Monday, September 27, 2010


This is not a road
--Louisiana fish kill, Field & Stream (9.23.10)

Cajun food to keep the undead dead,
made with
contaminated gulf seafood

To believe it is to see it

Murdoch? Oh, well, he's gone on

to his great reward.

Yeah... yeah, they say he's in Florida somewhere.

--The Big Kahuna

You won't read much about it in the news (the BP oil spill is so yesterday), but Louisiana has just suffered a major fish kill. Field & Stream asks, "Is Massive Louisiana Fish Kill BP Related?" Naw, it couldn't be -- could it? Unfortunately, these disasters are messy, and lack for a discrete end point. Oil spills are a gift that keeps on giving.

Despite the impossibility of closure, BP's Macando well was officially declared "permanently killed" on 9.18.10 by Adm. Thad Allen "point man" for the incident. The WaPo reported "several clues indicated it had been done successfully."

"Allen said that the relief well lost drilling fluids, which was a sign it had broken through. The drill bit encountered extra resistance, indicating it had pierced the Macondo well's casing. And readings from the Macondo well's new blowout preventer also seemed to agree that something had changed far below the seafloor" (BP's Macondo well to be permanently "killed" by Saturday).

In our impossibly sketchy coverage of this spill, it is always a comfort to know that something has changed. One thing for sure that has changed since the well's kill is the directionality of hundreds of thousands of fish off the Louisiana coast who have decided to go belly up (Louisiana Seeks Cause of Massive Fish Kill.)

Says Parish President Billy Nungesser (R), who asked the state and federal governments to test the waters in the area, "We can't continue to see these fish kills." And Billy speaks more truth than he knows, for it's the seeing that's the damn thing. If the fish had only had the good manners to sink to the bottom, we mightn't have been bothered by this distressing news which does not accord with the sanguine government reports (or media non-reports).

The press reports of Mr. Obama's 27-hour visit to the Gulf in mid-August grated. No photographers or tv video crews were allowed to witness Obama's ballyhooed "swim the Gulf". The official line was that the White House didn't want to make the ladies swoon over photos of the president's thin, heaving, hairless chest.

This is absurd, as most presidents readily o.k. beach photos. It shows they are a man of the people, and none would do so more than a collection of photos of Obama and family frolicking in the polluted waters of the Gulf. After the fact, one solitary photo was released by an official White House photographer of the president up to his neck, with daughter Sasha in an indeterminate body of water.

The London Independent identified the swim as actually occurring at Alligator Point in St. Andrews Bay, well to the East of the spill zone. In any event, the official photo lacked any identifiers, like the name of the boat or shore-side signage. Nothing was evident in this photo aside from water and two people (minus the FLOTUS), which makes me doubt the sincerity of Obama's "personal assurances of (the) Gulf's safety." The AP would not publish the WH's handout photo.

I really can't blame Mr. Obama for not wanting to hang out at the Redneck Riviera, and he and the missus were soon off for their second trip this summer for 10 days in Bar Harbor, Maine. Even sans the oil, the Gulf Coast is not a very chic hangout. But the Apalachicola Bay did produce some of the country's best oysters and shrimp, and those days are gone.

Despite the massive fish kill, "Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, has ordered an emergency reopening of all fishing in 210 square miles of state waters west of Bayou Lafourche previously closed due to the BP oil spill. With today’s action, 95 percent of state waters are opened." Oysters are still verboten. One wonders why the rush to judgment? Methinks the governmental agencies doth protest too much.

Who knows -- maybe the agencies will also discover that the oil dispersant Corexit (whose presence is not being tested for in the fish flesh) is good for what ails you ("Corexit'll Correct It!"), and better living through chemistry will be more than just another fallow promise.

The Gulf fiasco -- "the worst ecological disaster in the nation's history" according to FSU Biological Oceanographer Ian McDonald -- has been dwarfed by other, more visible national dissipations. McDonald is an international expert on oil spills who estimated early on that the amount of oil spilling was at least five times BP estimates.

How much oil was actually spilled and how much remains is anyone's guess. The UK Telegraph reports 4.4 million barrels; the NYT, 4.9 million bbls. Researchers have found a 2-inch slime carpet on the ocean floor, and report, "It's kind of like a slime highway from the surface to the bottom" (Scientists Find Thick Layer of Oil on Seafloor.)

And what of the 22-mile, 3-mile-wide column of oil below the surface, and other such findings? The news stories conflict: Oil Spill Persists, Oil Plume is not Breaking Down Fast, Oil from spill not going away quickly.

But y'know, Halloween's fast approaching, and I've seen Thanksgiving tchotchkes in the stores, so there's plenty else to distract us before Christmas gets here.

[Cross-posted @ BigBrassBlog]

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


Just a little more on this none problems according to those we should trust. Hi we're from the govt. and we can help you.

Monday, September 27, 2010 at 6:22:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Carl said...

When I know more about these despotic criminal matters continually being covered up by the seeming never ending, uncappable(?) flow of PC bullshit.. my eyeballs burn as though being blow torched from retina out, skull about to implode..warning warning.. Is there not ONE man or woman in yours or my or any Govt with a gram of morality or humanity? At times I feel I am an Alien being, having had the misfortune of crash landing on a Planet called Criminal. Is this nothing but the Galaxy's sick joke of a floating rock where the most wicked and criminally insane souls are allowed to rule over the masses with impunity?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 4:49:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Juan Moment said...

The rate at which mankind digs its own grave is astonishing. Never mind nuclear war, the era of the upright walking apes will come to an end largely as a consequence of the inability prevalent amongst us to think long term. Using up within decades resources that took hundreds, thousands or millions of years to grow and develop is about as short sighted as it gets. And we are all part of it, one way or another.

Depleting fish stocks world wide beyond recovery, fogging up the atmosphere with gazillions of tons of pollutants, poisoning streams with effluent and sewerage, causing total or near extinction of countless animal species by carelessly destroying their habitat, it seems humans are begging to be wiped out.

Imagine a bacteria culture in a test tube, doubling in size every minute. And lets further assume it would take the bacteria colony exactly 60 minutes to fill the tube. At what point, if the bacteria had any brains, would they realise that they are running out of room?

After 58 minutes, the glass would still only be quarter full and the bacteria culture would think there's plenty of room left. Room maybe, but not time. And that's imho where we humans are at. We refuse to comprehend that more isn't always better, that this exponential curve we are following with our demands on resources and pollution outputs is unsustainable. Not long term, not medium term, and increasingly not even short term.

As the saying goes, once the last tree's been cut, the last fish been caught, you will find that you can't eat money.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 11:36:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Thank you for the link.


I, too, feel like a stranger in a strange land much of the time. Can people not see? Which leads to ...


Our profligacy seems boundless. Where is the vaunted humility our religions speak of? If for no other reason than a selfish one, as Mr. Dawkins explained. Sadly, we don't seem to be cognizant of what we know on a cellular level.

We seem to live by a perpetual "optimism", for lack of a better term, but it is callow. "It can't happen here" -- the end, that is. "When has it ever not been?" And then religion plays into that, as in, when God says it's time, it's time, and nothing can be done, for no man knows the hour ...

We're not very responsible stewards, if that's what the Bible charges us with being. But what angers me the most are the cover-ups, and irresponsible exposure of the citizens to toxins, and then a C in C who says it's absolutely safe to eat and swim from and in the Gulf, sans ANY scientific proof of the assertion.

But we like to hear nice things, in the face of of overwhelming impotence. I am outraged, but I think most people would prefer to sweep ugly matters under the rug. Out of sight ...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 4:42:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Carl said...

Have you heard about this one yet? One of the most overpopulated & impoverished countries in the world..and the all powerful RC Church there want to fight the President's practical intentions. I have spent some time travelling through many places in the PI, the results of the overpopulation is staggering to the senses.
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20100928-294680/Aquino-bucks-Church-backs-birth-control Lisa, JM - you are right.

Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 12:20:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Family size and birth control seem an absolutely personal matter. I can understand where the early Christians were coming from: Go forth and multiply, because we'd like to rule the world. O.k., except, we've got quite enough of everyone now, thanks.

Every church needs its tithers, and all have a vested interest in persisting.

I think it is an abomination for religion to disallow a rational choice to limit family size in a world of diminishing resources. I am also quite sure some Catholics violate this proscription after having five or ten kids, and then what -- must live as though damned, in guilt? It seems very cruel.

Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 1:24:00 PM GMT-5  

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