BP: The Worst Safety and Environmental Record of All Oil Companies Operating in the United States By Tyson Slocum

5 May, 2010 — MRZine-Monthly ReviewCitizen Energy

BP is a London-based oil company with the worst safety and environmental record of any oil company operating in America.  In just the last few years, BP has pled guilty to two crimes and paid over $730 million in fines and settlements to the US government, state governments, and civil lawsuit judgments for environmental crimes, willful neglect of worker safety rules, and penalties for manipulating energy markets.

Worker Safety: $215 Million in Penalties/Settlements

BP paid the two largest fines in OSHA history — $87.43 million and $21.36 million — for willful negligence that led to the deaths of 15 workers and injured 170 others in a March 2005 refinery explosion in Texas.  In September 2005, OSHA cited BP for 296 “Egregious Willful Violations” and other violations associated with the explosion, fining BP $21.36 million and entering into a settlement agreement under which BP agreed to corrective actions to eliminate hazards similar to those that caused the explosion.  In October 2009, OSHA determined that BP was in non-compliance with the settlement agreement, finding 270 “notifications of failure to abate” and 439 new willful violations, resulting in the $87.43 million fine.

The U.S. Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board concluded in 2007 that “The Texas City disaster was caused by organizational and safety deficiencies at all levels of the BP Corporation.  Warning signs of a possible disaster were present for several years, but company officials did not intervene effectively to prevent it.”  This followed an August 2004 OSHA fine against BP for $63,000 for violations at the same facility.  In December 2009, a Texas jury returned a $100 million award against BP on behalf of workers injured in 2007 at the Texas city refinery while making repairs after the 2005 blast.

Just last month, BP paid $3 million fine to OSHA for 42 willful safety violations at one of its refineries in Ohio.  This follows a $2.4 million fine BP paid for safety & health violations at this refinery in April 2006.

In September 2001, OSHA fined BP $141,000 after an explosion killed 3 workers at BPs Clanton Road facility.

In October 2007, the Minerals Management Service fined BP $41,000 for various safety violations.

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Marx and the philosophy of time By Peter Osborne

9 May, 2010 — Radical Philosophy

What is Marx’s contribution to the philosophy of time? Or, to put it another way, what has a temporal reading of Marx’s writings to contribute to the understanding of the philosophical aspects of his thought? How, for example, might it reconfigure the relationship between the historical, analytical and political dimensions of his work?

Spill Here, Spill Now by Firedoglake

9 May, 2010 — MRZine-Monthly Reviewspillherespillnow.org

“So today we’re announcing the expansion of offshore oil and gas exploration. . . . We’ll protect areas that are vital to tourism, the environment, and our national security.”Barack Obama, 31 March 2010

“It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills. They are technologically very advanced. Even during Katrina, the spills didn’t come from the oil rigs, they came from the refineries onshore.”Barack Obama, 2 April 2010

“So, let me be clear. I continue to believe that domestic oil production is an important part of our overall strategy for energy security, but I’ve always said it must be done responsibly, for the safety of our workers and our environment.”Barack Obama, 30 April 2010

Visit spillherespillnow.org

Joseph Massad – The Language of Zionism

8 May, 2010 — Palestine Think TankAl Ahram

zionist-language.jpgThe reason for the ongoing “violence” in Israel and Palestine is not on account of Israeli colonialism at all but rather a direct result of mistranslation. Joseph Massad* provides an abridged lexicon of Zionist terminology

“Colonialism is peace; anti-colonialism is war.” This is the unalterable equation that successive Israeli governments insist must determine the basis of all current and future relations between Israeli Jews and the Palestinians. Indeed, the deployment of the rhetoric of peace between Palestinians and Israeli Jews since the 1970s has been contingent on whether the Palestinians would acquiesce in this formula or insist on resisting it. The Oslo Accords were in large measure a ratification of this formula by the Palestine Liberation Organisation. Nonetheless, Palestinian resistance, violent and non- violent, to understanding “colonialism as peace” never fully subsided, even as the Palestinian Authority insisted that it become the law of the land.

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General ‘tried to cover up truth about death of Rachel Corrie’ By Ben Lynfield

7 May, 2010 — The Independent

Israeli war hero accused of suppressing testimony that could reveal what really happened to Gaza activist

rachel-corrie.jpgThe peace activist Rachel Corrie died on 16 March 2003

Seven years after the American activist Rachel Corrie was killed by an Israeli army bulldozer in Gaza, evidence has emerged which appears to implicate Israel’s Gaza commander at the time, in an attempt to obstruct the official investigation into her death.

The alleged intervention of Major-General Doron Almog, then head of Israel’s southern command, is documented in testimony taken by Israeli military police a day after Ms Corrie was killed on March 16, 2003. The hand written affidavit, seen by The Independent, was submitted as evidence during a civil law suit being pursued by the Corrie family against the state of Israel.

Ms Corrie, who was 23 when she died, was critically wounded when a bulldozer buried her with sandy soil near the border between Gaza and Egypt. The American, wearing a fluorescent orange jacket and carrying a megaphone, was among a group of volunteers from the anti-occupation International Solidarity Movement who over a period of three hours on that day had sought to block the demolition by Israel of Palestinian homes.

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Dead end for New Labour By Leo Panitch

9 May, 2010 — The Real News Network

Leo Panitch: Labour Party will have to split before it can be renewed

Leo Panitch is the Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy and a Distinguished Research Professor of Political Science at York University in Toronto. Panitch is also the author of “Global Capitalism and American Empire” and his most recent release “American Empire and the Political Economy of International Finance”.

The plantation called Haiti: Feudal pillage masking as humanitarian aid By Marguerite 'Ezili Danto' Laurent

6 May, 2010 — SF Bayview

“For whose entertainment shall we sing our agony? In what hopes? That the destroyers, aspiring to extinguish us, will suffer conciliatory remorse at the sight of their own fantastic success?” – Ayi Kwei Armah, from the book “Two Thousand Seasons”

The champagne bottles were popping at the U.N. for the pledging session’s success – $5 billion, $10 billion pledged for the future. Whose future? What Haitians in Haiti need is a hoe, a tractor, some lifting equipment, so they might not have to use their bare hands to dig out the corpses still under the rubble over three months after the earthquake. Just a hoe, a tractor – we’ll do the work.

But no, the Internationals are going to give us $5 billion later. Be happy. Wait for it as you die inside because your daughter, son, wife, mother, father, cousin and friends are still dead under the rubble and no one will help you lift up the cement blocks and steel cables so you might bury them.

Yep, you have no food, no water, no medical treatment, no job to go to, no shelter today, but don’t worry. The Washington Post assures you, “The international community pledged $5.3 billion for earthquake-shattered Haiti over the next two years, launching an ambitious effort not just to rebuild the hemisphere’s poorest nation but also to transform it into a modern state.” (“$5.3 billion pledged over 2 years at U.N. conference for Haiti reconstruction.”)

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The authoritative electronic weekly newsletter and platform for social
justice in Africa

Pambazuka News (English edition): ISSN 1753-6839

CONTENTS: 1. Action alerts, 2. Announcements, 3. Zimbabwe update, 4. Women & gender, 5. Human rights, 6. Refugees & forced migration, 7. Social movements, 8. Africa labour news, 9. Emerging powers news, 10.
Elections & governance, 11. Corruption, 12. Development, 13. Health & HIV/AIDS, 14. Education, 15. LGBTI, 16. Environment, 17. Land & land rights, 18. Media & freedom of expression, 19. Conflict & emergencies, 20. eNewsletters & mailing lists, 21. Courses, seminars, & workshops, 22. Jobs

Help Pambazuka News become independent. Become a supporting subscriber by taking out a paid subscription. Donate $30 a year

Highlights from this issue

ACTION ALERTS: 3 SA families remain homeless at the gates of Blikkiesdorp
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Discussion: Is democracy possibly here in the UK
ZIMBABWE UPDATE: Opposition infighting raises specter of violence
WOMEN & GENDER: The worst places to be a mother
CONFLICT AND EMERGENCIES: UN must continue to protect Chad’s civilians
HUMAN RIGHTS: Kinshasa rejects report of army atrocities
REFUGEES AND FORCED MIGRATION: Fahamu refugee e-newsletter ? April 2010
EMERGING POWERS NEWS: Emerging powers news roundup
SOCIAL MOVEMENTS: Sign Jinn letter to Chevron CEO
AFRICA LABOUR NEWS: Transport strike looms in South Africa
CORRUPTION: Does corruption create poverty?
HEALTH & HIV/AIDS: Activists ‘escorted’ out of Tanzania
DEVELOPMENT: World Economic Forum on Africa opens
EDUCATION: Textbooks for Angolan students
LGBTI: Being gay in Morocco
ENVIRONMENT: Somaliland needs climate change plan
LAND & LAND RIGHTS: Protecting investors, but what about the people?
MEDIA AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: Ugandan journalists under threat
SOCIAL WELFARE: Free care for mothers and children in Sierra Leone
INTERNET & TECHNOLOGY: Young Africans put technology to new uses
ENEWSLETTERS & MAILING LISTS: AfricaFocus Bulletin: Africa: Finance
ministers vs. development goals
JOBS: Vacancy at Comic Relief
PLUS: Fundraising & useful resources, publications, courses, seminars
and workshops

*Pambazuka News now has a Del.icio.us page, where you can view the various websites that we visit to keep our fingers on the pulse of Africa! Visit del.icio.us/pambazuka_news

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Strategic Culture Foundation online magazine latest publications from 2-8 May, 2010

Rafe MAIR (Canada)
As Tehran and Jerusalem Exchange Pleasantries
“As we remember, in January 2013, the US invaded Canada to divert to themselves oil destined to go by pipeline from the Tar Sands to the BC coast thence to China. In the fall of this year you’ll also recall that Mexico, under a coalition of rebels, the Zapatistas, and the old and corrupt PRI, seized power and immediately cut off oil supplies to the United States, following the same move by Venezuela six months earlier. As one of his last acts as President, Barack Obama sent the Marines into Mexico…”

Aurobinda MAHAPATRA (India)
Restoring Trust in India-Pakistan Relations
“…After the Mumbai attack India has insisted that Pakistan must act against its chief architect Hafiz Saeed… While India argues there is enough proof to arrest Saeed and initiate proceedings against him, Pakistan says the proofs are not sufficient enough to initiate legal proceedings against the chief of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, banned by the United Nations after the Mumbai terror attack. In a rally in Pakistan on 5 February 2010 he called all people to get united for jehad against India…”

Corvette “Cheonan”, or The way a new crisis is being prepared on the Korean Peninsula
“The Pyeongtack naval base near Seoul played host a few days ago to a maritime memorial ceremony for and the funeral of 46 sailors of South Korea’s Cheonan corvette, which sank in unclear circumstances when on a patrol mission in the Yellow Sea on March 26-th 2010… The tragedy around the South Korean corvette is being artificially brought into increasingly great prominence… The worst of all possible options would prove Seoul’s tough action against Pyongyang under the guise of retribution, to be followed by North Korea’s just as tough response. Both the first and the second could bring the developments to the verge of a dangerous confrontation…”

Hannes HOFBAUER (Austria)
Decision in Greece: Crisis in the European Union
“The greek term “crisis” means decision or turning-point. And indeed we actually face a turning-point in European politics after World War II… One state within the European Union declared itself unable to pay its debt… How it came that the leading figures of EU gave way to the IMF to play a main role in managing the Greek crisis, the archives may tell in some decades. Then it could also become obvious that the 25-th of March 2010 was the beginning of the end of the “Euro”…”

William BOWLES (United Kingdom)
And the winner is? The media
“…’Debates’ on television between the major candidates are a new feature of the UK’s alleged political life and clearly designed to whip up some kind of interest in the election given that around two-thirds of the electorate don’t bother to vote… With no appreciable difference between the three main parties, what difference does it make which one ‘wins’? And this view is reinforced by the opinion polls that tell us that very many people see no difference between the three and thus why there are so many ‘undecided’…”

Rafe MAIR (Canada)
It can’t happen here, can it?
“The birth of what is now the European Union was spawned by Winston Churchill’s speech in Zurich in June 1946 where he called upon Germany and France to come together and work towards a United States of Europe… It is not my purpose to trace the history of the EU; who joined when, and so on. What I’m concerned about is whether it will survive which, considering the problems faced by some of its member nations, is a serious concern for both prosperity and peace in Europe…”