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May. 28 2010 — 4:45 pm | 617 views | 0 recommendations | 11 comments

Moving on…

This is my last post at True Slant. As most of you have probably already read, Forbes acquired the blog, and the bloggers will be hearing by the end of the month who will be making the transition, and who will be cut. I’ve decided to return to my original blog ahead of schedule simply because I don’t think (for obvious reasons) I would be a good fit for the Forbes franchise even if I had been asked to join the team.

Other than that, I want to basically echo what Taibbi already wrote. Much thanks to Coates Bateman, Michael Roston, and Lewis Dvorkin, all hardworking champions, who gave me a job when other editors fainted at my use of profanity and/or selected topics of writing. True Slant operated on a really novel idea: bloggers deserve to be paid for their work, and independent journalism should be free of censorship.

You have no idea how rare that is (unless you’re a blogger, and these days, who isn’t?)

I hope my True Slant followers will join me over at the old (now new again) Unreported.



May. 28 2010 — 10:36 am | 735 views | 2 recommendations | 5 comments

Allegations emerge BP prevents fishermen from wearing respirators

Inmate laborers erect a barrier fence around a...

Inmate laborers erect a barrier fence around a stockpile of absorbent oil booms that will be used to soak up some of the oil slick from the BP disaster. Image by AFP via @daylife

Though President Obama has asked the media to place the burden of responsibility on his shoulders, it’s clear BP was woefully unprepared for a disaster of this magnitude (even though they told the government they could handle a spill 60 times larger than Deepwater Horizon). The truth is the company really didn’t have a contingency plan for something of this scale.

A blowout like this one apparently wasn’t expected, although it should have been. One of the most stunning examples of BP’s lack of preparation is evidenced in the emergency-response strategy report it prepared in accordance with federal law. The report runs 583 pages, but is alarmingly short on how to stop a deep-sea spill.

Perhaps BP’s disaster management was a bit light on the details because the government wasn’t asking tough questions. The MMS, the agency charged with overseeing offshore drilling, is disastrously managed. A report issued recently by the IG outlines the same familiar type of cronyism and corruption that has become a systemic rot in Washington.

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May. 27 2010 — 7:38 pm | 529 views | 1 recommendations | 2 comments

Massive new oil plume may have been caused by dispersants

A handout picture obtained on February 17, 200...

Image by AFP/Getty Images via @daylife

Scientists have discovered a massive new oil plume stretching 22 miles toward Mobile Bay, Alabama. This is the second major plume to be discovered (the first was found underwater). Ironically, dispersants, the stuff that is supposed to coagulate the oil and sink it beneath the surface of the water, may be the culprits responsible for the plumes.

The researchers say they are worried these undersea plumes may be the result of the unprecedented use of chemical dispersants to break up the oil a mile undersea at the site of the leak.

[David Hollander, associate professor of chemical oceanography at the University of South Florida College of Marine Science,] said the oil they detected has dissolved into the water, and is no longer visible, leading to fears from researchers that the toxicity from the oil and dispersants could pose a big danger to fish larvae and creatures that filter the waters for food.

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May. 27 2010 — 1:28 pm | 354 views | 3 recommendations | 1 comment

US to focus on non-white homegrown extremists

PULASKI, TN - JULY 11: Fraternal White Knights...

Fraternal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Pastor Ken Gregg poses in his Klan robe. Image by Getty Images via @daylife

John Brennan, the deputy national security adviser for counter-terrorism and homeland security, has announced a new national security strategy that will focus on the threat posed by homegrown extremists. Except, the target of this strategy doesn’t seem to be all domestic terrorism, but rather domestic terrorism with foreign roots.

There has been a surge in right-wing extremism in the U.S., copiously documented by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, but which was also predicted by Homeland Security. In fact, the report warned that right-wing extremists, who are “angry at the economy and the election of a black president” might recruit GWOT veterans.

I have been writing about how white domestic terrorism has slipped from the media’s radar, but sadly, it seems like the government is also uninterested by the surge in right wing extremism — possibly because such violence doesn’t fit the helpful war narrative of the “dangerous other” being brown, and from a desert landscape.

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May. 26 2010 — 11:37 am | 9,645 views | 3 recommendations | 12 comments

Oil spill clean-up workers report feeling ‘drugged, disoriented’

This was to be expected.

Last week, the wives of some of the fishermen spoke out publicly about the symptoms their husbands were experiencing. This week, some fishermen are starting to come forward. In this WDSU TV interview, one of the fishermen reports feeling drugged, disoriented, tingling, fatigued, and also reporting shortness of breath and cough. These are symptoms that are consistent with what one might expect from exposure to hydrocarbons in oil.

HOPEDALE, LA - MAY 13:  Crab trap builder Shaw...

Crab trap builder Shawn Platt stands with his idle traps in on May 13, 2010 in Hopedale, Louisiana. Image by Getty Images North America via @daylife

Maybe. But these are also some of the symptoms reported by individuals who were exposed to Corexit.

One of the two Corexit products that BP is suing [sic] in the Gulf also contains a compound that is associated with headaches, vomiting and reproductive problems

Corexit is also linked with respiratory, nervous system, liver, kidney and blood disorders.

Obviously, there’s no way to tell what is causing these symptoms, and BP has no interest in allowing the media to find out. Many of the fishermen working for BP signed contracts that forbid them to talk to the press, and BP is ruling the Gulf area with an iron fist. Even CEO Tony Hayward has joined the fun, and is shouting at random cameramen.

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    About Me

    I co-host Citizen Radio, the alternative political radio show. I am a contributing reporter to Huffington Post, Alternet.org, and The Nation.

    My essay "Youth Surviving Subprime" appears in The Nation's new book, Meltdown: How Greed and Corruption Shattered Our Financial System and How We Can Recover beside esssays by Ralph Nader, Joseph Stiglitz, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Naomi Klein, who I'm told are all important people.

    G. Gordon Liddy once told me my writing makes him want to vomit, which is the greatest compliment I've ever been paid ever.

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    Contributor Since: May 2009
    Location:New York, New York

    What I'm Up To

    • In The Nation’s New Book

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      Check out my article “Youth Surviving Subprime” in The Nation’s new book beside essays by Ralph Nader, Joseph Stiglitz, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Naomi Klein.

       
    • Citizen Radio

      I co-host the biweekly political-comedy show, Citizen Radio. It’s like CNN, but with more swearing. Citizen Radio covers the stories that the mainstream, corporate media ignores. Past guests include: Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Matt Taibbi, Jeremy Scahill, Ralph Nader, Tariq Ali,  Janeane Garofalo, Melissa Harris-Lacewell, and more…

      Go to wearecitizenradio.com and click on the iTunes logo to subscribe to our podcast for FREE. Also, join us on Facebook

       
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