some talk about that from Secretary of State Clinton in March, but I haven't heard anything in the US press about it lately.

    I expect the position of the US administration is merely political. It wants to be on good terms with Latin America. As for Americans generally, I don't detect an sympathy for this. My view is that giving the Falklands to Argentina makes no more sense than giving Texas to Mexico.

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  • 89. At 4:36pm on 10 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Bro_Winky (#84) "Have you ever seen any of the Star Wars films?"

    I saw only the first, and don't remember most of the voices. Darth Vader himself was, of course, voiced by James Earl Jones (from Mississippi).

    Star Wars is not what I would call a "better class of film."

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  • 90. At 4:43pm on 10 Jun 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    38. At 10:33pm on 09 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:
    JMM.. (#36), I have just finished a biography of John Adams,

    Was that by any chance by David McCullough?.If it was how did you find it?.
    For me that book was so good,I have read it twice.

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  • 91. At 4:51pm on 10 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    82. SaintDominick:

    "I reckon that constitutes evidence of the lack of objectivity of some people."

    ******************
    Indeed.

    Or just racism, right?

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  • 92. At 5:09pm on 10 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    45. Interestedforeigner:

    "These are people who have never accepted, refuse to accept, cannot accept, that they lost the last election."

    *****************
    And will never accept, refuse to accept, cannot accept the direction in which Obama has taken this country.

    Many people are beginning to see Obama as a genuine problem. He has earned their consternation.

    Rationalize it however you choose.

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  • 93. At 5:23pm on 10 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Doug Suttles looks like a cousin of the Bush family. Just kind of noticed that.

    Magic Kirin is right about Turkey and Brazil swaying toward the Iranians. It is definitely alarming and could speak of alliances in the future. The UN is changing. There are obvious human rights violaters like Libya, who are on the Human Rights Investigation Committee. That is like asking an abusive husband to report on domestic battery of his wife. An abusive husband will cover it up by saying, "Oh, she accidentally fell down the stairs, so on." Abusive people often blame their victims for the abuses ("Don't you see what you made me do?"), as well as everything that goes wrong in their life. They are in denial. The sad thing is, a lot of the time, the victims do not leave the abusers because "It's the only love I've ever known."
    Ha! Abuse is not love. It is a sick, twisted form of power.

    Magic Kirin, it is important that President Obama said he was going to get the facts before making a hasty judgement. Biden has stated that he supports the blockade, for the simple fact that boats could smuggle in weapons to Hamas, although Biden does support more foods, toiletries, humanitarian aid, ect. for Palestinians. I noticed that Israel has allowed the shipments of more goods, as well.

    Maybe things are not ideal, but they could be worse.

    The oil spill is pure madness. It is agony watching the environment in our country slowly getting decimated with no understanding of when it will stop and with the understanding that things are likely only going to get worse with Hurricane season.

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  • 94. At 5:30pm on 10 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    ukwales (#90) "Was that by any chance by David McCullough?"

    That's it.

    "If it was, how did you find it?"

    Easy. It was in our neighborhood bookstore.

    I liked it, too, but not enough to read it twice (yet).

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  • 95. At 5:41pm on 10 Jun 2010, AC wrote:

    #86

    There's an inference that you have a passport so good effort for that it probably puts you in the upper 2% of Americans and fair enough for reading the BBC.

    Thing is though- BP drills oil and like or lump it...you love the stuff, can't get enough of it. So when you start talking about boycotting products you can-immediately. Stop driving your car, stop going on holiday (using your passport to fly presumably), and start recycling.

    Regarding corporate culture I just don't think you get it. Amoco was an American company. It was bought by BP. The employees were and are Americans. That isn't to say that the corporate entity isn't responsible- but assuming the American people/engineers who screwed up were trained, and i've seen nothing to say that they weren't, you're actually talking about an accident in American waters, in an area leased by the American government to feed the American market, supervised by American regulatory bodies, in accordance with American legislation, and accident caused by a failure of either a.American employees or b. American companies (Haliburton, Transocean etc etc).

    So if you're looking to boycott products...you'd better stop buying American.

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  • 96. At 5:50pm on 10 Jun 2010, Nik wrote:

    74. At 12:45pm on 10 Jun 2010, TonyP wrote:

    """"Why don't you point your finger at haliburton and Transocean.
    Why don't you also point out that the only "safety" issues BP have had in the world are in the US - Why - shoddy technology, shoddy standards of control, shoddy capabilities and a lust for making money. I think You have "gone native"""""

    Ehehehe... e well you ask the right questions. What happened was - supposedly - a technical accident. BP as the end client of the platform has an overall responsibility, yet the direct responsibles are Halliburton & Transocean and everyone else who built and operated the platform for the account of BP. BP can be directly accused only in the case it refused to involve a certain procedure to cut money here or there during the construction of the platform (I do not know more details, I make the guess that BP ordered it as an end client) or in the case it had a solution to the problem but it did not apply it as early as possible. The explosion of the platform and the death of workers and the following environmental catastrophe first of all involves Hallibarton and Transocean.

    I would advice fellow US citizens (many of who like to search more than what they tell them ""officially"") to see all that parade of statements of the late Bush administration and early Obama administration in the following series:

    1) Bush, after 8 years on powwer remembers to decide, only 6 months before handing in his cabinet, to move on with the drills while knowing the Democrats would cancel this
    2) Obama before elections speaks against the move and says he will stop them
    3) Obama becomes president, he freezes oil extraction in the area
    4) In March 2010 he decides to allow oil extraction
    5) 3 weeks later the explosion happens

    ... and everybody is running like headless chicken...

    I do not know. It could really be an accident. But what are the possibilities with all that forward backward movement? All that reveals huge interests. Why would a country not want to drill its own ressources and buy it more expensively abroad? Obviously there are massive interests there and there are people that actually lose money if this oil is pumped in the US market. Contrasting interests. And since we talk about energy, these are colossal interests. Large enough to defy decisions US governements (give me a break with the bushobama-puppets...). If presidents don't want to comply, some million barels of oil on the US shores will convince them. And an "accident" is the most easy thing to create - it is not the first time internal sabotage occurs in the US and, tough luck for Americans, not the last: you will see more of that. Courage.

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  • 97. At 5:57pm on 10 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #84

    "Have you ever seen any of the Star Wars films? Pretty much every one of Darth Vader's imperial officers is British (or at least has a British accent). :)"




    Perhaps that's what happens to people seduced by the Dark Force.

    [They acquire British accent and Coloured Future ;)]



    BTW. Bro_Winky, more than one reviewer has noticed that baddies in U.S. movies use PCs, whereas good guys - always Apple laptops. :)


    Incidentally, yakuza gansters don't use Sony Vaio in US productions, for Japan is the most important foreign market as far as Hollywood "output" is concerned.

    For a similar reason, Arab terrorist bombers featured in scripts are usually converted by Hollywood studios to "neonazis" (ME is a huge market for American action flicks so they don't want jeopardize box office returns).

    Now, why pseudo sophisticated phonies with airs usually have a French accent - I have no idea. :)




    P.S. I recall a movie in which John Cleese playing a sheriff fighting black hats somewhere in the Wild West pre-emts:

    "As you can probably tell I am not from these parts".

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  • 98. At 6:11pm on 10 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #89 "Darth Vader himself was, of course, voiced by James Earl Jones (from Mississippi)."


    Careful with that "of course" :)



    To restore balance, one of the master Jedi was played in a Star Wars prequel by Samuel Jackson.


    P.S. I've heard that Yoda's first name was To, but nobody dares to mention it now so that DVD sales don't hit the brakes.

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  • 99. At 6:12pm on 10 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #90
    ukwales wrote:
    38. At 10:33pm on 09 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:
    JMM.. (#36), I have just finished a biography of John Adams,

    Was that by any chance by David McCullough?.If it was how did you find it?.
    For me that book was so good,I have read it twice.

    _____________-

    great book and you can see parllels to the atack politics of today.

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  • 100. At 6:17pm on 10 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #92

    Andrea, we shall see, whether folks who lose in November will ever accept it. :)



    And in the meantime: SPILL, BABY SPILL!

    [watched by the Fool on the Hill]

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  • 101. At 6:52pm on 10 Jun 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    92. At 5:09pm on 10 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:


    "Rationalize it however you choose."

    ____________

    The 24/7/365 criticism of his "performance" started before he even took the oath of office.


    So, "rationalize it however you choose", indeed.

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  • 102. At 6:53pm on 10 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Thinking of American thugs in movies: Brando, Cagney, Hopper, Pacino & goodness, Perkins (Norman Bates)."




    What do you have against Gene Hackman and John Malkovich?


    Not to mention certain Jack Nicholson. Or Robert de Niro. ;)

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  • 103. At 7:09pm on 10 Jun 2010, Nanuk wrote:

    65. MarcusAureliusII:

    Not Europe or Third World, but definitely the USA - the land of litigation. What happened with the Exxon Valdez "punishment"? Reduced punitive damages upon several appeals, merger with Mobil and Exxon is still around. That case law ain't so good for what you're envisioning. Don't see it playing out much differently here.

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  • 104. At 7:10pm on 10 Jun 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 91, Andrea

    "Or just racism, right?"

    I tried to post the explanation that my next door neighbors gave me for not being Democrats but it was rejected a couple of times by the moderators. I am going to try a somewhat oblique interpretation of what those fair minded retirees from New York said: "Because the Democratic party is the party of people with a serious sun tan"

    Are all Republicans and Tea Partiers racist? No, but many are.

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  • 105. At 7:10pm on 10 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #93
    Magic Kirin, it is important that President Obama said he was going to get the facts before making a hasty judgement. Biden has stated that he supports the blockade, for the simple fact that boats could smuggle in weapons to Hamas, although Biden does support more foods, toiletries, humanitarian aid, ect. for Palestinians. I noticed that Israel has allowed the shipments of more goods, as well.
    ________________

    there have been enough facts and video proof that Turkey along with the so called actvists are the villians in this situation.

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  • 106. At 7:57pm on 10 Jun 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    GH1618.

    "If it was, how did you find it?"

    Easy. It was in our neighborhood bookstore.

    That really made me laugh.To say "how did you find it", over here would in many cases mean,how was that experience.The fault was mine in not making my self clear.No wonder on this international Forum
    misunderstandings arise & pouring oil on troubled waters,some times is not help full!.

    PS,Crucible of War by Fred Anderson,is outstanding...

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  • 107. At 8:18pm on 10 Jun 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    49. At 06:13am on 10 Jun 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    "I sense that much of the Right is so terrified that its values and way of life could be lost that they have given up honesty, reason, and the awareness that others have equal rights to theirs."

    "They make accusations and statements but not arguments; they have no patience for any other position - and in those ways they show themselves no longer willing to live in a democracy."

    "What a shame."

    ____________

    Yep.

    There is so much concern with strident, skin-deep righteousness that can be hurled at others as "accusations and statements", as you say, and so little concern with an examination of underlying morality.

    I have often thought this is one of the major consequences of a failure to impart to our schoolchildren an adequate love of, and appreciation for, history and literature. We don't seem to be much interested in the humanities much anymore, but it seems to me they are part of a fully rounded education, and essential to the health of a democracy.





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  • 108. At 8:26pm on 10 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Nanuk (#103) "... Reduced punitive damages upon several appeals, ..."

    I take it you are not for tort reform.

    "... merger with Mobil and Exxon is still around."

    Good thing. ExxonMobil sets the standard for safety among developers of oil wells:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/business/09bp.html

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  • 109. At 8:36pm on 10 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    ukwales (#106) "The fault was mine in not making my self clear."

    You were clear -- I was joking. I could have used a "smiley" but I don't like those things. Besides, I don't smile when I joke face to face, either.

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  • 110. At 9:17pm on 10 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    104, The Republicans are clearly open to any person with their conservative values, regardless of color or gender. For example, Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley are both Indian American and they are both Republican. Michael Steele is African American. Susana Martinez is Hispanic American and Republican, running for New Mexico Gov. Republicans also have more females than ever, including the above mentioned plus European Americans Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, and so on. The Republican party is the most mixed it has ever been. If someone would have asked me after the election if I would vote Republican again, I would have said "No way! Never again!" But now, after two years of the Obama Admin., I am more than ready to vote Repub. I had hoped for someone in the middle, like Clinton, but Obama Admin. and the Democrats are too liberal and too biased for my taste.

    105, I agree with you. Just glad things weren't worse.

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  • 111. At 9:24pm on 10 Jun 2010, Conejo wrote:

    I would like to remind the people of Great Britian that Americans fought beside you in WWII, without regret and without bitterness. If you find the American demands, because BP has runined the southern coast of the United States, wiped out the fishing industry, poisoned the wetlands, polluted the air, killed thousands of birds and fish, too much and don't believe they have a huge obligation to restore all of the above, then let me remind you: many restaurants serve tea in the United States and we don't need to travel to GB to entertain ourselves.

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  • 112. At 9:39pm on 10 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #104
    , SaintDominick wrote:
    Ref 91, Andrea

    "Or just racism, right?"

    I tried to post the explanation that my next door neighbors gave me for not being Democrats but it was rejected a couple of times by the moderators. I am going to try a somewhat oblique interpretation of what those fair minded retirees from New York said: "Because the Democratic party is the party of people with a serious sun tan"

    Are all Republicans and Tea Partiers racist? No, but many are.

    ________________

    On your last statement what do you base that on? I've seen more racism from the left and Democrats:

    Robert Byrd
    Cynthia McKinney
    The New Black Panther Party

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  • 113. At 9:43pm on 10 Jun 2010, Conejo wrote:

    This is in reference to Sand-Castles remarks about the 1984 gas leak in Inda. Please go on the computer or go to the library and research before you comment:
    The Bhopal plant was owned and operated by Union Carbide India, Limited (UCIL), an Indian company in which Union Carbide Corporation held just over half the stock. The other stockholders included Indian financial institutions and thousands of private investors in India. Union Carbide India Limited designed, built and managed the plant using Indian consultants and workers. The cause of the accident was sabotage.

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  • 114. At 9:52pm on 10 Jun 2010, CamberwellBeauty wrote:

    #102 Power

    I had all those others on my list, honest! But I didn't want to overwhelm....
    anyway, What about that Hugh Grant, he is so bloody evil!!

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  • 115. At 10:04pm on 10 Jun 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    105. At 7:10pm on 10 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    "ref #93
    "Magic Kirin, it is important that President Obama said he was going to get the facts before making a hasty judgement. Biden has stated that he supports the blockade, for the simple fact that boats could smuggle in weapons to Hamas, although Biden does support more foods, toiletries, humanitarian aid, ect. for Palestinians. I noticed that Israel has allowed the shipments of more goods, as well."
    ________________

    "there have been enough facts and video proof that Turkey along with the so called actvists are the villians in this situation."





    ________________

    It is postings of this nature that used to make me think that MK was an Hamas agent. I could not imagine any genuine supporter of Israel making this posting.


    MK, postings like this injure Israel. You need to stop.

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  • 116. At 10:31pm on 10 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Conejo (#113) "The cause of the accident was sabotage."

    To be precise, Union Carbide Corporation asserted that it was caused by sabotage, with support from a consultant. I don't know whether the Indian authorities ever made an official determination. I doubt that it was sabotage, myself.

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  • 117. At 11:15pm on 10 Jun 2010, timohio wrote:

    re. 46. Interestedforeigner:

    God Bless and save our good old Queen.

    Yes, she deserves a hug ;-)

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  • 118. At 11:18pm on 10 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #115
    Interestedforeigner wrote:
    105. At 7:10pm on 10 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    "ref #93
    "Magic Kirin, it is important that President Obama said he was going to get the facts before making a hasty judgement. Biden has stated that he supports the blockade, for the simple fact that boats could smuggle in weapons to Hamas, although Biden does support more foods, toiletries, humanitarian aid, ect. for Palestinians. I noticed that Israel has allowed the shipments of more goods, as well."
    ________________

    "there have been enough facts and video proof that Turkey along with the so called actvists are the villians in this situation."





    ________________

    It is postings of this nature that used to make me think that MK was an Hamas agent. I could not imagine any genuine supporter of Israel making this posting.


    MK, postings like this injure Israel. You need to stop
    _____

    Not really because the people who blame Israel don't look at reailyt.

    The proof is on Israeli side from the video tapes and the pre flotia words of Greta Merkle.

    The only reason The U.N and Arab nations blame Israel is because it is a majority Jewsih State.

    Look beyond your narrow view and honestly tell me this is the worst human right crisis in the world.

    It is not even one, merely a small nation defending itslef against international terrorist groups.

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  • 119. At 00:25am on 11 Jun 2010, stupidlittlecars wrote:

    I live in Massachusetts and the BP oil spill is a topic of conversation at home and work daily. I have not heard one person speak any ill will towards Britain. And if it makes you feel any better most Americans hate all the oil companies especially Exxon/Mobil! As far as BP is concerned, if my dog craps on your lawn and i'm a good nieghbor i clean it up.

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  • 120. At 00:31am on 11 Jun 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    53. At 07:47am on 10 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:


    "And the Duchess of York, of course."

    ____________

    Uh, no.

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  • 121. At 03:06am on 11 Jun 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    118. At 11:18pm on 10 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    "Not really because the people who blame Israel don't look at reailyt."

    "It is not even one, merely a small nation defending itslef against international terrorist groups."

    ____________

    Your postings are not defending Israel.
    They are discrediting Israel.

    It's the kind of thing we get out of the DPRK. Utterly disconnected from any recognizable reality.

    Luckily they are at the tail end of this string, and perhaps very few people will see the postings.

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  • 122. At 04:16am on 11 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    101. Interestedforeigner:

    "The 24/7/365 criticism of his "performance" started before he even took the oath of office."

    ***************
    Because he was worthy of criticism even then. If anything, now he's actually gotten some work experience.

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  • 123. At 04:24am on 11 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    100. powermeerkat:

    Re #92

    Andrea, we shall see, whether folks who lose in November will ever accept it. :)

    ********************
    It's hard to imagine being so silly as to suggest that displeasure with a president's performance stems from not being able to accept an election loss. Like it's some kind of childish schoolyard fight. (That shoe certainly fits.) But "We won" is just as bad.



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  • 124. At 04:37am on 11 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    118. MagicKirin:

    It was interesting to read of the criticism of the IHH within Turkey. Unfortunately, columnists can get killed for taking that position. Contrast their potential assassination with the supposed altruism of the flotilla.

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  • 125. At 04:50am on 11 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    104. SaintDominick:

    Ref 91, Andrea

    "Or just racism, right?"

    I tried to post the explanation that my next door neighbors gave me for not being Democrats

    ********************
    One ignorant neighbor doesn't really mean much. We both know there are many, many ignorant, uneducated Democrats residing right here in NY who might be just as inclined to say something like that about other ethnicities. But that doesn't make the entire Democratic party racist. Or does it?

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  • 126. At 6:21pm on 11 Jun 2010, _jane_ wrote:

    I had to laugh at the "riding herd" comment. I come from a farming/ranching background and have done my share of riding herd. Sounds like Obama is trying to appear in charge of things. The one thing that has become painfully clear in the wake of this disaster is the lack of executive problem solving experience by our president.

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  • 127. At 6:32pm on 11 Jun 2010, _jane_ wrote:

    President Obama has his priorities mixed up. Instead of doing everything in his power to help BP stop the leak and clean up the mess, then do the requisite investigations and laying blame, he has chosen to do it all backward. While men and expertise are being expended chasing paper, and certain media outlets are turning public opinion on big oil and the UK, America's wetlands are turning into a dead zone for people, animals and plants.

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  • 128. At 8:47pm on 11 Jun 2010, InThe Middle wrote:

    Dear Brits,

    We're very sorry if anyone here in the USA has given you the impression that we don't like you because of the BP oil spill.

    Quite frankly, most of us in the States never knew the B in BP stands for "British" -- all of their advertising for the past 3 years has proclaimed it as being "Beyond Petroleum." (Clearly, it is not.)

    As for making anti-English comments disrespectful to our forefathers, that's unlikely. Many of us don't even speak English now; before long the majority of us will speak Spanish.

    Besides, we're still mad about the buffoon, Paul McCartney, making unpleasant comments about our former President not knowing what a library was -- a man who read nearly 100 books in a single year while in office (and I understand not all of them had been colored in yet). How many books do you suppose Sir Paul has read in the past 5 years? Obviously, not quite enough...

    It is our great American tradition to treat everyone with a bit of disrespect, because we firmly believe no one is sacred. The latest group of Americans who believed one man was above all others elected Obama as President, and look how that's turned out so far.

    So if it makes you feel better -- we're very sorry if your feelings were hurt. We honestly thought you were bigger than that. We still think of the UK as being the only steadfast Defenders of Liberty left in Europe, the heroic and staunch people who suffered so greatly in WWII, and yet refused to yield. Maybe if you all came over to visit and we drank some ice cold, thin American beer together, you'd see that we love you like the dear, sweet Grandmother you are to us.

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  • 129. At 3:36pm on 12 Jun 2010, julie harpum wrote:

    between being asked to pay out immediately and check that claims are valid for compensation, in a difficult situation where the temptation to post exaggerated claims of poor people in disadvantaged louisiana, which always was a hard up region of he bp has to tread carefuly ... it has to satisfy the gevernment of the usa, its shareholders who are not going to get a dividend, deal with a potentially uncontrollable environmental hazard, and cope with the fact that its own insurers may not pay out ... it is a nugly political nightmare and has now reached head of state level ... bp could easily be bankrupted as a company (which other oil companies were not, either in alaska or in nothern brittany ) ... this deep water drilling either goes ahead and the hazards are accepted, or it is stopped the race is on to find alternative fuels, which means carpeting developing countries with soya, cutting down rail forests,and wrecking the planet in a different way ...or we could all walk to work .. something that america doesn't know how to do

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  • 130. At 4:23pm on 13 Jun 2010, LakesDude wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 131. At 4:30pm on 13 Jun 2010, LakesDude wrote:

    BP I beleive part owns a platform - many in fact operated by Gulf of Suez Petroleum Company..... who have not been doing the necessary inspection work to ensure good safety....
    One platform in particular (called "July-6") is about to fall over it is so badly damaged... it is unmanned but pumps oil from 4 wells through it. It is swaying in the waves when viewed from helicopters being supported not by its legs but by the tubes carrying oil up to the platform....
    BP are about to purposefully topple the platform into the gulf discharging oil AGAIN....
    Not much on the grand scale but doing it on purpose this time having neglected to do timely inspection work....
    Oil industry scimping corners again....

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  • 132. At 6:04pm on 13 Jun 2010, LakesDude wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 133. At 7:03pm on 13 Jun 2010, PanchoVilla wrote:

    Just a quick word from the other side of the pond:

    1) I have read no bad things about our neighbors. No one I know holds the Brits responsible.

    2) There are many here that also worry about BP. I also have their stock in my retirement accounts.

    3) Even fishermen in the gulf don't want to hurt BP. Remember, there are many in that region that are also employed by BP.

    4) Having said this, there are those that invariably would like to take advantage of this, ie. politicians, news-media headlines ($).

    It isn't the people of the US.

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  • 134. At 11:34pm on 13 Jun 2010, RW93003 wrote:

    You would be hard pressed to find a single person among the 300 million or so Americans who feel any different about the UK because of the gulf oil spill. The vast majority of Americans view Britain as our best friend. However, unrelated to the gulf spill, there seems to be a growing wave of anti-Americanism in the UK--so far there has been no backlash from the American public.

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