Saturday Morning Open Thread

Open Thread.

< No Trial Delay for Rod Blagojevich | Feel Their Pain >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    BP - criminal negligence (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Dr Molly on Sat May 29, 2010 at 11:15:48 AM EST
    Why isn't BP being prosecuted for crimes against the people of this country and against the planet? Isn't what they have done the definition of criminal negligence?

    Why do people sit back and watch while their environment is polluted and their food-air-water becomes toxic and their livelihoods are destroyed?

    Why aren't people demanding accountability and oversight and heavy regulation of an industry that shows time and again that they will seek profits at any cost to people and the planet?

    Why? (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sat May 29, 2010 at 11:21:23 AM EST
    Because of our love affair with cars!

    Our love affair with cars (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Raskolnikov on Sat May 29, 2010 at 11:38:39 AM EST
    Is necessary and institutional because of the way our communities have sprawled and evolved.  Personally, where I live I don't need a car because I rent an overpriced 1-bedroom apartment and can bike both downtown and to work, but if I had a family and wanted to actually own a starter home, the distance I would be required to commute would make biking impossible during the winter.  

    Besides, oil is used in the production of concrete and plastics, not to mention energy.  Blaming our over-use of oil on automobiles alone is simplistic.


    Hmm.. you dont' think that the way (none / 0) (#71)
    by observed on Sat May 29, 2010 at 07:45:40 PM EST
    communities were planned was random, do you?
    It's true that people today must have cars in many locations, but that is a result of deliberate planning to encourage/require car use.
    Not to mention that gas should have cost $5/gal 30 years ago , to encourage more sensible use AND better urban planning. The price of gas today is obscene---obscenely low.

    Personally, I blame Reagan more than (none / 0) (#72)
    by observed on Sat May 29, 2010 at 07:47:42 PM EST
    any other single person. The most destructive part of his legacy was our insane energy policy, followed closely by the destructive, laissez-faire regulation of the environment (cf. BP).
    Bush is nothing more than a wart on Reagan's ass, as a malign influence.

    Perhaps, but more complicated than that. (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Dr Molly on Sat May 29, 2010 at 01:06:46 PM EST
    People in this country also sit back and accept air pollution, water pollution, deforestation, food tampering, strip mining, and on and on.

    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by squeaky on Sat May 29, 2010 at 01:17:13 PM EST
    Sit back in their Cars, Trucks, SUV's, Boats, screaming for lower gas prices, and screaming at Obama for not fixing the leak.

    Self reflection, appears to be in short supply, imo.


    Is it in short supply with YOU? (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Dadler on Sat May 29, 2010 at 02:37:57 PM EST
    Or just with other people?

    And it is possible, in fact it's reality, that the lack of self-reflection goes all the way to the top.  Amazing that the prez can still run two wars but can't lift a finger battle hard and nasty politically at home -- very ironic and disturbing.

    He's too soft on too many people too much of the time.  

    Don't tell me what a mess you inherited when you can't attack the new messes started ON YOUR WATCH.

    Too bad we only bomb other countries and innocent people, BP's HQ would be a good target right now. Clear everyone out and just level the place.  I'm joking, of course, but barely. BP, after all, is in the process of doing more damage than any terrorist ever could. How will they be punished? By being pursued to all corners of the globe?

    Don't make me laugh.

    That said, we're ALL full of sh*t, myself included, but that DOES NOT free giant corporations to destroy at will. If BP isn't gone after, and hard, very soon, forget it, they'll get off with not even a slap. See Exxon and Valdez, where the damages were reduced to half a billion dollars, which is exactly the bonus Exxon gave to its recently exited CEO. And THAT is a pure evil of the type our Presidents never even THINK about battling.


    Short Supply (none / 0) (#30)
    by squeaky on Sat May 29, 2010 at 02:47:51 PM EST
    Well, relatively speaking, no. But in the larger scope of things, I do use petroleum products, although try to minimize my use of them.

    But I am taken aback by the lack of self-reflection here, regarding the BP spill. Most seem to take for granted our own role in pouring a toxin into our cars, etc, and spewing out toxic fumes.

    In that way, we all are colluding with BP, Obama, and the GOP, in some way.

    Self sacrifice as in planning for the future, has never been a big thing for most cultures, we seem to be unexceptional, despite the exceptional status many americans believe we occupy.


    Bring those 1200 National Guard Troops back from the 'war on drug' along the Mexican Border -- and send them to the Gulf to ride herd on BP.

    Didn't "Addiction to Oil" start out as Bush meme, which conveniently places all the focus on the addict, while giving the pusher a free pass?

    Monkeyfister made a similar point a few days ago and linked to this wonderful video of Nina Simone singing: God Damn the Pusher Man. It's well worth the click, imo.


    Bad Analogy, IMO (none / 0) (#31)
    by squeaky on Sat May 29, 2010 at 02:54:17 PM EST
    Particularly at TL who has shown the war on drugs to be a senseless waste of time money and lives.

    But if you want to pursue the addiction/pusher metaphor, I would suggest that a better message would be, take responsibility for your own addiction before laying blame on your supplier.. Rehab is a the most practical idea at this point, imo. That will put the "pusher" out of business

    just sayin...


    Rehab involves getting us 'addicts' off oil (5.00 / 0) (#34)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat May 29, 2010 at 03:03:45 PM EST
    and onto green renewable energy.

    If you build it (rehab), they will come.


    Well (none / 0) (#42)
    by squeaky on Sat May 29, 2010 at 03:39:15 PM EST
    Getting us off something, is more like enabling, and rarely works.

    Getting off something is different, as it stems from the user.  

    In order for Rehab to have a shot at working the impetus has to come from the user, not the enabler.


    Yes (none / 0) (#9)
    by squeaky on Sat May 29, 2010 at 11:42:40 AM EST
    Plenty of blame to go around. But hard to blame Obama or BP on that, much less sexy.

    Making money (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by waldenpond on Sat May 29, 2010 at 11:42:30 AM EST
    Greed is great.  Unfettered capitalism grows this country (it is beside the point that it tanks it).  Regulation is evil.  You can't be expecting this captured govt to interfere with the ability of their friends and relatives to get even richer.  Isn't going to happen.

    You get a partial moratorium, an effort at some change (I expect the drilling of a concurrent relief well will be required), and then back to bau. We get the govt we elect.


    Greed & Civil Penalties (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat May 29, 2010 at 12:34:21 PM EST
    I read somewhere -- sorry don't recall where but possibly from an article linked at realclearpolitics -- that an amendment to one of the federal environmental statutes passed following Exxon Valdez authorizes the government to impose civil penalties per gallon on BP on the order of $4,000+. Let's see whether the government exercises this authority to compensate innocent fisherman and other victims for the costs of this disaster.  The pundits appear completely unaware this available tool.

    It's amazing. People even seem scared to (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Dr Molly on Sat May 29, 2010 at 01:20:26 PM EST
    blame BP and/or the poor job of regulation that our government does. But those are exactly who's to blame for this nightmare.

    Just because people drive cars doesn't mean that regulation and shutoff valve installations and increased oversight can't be demanded.


    Scared? (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by squeaky on Sat May 29, 2010 at 01:33:47 PM EST
    Not sure what you are reading, but it certainly does not appear to me that people are too scared to vent their anger at BP and the POTUS for this spill.

    The anger for others toward BP and Obama deep and fully expressed, although self reflection quite shallow.

    But maybe you are thinking about those who are not affected by the disaster, and continue on as usual. Well, in the days after 9/11, every 10 blocks north of WTC showed a measurably diminished sense of concern. The upper east siders were still buying minks and haute couture on Madison ave, as if nothing happened.

    I guess it is a human trait to conserve ones outrage until it hits home.


    Dr. Molly, you hit the nail on the head. Here's a story from TruthOut, May 28/10: Ex-EPA Officials: Why hasn't the government launched a criminal investigation into BP?.
    That's the question several former EPA officials have been asking in the aftermath of the catastrophic explosion last month that killed 11 employees and...spewed tens of millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, which now stands as the largest spill in US history.

    Like previous BP-related disasters in Alaska and Texas, evidence has emerged that appears to show BP knowingly cut corners on maintenance and safety which...could amount to criminal violations of the Clean Water Act. Additionally, because people were killed, BP and company officials could also face prosecution for negligent and reckless homicide.

    Scott West, the former special agent-in-charge at the EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, said...the fact that the government has treated, and continues to treat, the company with kid gloves is "outrageous". "BP is a convicted serial environmental criminal, so, where are the criminal investigators? The well head is a crime scene and yet the potential criminals are in charge of that crime scene".

    I hope this is helpful. At least it clearly establishes responsibility and the need for full accountability.


    Thanks Foxhole (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Dr Molly on Sat May 29, 2010 at 01:42:26 PM EST
    To me, if anything is criminal behavior, this is it.

    Don't jump to conclusions (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by christinep on Sat May 29, 2010 at 01:53:12 PM EST
    The collection and timing of collecting evidence of an environmental-related crime takes time. (Perhaps, you might want to ask the special agent what the timetables for referrals involve and other statistics.) See my comment below.  Yes, it is general. Remember, tho, that little info is typically released for any criminal case being developed by the government <so as to safeguard the integrity of the evidence.>

    Christinep, write a letter to Scott West, (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat May 29, 2010 at 02:56:14 PM EST
    the former special agent-in-charge at the EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, if you have a problem with his thoughts on the criminal prosecution of BP.

    Don't shoot the lowly messenger here :-).


    Hey, not shooting the messenger (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by christinep on Sat May 29, 2010 at 04:25:31 PM EST
    Just trying to figure out how to say that case-development in the federal government does not usually occur withing weeks. Since I usually want most actions yesterday, it is unusual for me to counsel patience. (I really do have my own thoughts about how to develop a strong enforcement reponse here. Obviously, tho, the evidence gathering and evaluation would be extensive.)

    Criminal prosecution for environmental crimes (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by christinep on Sat May 29, 2010 at 01:46:46 PM EST
    usually follow the clean-up phase. If a criminal action is developed in future--and I am certainly not in a position to say--it must be carefully co-ordinated with the civil phases involving clean-up and related damages. Seriously, should there be parallel proceedings (where different standards and burdens apply), the processes are carefully coordinated between the civil and criminal side of the aisle in a government agency.

    This is an onging crime (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by ZtoA on Sat May 29, 2010 at 02:02:23 PM EST
    that it appears the government has no appetite to curb. I know I must sound annoyingly repetitive but...who is in charge here? Why are extremely toxic chemical dispersants being simply dumped into the gulf?

    Um, because (none / 0) (#63)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat May 29, 2010 at 06:52:46 PM EST
    everybody involved figures the alternative is worse?

    Just a guess.


    It has been completely BP's decision (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by ZtoA on Sat May 29, 2010 at 07:01:28 PM EST
    so that is who every one involved is. EPA didn't like it, but BP prevailed. And what do you think BP gets out of it? You think that BP is working for the well being of the citizens of some foreign country? This should be the US government's decision - 100%. Corporate use of toxic chemicals should not be what we just passively accept and their motivations for using such dangerous chemicals should be strongly questioned.

    Well (none / 0) (#66)
    by squeaky on Sat May 29, 2010 at 07:05:28 PM EST
    The reason BP gave for using this toxin v another one is that there was not enough of the other stuff available. YMMV.

    I do not know enough about the supply lines, but I am getting a sense that this disaster is of a magnitude that makes their claim somewhat believable.


    Yes, BP danced around on (none / 0) (#67)
    by ZtoA on Sat May 29, 2010 at 07:22:48 PM EST
    dispersants. They seem to have lots of Corexit, and didn't want to get some Sea Brat #4 and also, there's toxic concerns with Sea Brat too. The EPA said OK to BP and then said in a little voice that they would prefer BP "use less" dispersant. Which I think BP has ignored.

    The use of chemicals like Corexit in such large quantities is an experiment and as far as I can tell (please correct me if I'm wrong) the main advantage of it is to get oil off the surface. I can understand that (sort of maybe) in a tiny spill, but this is not tiny and not a spill. Oil submerged in these huge quantities is itself a toxic danger along with the chemicals in corexit.

    I don't know. I'm not an expert. Its just setting off some internal alarms for me. I've done some silly little experiments with oil and water and solvents - got the oil to disperse - and it became a toxic mess all thru the water, and it started me wondering about it. I could be wrong. Corexit might just be a great thing to dump into the gulf.

    ps. I can't find out what PAHs do when they evaporate. Anyone know or interested?


    Actually, I suspect what (none / 0) (#70)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat May 29, 2010 at 07:42:52 PM EST
    happened with that is that EPA popped off too soon and backed down when presented with strong counterarguments from both BP and the government and scientific people directly involved.

    That said, I'm extremely uneasy about this heavy use of dispersants because I think it's motivated most strongly by the terror on both BP and government's part of the visuals of birds and marshes drowning in oil.  There aren't good visuals to be had from fish and shellfish breeding grounds smothered out of existence.

    But it's, I think, one of those "six of one, half a dozen of another" choices.  Dispersants are bad, undispersed oil is bad.  There's no winning strategy available.


    Just realized you said (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by ZtoA on Sat May 29, 2010 at 09:33:33 PM EST
    happened with that is that EPA popped off too soon and backed down when presented with strong counterarguments from both BP and the government and scientific people directly involved.

    The EPA is the government - no? It is part of the government. Maybe I had that wrong. Are you saying Obama is the government? And the "scientific people" who are "involved" - who are they? I sort of thought EPA had some "scientific people".


    Oh, come on (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat May 29, 2010 at 10:19:26 PM EST
    Don't diagram my sentences.  I have huge respect for EPA, but they are not the sole source of all wisdom in complicated situations like this.  There are a huge number of people involved in dealing with this.  I say again I think they popped off too soon and got overruled not by BP alone but by other government, industry and scientific folks with perhaps more understanding of the practicalities of the choices involved.

    Obama has very little to do with any of these decisions, IMHO.


    Agree that Obama has little to do with this (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by ZtoA on Sun May 30, 2010 at 04:00:46 PM EST
    He definitely has not gotten his hands dirty. Eh, BP will fix it. Not Obama's problem. Not his fault.

    But I'm still a bit stunned at your idea that the EPA "popped off" too soon about this. Amazing. Since you seem to think the OilDrum is OK then within this thread is an informative subtext about dispersants. Do you really think BP's PR decisions regarding (if you see my comment above) toxic chemicals never tested on humans that bio-concentrate and are being used in unprecedented quantities in a fragile ecosystem are not to be questioned? Is the EPA now just considered a pipsqueak pop-offer?


    Not to mention that (none / 0) (#64)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat May 29, 2010 at 06:56:11 PM EST
    when BP and everybody else are in the middle of frantically trying to figure out how to stop this hardly seems like the most propitious time to start issuing subpoenas and threatening criminal prosecution.

    Maybe it's just me, but I want BP's mind concentrated entirely on how to get this stopped.  (They're not that stupid, either, that they don't know there's a good chance of criminal charges somewhere in the offing and that beavering away in good faith to fix this is in their interests.)


    it was one week ago (none / 0) (#68)
    by ZtoA on Sat May 29, 2010 at 07:33:50 PM EST
    I read a great post at FDL on "what to do". Here There is a lot of expertise out there.

    I'm just not convinced we need to passively hope BP does the job. They are not the only qualified people out there. I don't even think its their equipment. Maybe some is, but some is leased from Transocean. Transocean's engineers strongly disagreed with BP's 'the man' and the BP man got his way and that is one of the things that actually lead up to the disaster.  


    I think (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat May 29, 2010 at 07:48:11 PM EST
    you would do well to read up some more about what's actually going on here.

    Nobody -- NOBODY -- is "passively hoping" BP does the job.  This operation involves every other oil company on the planet, and virtually every scientist and engineer with any related expertise, as well as government agencies.

    There is, indeed, a lot of expertise out there, and it's actively working on the problem.  I would respectfully suggest that FDL is not the place where actual experts are hanging out right now.


    I'd be very open (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by ZtoA on Sat May 29, 2010 at 08:14:08 PM EST
    to any links where you know experts are hanging out. Or any information that makes you so confident about BP. TheOilDrum is my best expert site so far, but I'd sure like to know of more sites and information sources. And hoping that BP's engineers are "frantically" working on this is sort of passive. But its not a big deal. I hope BP is effective in stopping the gushing well, and with the ongoing clean up. I hope they stop restricting information. I hope they pay and pay and do not declare bankruptcy and stick US citizens with the bills.

    This is not good (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jbindc on Sat May 29, 2010 at 11:32:38 AM EST

    Three months before the massive BP oil spill erupted in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration proposed downsizing the Coast Guard national coordination center for oil spill responses, prompting its senior officers to warn that the agency's readiness for catastrophic events would be weakened.

    That proposal is feeding a mounting debate over whether the federal government is able to regulate deep-sea oil extraction. Defense analysts and retired agency leaders question whether the Coast Guard -- which shares oversight of offshore drilling with the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service -- has the expertise and resources to keep pace with industry advances.

    Accidents happen, "but what you're seeing here is the government is not properly set up to deal with this kind of issue," said Robbin Laird, a defense consultant who has worked on Coast Guard issues. "The idea that you would even think about getting rid of catastrophic environmental spill equipment or expertise at the Department of Homeland Security, are you kidding me?"

    "Cutting a strike team is nuts," said Stephen Flynn, a former Coast Guard commander and now president of the Center for National Policy, a Washington think tank. "Whether it's an accident of man or an act of terrorism, it requires almost the exact same skill set to clean it up."

    President Obama's $10.1 billion spending plan for the Coast Guard would scale back funding and active-duty personnel by 3 percent. As part of a proposal to cut 1,100 military personnel, it would decommission the National Strike Force Coordination Center in Elizabeth City, N.C., and reorganize parts of it elsewhere.

    The center serves as the national command for the Coast Guard activity responsible for sending technical experts and specialized equipment such as pumps and chemical dispersant monitors to support on-scene commanders.

    I think that if they already haven't reconsidered this, they are reconsidering it now and will not propose it again.

    Props to Michelle Obama (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Dr Molly on Sat May 29, 2010 at 01:47:59 PM EST
    At first, I thought this whole childhood fitness thing would be a lark, but I've seen a bunch of coverage lately of what Mrs. Obama's been doing, and it's really great. Not only is she out there actively playing and exercising with kids, but she looks incredibly happy and real while she's doing it - like she truly enjoys it.

    Great role model.

    I agree (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by jbindc on Sat May 29, 2010 at 01:49:56 PM EST
    Props to her.  I think it's easy for her because I think she actually believes in it, as opposed to doing something because it's expected.

    Good job.


    I have always admired Michelle Obama (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by The Addams Family on Sat May 29, 2010 at 01:57:43 PM EST
    We are lucky to have her as First Lady, imo.

    It's a great focus too (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Raskolnikov on Sat May 29, 2010 at 02:17:06 PM EST
    Child obesity is rampant and preventable.  Wasn't it JFK, following Eisenhower, that made PE classes more or less universal in our education system?  I think we've forgotten the value of exercise as a country, with so many digital distractions coaxing us to stay on the couch, a lot of children are missing out on the fun and exercise of outdoor activities, not to mention the social, physical, and mental skills these activities develop.  Exercise is empowering and a great way to make you feel better about yourself naturally.

    My fondest memories when I was growing up were playing outdoor activities: a favorite was capture the flag, which was neighborhood wide, with at least twenty of the local kids involved.  Now capture the flag is mostly played on an Xbox, which is a real shame.  


    Part of it (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by jbindc on Sat May 29, 2010 at 02:32:35 PM EST
    1. More houses have parent(s) that work, many long hours, so kids are not home after school and sent outside for a couple of hours to play;

    2. When I was growing up, I could bike around the neighborhood for hours or play with friends at multiple houses, all without checking in.  Nowadays, there's too much traffic and too many creepy and deviant people out there to let kids get too far out of eyesight.

    3. Years ago, many families only had 1 or 2 TVs.  Now everyone has a TV in every room, kids have computers, phones, ipods, etc.  Not only do kids not move anymore, they don't know how to communicate live and in person.

    4. Another part of it is we eat crappier food nowadays.  With many families having working parents, it's rare to have mom home cooking food, made with fresh and raw ingredients and not processed food. It's either fast food, or stuff you can warm in a microwave in 4 minutes (with all that salt included). Add in the all the pop kids drink, sports drinks, caffeine drinks like Red Bull - no nutrition whatsoever.

    Yes, me too. (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Dr Molly on Sat May 29, 2010 at 02:56:22 PM EST
    We were always outside, even after dark - playing kickball, kick the can, hide and seek, flashlight tag, running around in the woods, etc.

    This generation is entirely different - I've seen it in my own kids. Most of it is due to video games, facebook, etc etc. That's pretty much all they do.

    My son actually always loved to play outside, but he was the only who ever instigated it. All the other kids wanted to do was TV or video games. But sometimes he would goad them into a game of baseball or something.

    So, this (our computer life) is definitely part of the obesity trend - other than that, there's high fructose corn syrup and a bunch of other crap!


    I wonder if obesity is unevenly distributed (none / 0) (#35)
    by ZtoA on Sat May 29, 2010 at 03:15:28 PM EST
    Its not such a problem in my area (NW) but it does seem to be in the midwest. Seems to be a class issue too.

    I like Michelle and admire her.


    That would not surprise me. (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Dr Molly on Sat May 29, 2010 at 03:26:00 PM EST
    It's easier to eat healthy if you're not poor. Also, they talk of 'food ghettos' - in poor urban and poor rural areas - where good healthy food is in short supply.

    It's expensive to eat healthy. (5.00 / 5) (#45)
    by Anne on Sat May 29, 2010 at 03:53:35 PM EST
    Fresh fruits and veggies and lean cuts of meat are not cheap.

    Healthy eating also involves cooking - and many families have no interest, no time, no experience for cooking from scratch.

    In the Baltimore area, there has been an effort to bring chain grocery stores to areas that are currently only served by small convenience store and mom-and-pop stores that don't carry fresh produce or meats.  

    What they also need are ongoing in-store demos for how to cook healthy meals and store fresh items so they don't go bad before they're used.

    Shoot, a lot of people who CAN afford healthy foods still don't use them - they're buying processed, pre-made foods because they're convenient and fast.


    This is true (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by ZtoA on Sat May 29, 2010 at 04:18:13 PM EST
    Also what we eat is so very different from what, say, our grandparents ate. "Why I remember...."  - well, anyhow, I DO remember my grandparents ate meat (meaning any kind of animal flesh) once a week for Sunday Dinner. Eating animal products takes up a far greater portion of our diets. And animal products are full of all sorts of things including estrogens used to fatten animals up - and it seems to fatten us up too.

    It would probably be best to eat as little meat as possible. Lots of people I know are vegans or vegetarians and I was for years, but, what can I say? I do restrict meat to turkey and chicken organic with no hormones and the extra cost is saved by less quantity. Its so hoity toity- I have these options and there are so many who don't. I think that is one reason it is a class issue.

    Also, local culture factors in. In my locale there are fantastic grocery stores that buy locally (which is possible as this is an agriculturally rich region) and organic. They also carry some sodas on the bottom shelves. And they make up like they are boutiques, and have lots of pretty fun cool things and the kids want to go there. Of course they beg for the cool looking foods, but these are much cleaner choices. When I visit my folks near Chicago there are NO grocery stores like that. Maybe now they have some WholeFoods somewhere it takes a tank of gas to get to.

    I've really liked that Michelle has a home organic veggie garden.

    Sorry for the long comment - always like the topic of food!  :)


    I think fresh fruits, vegetables and chicken (none / 0) (#47)
    by tigercourse on Sat May 29, 2010 at 04:04:11 PM EST
    are by and large cheaper then most unhealthy processed food. At least where I am.

    Hmmmm (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by jbindc on Sat May 29, 2010 at 04:13:35 PM EST
    Think Ramen Noodles and Mac & Cheese - 10 for $10, cheaper cuts of meat that aren't as healthy - dark meat chicken, hamburger with 80/20 fat ratios, chuck steaks, white bread, etc.

    Apples at $1.79/lb (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by Anne on Sat May 29, 2010 at 04:19:37 PM EST
    oranges at $1.99/lb, asparagus at $2.99/lb, tomatoes at $2.99/lb, green beans at $1.49/lb, bananas at $.58/lb.

    Box of Kraft Mac and Cheese: 69 cents.

    You can eat cheap if you eat some of the boxed foods.  Rice, beans, pasta - all cheap.  And not bad foods, if one is adding healthy foods to them, but if you're trying to stretch a limited amount of money over a month, and trying to feed a family, it's just not as easy to eat healthy as it should be.

    Plus, you have to know how to cook healthy - and as I said, a lot of people just don't know how to cook at all and many just don't think they have the time.  


    Yup. Watch the film 'Food Inc.' (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by Dr Molly on Sat May 29, 2010 at 04:39:29 PM EST
    It's much cheaper to feed a family of 4 at McDonald's than to prepare a healthy meal for them. Not to mention, poor people work longer hours and harder so they don't have the time to invest in healthy cooking, which is time-intensive.

    Not To Mention (none / 0) (#48)
    by squeaky on Sat May 29, 2010 at 04:13:10 PM EST
    Rice and vegetables are even cheaper. Going Vegan, well that is often pricey and a sign of status for some well to do.. lol

    I have a bit more around the thighs. (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat May 29, 2010 at 03:27:18 PM EST
    Oregonians not so slim (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by caseyOR on Sat May 29, 2010 at 04:16:48 PM EST
    A study released just about a year ago found that approx. 60% of adult Oregonians are overweight or obese.

    A recent study of children claimed that the rate of obesity in Oregon children dropped nearly 12% between 2003 and 2007. That is such a dramatic drop without any corresponding public programs to aid such a swift decline that questions have arisen about the methodology of this study.

    Oregon has for years been near the top of the lists for both hunger, or as they like to say these days "food insecurity", and overweight/obese.


    Do you think there is a difference for (none / 0) (#54)
    by ZtoA on Sat May 29, 2010 at 04:21:23 PM EST
    urban or rural people?

    I think they should revise what they consider Obese. That would certainly make ME feel better!


    Not so much urban/rural divide (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by caseyOR on Sat May 29, 2010 at 04:44:27 PM EST
    as socio-economic. IIRC, you are in SW Portland, within the city, not Washington Cty. I am in close in NE. These are not the very poor parts of town. Venture beyond 82nd Ave. and it's a different world.

    Which is not to say that people with some money are all thin and healthy. But, as much as I love New Seasons, it is not the first place folks worried about cost head to. They are more likely at WinCo. buying mac & cheese boxes and ramen noodles. Or they are taking the kids to McDonald's for the cheap and filling calories.

    For a stunning eye-opener about the state of hunger in Oregon head on over to the Oregon Food Bank's website and read up on the massive increase in requests for food assistance across the state.

     And, god bless 'em, I am so grateful for OFB, but those boxes are not filled with fresh produce and grass fed meat. They are chock full of carbs.

    Here is where I make my annual pitch for the plant-a-row program. Food banks and pantrys across this nation of ours need fresh produce. Home gardeners can donate extra to pantrys in their local areas. The idea is to plant an extra row of cukes or green beans or peppers or whatever and donate to a local food pantry. Check your local food bank website for info. Please, if you plant a garden, donate. It is so simple to do, and has such a big impact.


    Plant A Row info (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by caseyOR on Sat May 29, 2010 at 04:59:29 PM EST
    Here is info on the plant a row program. This is a nationwide program. Wherever you live, you can help.

    Oregon Food Bank stats (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by caseyOR on Sat May 29, 2010 at 05:15:17 PM EST
    Here are the most current numbers for OFB usage by county. I doubt Oregon is unique in seeing such a huge rise in requests for food assistance.

    I really don't care what Geithner or Bernancke or Obama is saying about the "recovery". Many, many people are hurting badly. Many of them may never recover from this recession. I am appalled that the WH considers a 10% unemployment rate (closer to 20% for the U6 rate) acceptable. The refusal of Congress and the WH to add another tier to unemployment benefits, so that the many numbers of people who have exhausted all 99 weeks of benefits have something to try to live on, borders on the criminal IMO.

    Members of Congress, Max Baucus most prominently, have gone on record as saying that people getting unemployment have no incentive to find a job. Well, I guess if you're an important US senator, hanging out with Wall St. hotshots and health insurance executives, employment opportunities look pretty good.


    Very well said (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by ZtoA on Sat May 29, 2010 at 05:04:34 PM EST
    And I completely agree about the availability issue. And the clean food at New Seasons IS expensive and the places look like boutiques - not quite like Zupan's but still. I'd still love to do coffee sometime - now I think I'll need to go on a diet first. I can be reached at aladavis@gmail.com (friend's email) if you are so inclined.

    The meats and animal products in the food sources you mentioned are full of estrogen and other chemicals which add to their fattening nature. Add to that the unavailability of clean choices, no time, extra cost, and patterns of eating high on the food chain. So your plant a row project is fabulous in that area too.

    I think I may have heard about your plant a row project. Hmmm.... It sounds great. I'll go for it!


    People with money (none / 0) (#78)
    by jbindc on Sun May 30, 2010 at 11:28:30 AM EST
    Also can spend it on things like gyms, trainers, surgery, etc.

    Now talking a walk is free, but if you've got other worries in your life than getting an hour of exercise in a day, it might be hard to squeeze in a walk.


    I think (none / 0) (#37)
    by jbindc on Sat May 29, 2010 at 03:25:51 PM EST
    Maybe where you live, a) you have hills and b) people live closer to where the work, so they walk or bike?

    I'm actually not a big fan of Michelle, but I can appreciate when somebody is doing a good job. Credit where credit is due here.


    There were also (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by jbindc on Sat May 29, 2010 at 03:53:07 PM EST
    only 3 channels to watch shows on.  :)

    No Sh!t, Sherlock (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Dr Molly on Sat May 29, 2010 at 05:09:16 PM EST
    sounds awesome, on so many levels!

    LOL, you remind of all the crazy activities we would get up to as kids because TV time was limited, etc.

    One summer, we turned our garage into a neighborhood theater and put on plays all summer - costumes, casting of all the neighborhood kids, refreshments, and all. Hilarious.

    I also remember another summer when we took over a vacant lot and neighboring woods, and constructed an elaborate battleground with forts, etc. for imaginary games of war all summer.

    Our garage became a theatre one summer, too. (5.00 / 3) (#62)
    by caseyOR on Sat May 29, 2010 at 05:20:53 PM EST
    And, we invented silly games. We lived in your basic post-war 3 bedroom ranch. One day, looking for something new to try, I attempted to throw a tennis ball over the house from back yard to front. Amazingly, I succeeded. My sister and I had a new game throwing that ball back and forth over the house.

    Can Title VI of the Civil Rights Act (none / 0) (#3)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat May 29, 2010 at 11:22:28 AM EST
    be applied to the Arizona laws concerning immigrants and English? Just a question. Thinking about the campaign by Tim James here in Alabama concerning alexander v sandoval, and whether elimination of non-English drivers' licence exams can be done.

    After all, if a non English speaker comes to Alabama with a license from another state, they can exchange their license. Also, illiterates can have someone to read the test to them. Sounds like a civil rights issue either title vi or title vii, but I'm not a lawyer.

    Speaking of the AZ law... (none / 0) (#4)
    by jbindc on Sat May 29, 2010 at 11:28:44 AM EST
    Gov. Jan Brewer suspended the Democratic state AG from defending the new law in upcoming challenges.

    Click here to find out more!
    Top of the Ticket
    Politics and commentary, coast to coast, from the Los Angeles Times

    « Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »
    Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer abruptly suspends state's attorney general from illegal immigrant law defense
    May 28, 2010 | 11:22 pm

    Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer

    A sudden new twist in the ongoing rhetorical and legal struggle over Arizona's tough new law to round up illegal immigrants.

    Late Friday night as the Memorial Day weekend began, Arizona's Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, in effect, suspended the state's Democratic attorney general from defending the new law in upcoming legal challenges. The measure, known as S.B. 1070, is due to take effect this summer and, among other things, allows local police under federal guidelines to check the immigration status of people they stop. (For a full list of background stories, see Related Items below.)

    The governor's abrupt action against Terry Goddard, her likely Democratic opponent in this fall's gubernatorial election, came after months of disputes between the two and at the end of a long day of legal maneuvering in both Arizona and the nation's capital.

    As the state's chief lawyer, Goddard would be expected to take the lead in defending Arizona against challenges to the Legislature's action, which erupted after years of state frustration with the federal government's inability to secure the state border with Mexico against illegal immigrants, drugs and criminals.

    However, Goddard has vocally opposed the measure, so much so that the Legislature gave the governor advance authority to hire outside legal counsel.

    On Friday, Goddard met with the Obama administration's Atty. Gen. Eric Holder in Washington, then held a news conference just hours before Brewer's handpicked attorneys were to meet with Holder, an outspoken critic of the law.

    Brewer said, "I believe the federal government should use its legal resources to fight illegal immigration, not the State of Arizona."

    Seeing apparent collusion between the two Democrat lawyers, Brewer pulled the plug Friday night.

    Sorry - must preview first! (none / 0) (#5)
    by jbindc on Sat May 29, 2010 at 11:29:07 AM EST
    Gas Prices Coming Down (none / 0) (#10)
    by squeaky on Sat May 29, 2010 at 11:45:28 AM EST
    For summer travel..... wheeeeeee

    Record Setting Spill, Still Ongoing (none / 0) (#12)
    by squeaky on Sat May 29, 2010 at 12:45:51 PM EST
    BP engineers failed again to plug the gushing oil well on Saturday, a technician working on the project said, representing yet another setback in a series of unsuccessful procedures the company has tried a mile under the sea to stem the flow spreading into the Gulf of Mexico.


    oy! Hope that this convinces many that dependence on domestic oil, is at least as bad as dependence on foreign oil.  Oil is the problem, and our addiction to it.

    RIP Dennis Hopper (none / 0) (#13)
    by squeaky on Sat May 29, 2010 at 12:52:17 PM EST
    What a great actor... great roles..   he will be missed.


    Easy Rider - Steppenwolf - God Damn The Pusher (none / 0) (#36)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat May 29, 2010 at 03:23:02 PM EST
    Link to film clip with the soundtrack song. RIP Dennis Hopper.

    I'm checking out the Boricuas in their (none / 0) (#69)
    by observed on Sat May 29, 2010 at 07:42:34 PM EST
    native habitat this weekend. Work-related, but having fun.