US Senate Begins Oil Spill Cover-Up By Tom Eley

13 May, 2010 — Global ResearchWorld Socialist Web Site – 12 May, 2010

On Tuesday, the US senate began hearings into the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which took the lives of 11 workers in an April 20 explosion and has since poured millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the region with an environmental and economic catastrophe.

Appearing before the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in the morning and the Environmental and Public Health Committee in the afternoon were executives from the three corporations implicated in the disaster: Lamar McKay, president of the US operations of BP, which owned the oil and the drill site; Steven Newman, president of Transocean, the contractor that owned the rig and employed most of its workers; and Tim Probert, an executive with Halliburton, which contracted for the work of cementing the rig’s wellhead one mile beneath ocean’s surface.

The hearing resembled a falling out among thieves, with multi-millionaire executives—who, until April 20, had collaborated in thwarting basic safety and environmental considerations—each blaming the other for the explosion.

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Criticizing Venezuela from the outside By William Bowles

14 May, 2010

Now ‘real’ lefties are probably going to call me a wuss, you know the kind of thing, ‘defend the revolution no matter what’, or label me a counter-revolutionary, but hey, it’s not for me to tell Venezuela how to do things whilst I’m sitting semi-comfortably here in London.

It’s real dilemma, after all we lefties want to see the Bolivarian revolution succeed just as much as the Venezuelan people do. So let’s hear what a Venezuelan comrade has to say on the subject of Chavez, PSUV and the state:

“Comrade Juan Contreras, an activist in the popular movement in the January 23 neighborhood and elected alternate deputy candidate by Circuit 1, was the next speaker. Contreras said that candidates of the apparatus had a tremendous advantage against the candidates of the popular movement and the fact that there were so many candidates had been a source of strength for the bureaucracy.

“He expressed deep concern over the fact that there had been an attempt to make the popular movement fit within the framework of the state. He reminded all those present that it was the actual movement of the masses that had saved the Revolution on April 11, 12 and 13, 2002 and again during the oil lockout. Nobody had called them out, but it was the spontaneous movement from below that overthrew the coup and rescued the government of the Revolution. According to Juan Contreras, this showed the great wisdom of the people.” — ‘Venezuela: The PSUV rank and file criticize the internal elections’, Vheadlines, 13 May, 2010

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Anti-Empire Report 12 May 2010: Anti-communist mania by William Blum

12 May, 2010 — Killing Hope

A man holds a sign at a tax day rally by Tea Party activists in the New York City suburb of New City

Terminally-dumb people have always been with us of course. It can’t be that we’ve suddenly gone stupid.

If you shake your head and roll your eyes at the nonsense coming out of the Teabagger followers of Sarah ‘Africa is a country’ Palin and other intellectual giants like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh … Continue reading

The taboo that isn’t: Mother Jones on population

12 May, 2010 — Climate and Capitalism

Mother Jones magazine opens a discussion of the population problem. Sort of.

Mother Jones is a once-radical now-liberal magazine that promises ‘smart fearless journalism.’ An example of what that means is the main headline on the cover of the current issue: ‘Who’s to Blame for the Population Crisis?’

That’s the lead-in to ‘The Last Taboo’, by Julia Whitty, the magazine’s environmental editor.

Sadly, there’s not much new here … the usual retailing of scary statistics, with a particular focus on the threat posed by those unreasonably fertile women in India and other Third World countries. A prominently displayed pull-quote alerts us:

‘Every minute … 157 new people join the world’s population. 4 are in developed countries (27 babies born, 23 people dying). 153 are in developing countries (237 babies born, 83 people dying.)’ (emphasis in original)

Witty calls overpopulation the ‘last taboo’ because, she says, no one wants to talk about it.

‘What unites the Vatican, lefties, conservatives, environmentalists, and scientists in a conspiracy of silence? Population.’

Populationists regularly make this claim, apparently blind to the irony of using op-ed pages, major magazines, TV editorials and the like to complain that they are being silenced.

Today Mother Jones opened an online discussion forum on the topic. But the topic is not whether population growth is actually a crisis, but ‘Why Is Population Control Such a Radioactive Topic?’

They assume that there is a population crisis — the issue to be discussed is why it isn’t discussed.

The participants include Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb and The Population Explosion and other books. Again with a total lack of irony, this writer of multiple bestselling books that advocated compulsory birth control says:

‘We don’t talk about overpopulation because of real fears from the past—of racism, eugenics, colonialism, forced sterilization, forced family planning, plus the fears from some of contraception, abortion, and sex.’

The online forum will be open through Friday May 14. It’s not surprising, given Mother Jones‘ editorial slant, that so far most of the commenters think that the world’s problems are caused by poor women having too many babies.

The word capitalism has only appeared once, and socialism not at all.

Now that is the last taboo.


PS: Michael Swan reviews Whitty’s ‘misinformed nonfiction’ in the current issue of Swans Commentary.

‘She systematically fails to grasp the historical dimensions of the population issue. In lieu of a viable argument she simply repackages imperial myths with a ‘new’ sustainable façade, facilitating the neoliberal onslaught on the majority of the world’s humans.’