Step right up! It’s Monday Madness!

Happy (?) Monday!

Before I start:
I’m still fighting with the links! As I said before, WordPress keeps adding quotation marks to the end of a few URLs; thus, some of the hyperlinks don’t work unless you physically delete the quotation mark at the end of the URL. I’m really, really sorry about this, and will try to have my more Internet-savvy friend help me work out the kinks.

But onto the news!

Oil!? We don’t need no stinkin’ oil!

Obama set off today on yet another trip to areas of the US affected by the BP oil disaster. Only this time, he didn’t go to Louisiana—Alabama, Mississippi and Florida have become the states to be most recently directly affected by the disaster.

Obama will be using his first Oval Office address to talk about the disaster, and “use the disaster as a springboard for pushing Congress to pass comprehensive energy and climate change legislation that includes a crackdown on the oil industry.”

Uh, okay. That’s all well and good, and I certainly support this particular policy move, but wasn’t he just spouting plans to drill for oil barely three months ago? And didn’t he put a comprehensive climate and energy policy on the back burner in favor of the absolutely incorrectly-named “clean energy”?

(Believe it or not, sir, there is no such thing as “clean coal.” Trufax.)

Clearly, what we have is a case of a wibbly president. I can’t tell where he stands anymore. During his campaign, Obama ran on a green platform; then, a little over a year into his term, he announces that he wants to focus on “clean” energy, and drill for oil. But after a massive oil disaster occurs, he backpedals, brands the oil companies as “evil,” and imposes hefty fines on BP.

Hate to break it to you, Mr. President, but who did you think would be in charge of your drilling operation you proposed back in late March, early April?

(If you guessed, “oil companies,” you’d be right! Where’s Vanna White when we need her?)

If Obama’s indecisive nature weren’t bad enough, BP, as it turns out, isn’t being entirely candid about the oil spill. For a company that’s responsible for the biggest environmental disaster in US history, you think they’d want to avoid as much trouble as possible, right?

Guess not.

The above article mentions several shady-sounding incidents involving the media and BP officials. For instance, when a federally-approved CNN camera crew tried to interview workers from the Louisiana State Animal Response Team who were volunteering to help clean animals soaked in oil from the spill, a man from the LASRT turned them away, saying, “I make the final call.” Yet BP maintains that it is utterly open about the issue, and that such incidents are anomalies and shouldn’t be taken as representative of the whole.

But, as the article points out, BP failed to release tapes of the oil actually spilling out into the water until late May, at the behest of Massachusetts Representative Ed Markey; and only after the tapes were released did the scientists realize BP was severely underestimating the amount of oil flowing into the Gulf.

Suspicious? I think so.

In a bit of good news concerning the spill, though:
According to this Business Week article, BP may lose its US contracts and leases after the spill is cleaned up. Interestingly enough, though the spill is undoubtedly BP’s greatest crime, there have been other incidents in the past, such as the explosion in 2005 of a BP oil refinery in Texas in which fifteen people were killed, as well as a pipeline leak that released over two hundred thousand barrels of crude oil into Prudhoe Bay, Alaska in 2006.

What bothers me is that the government did not see the need to take BP to task over these two incidents, even though they occurred within a year of each other. Admittedly, the accidents happened during the Bush, Jr. administration, so I’m not all that surprised. But why wasn’t there a greater outcry from the American public? Why didn’t we push harder against our dependence on oil?

I am happy BP is paying the price. But isn’t it time we actually sober up and take initiative ourselves? As I mentioned above, I believe, at this particular point in time, Obama is too wishy-washy to trust. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up drilling along the coast in a year or so. I know it’s hard to believe that one person can make a difference, and, yeah, if it really only were one average Joe who cared about the situation, I could understand that view. It would be like screaming at the top of your lungs at a rock concert. One person can’t be heard. But think of how much noise we can make if we all scream together.

One nation, divisible

Arizona recently enacted a strict immigration law that essentially discriminates against everyone who’s not Caucasian. Now, I don’t actually disagree with the idea behind the bill itself, which is to identify and deport illegal immigrants. Many jobs that could be held by currently-unemployed American citizens are being held by illegal immigrants, not to mention the fact that many of the immigrants who are employed are being exploited and abused, but can’t actually go to the authorities about it, as their illegal status would be exposed. But that does not mean that the way Arizona governor Jan Brewer is going about enforcing the bill the right way. Essentially, the bill says that anyone who looks Hispanic and has “shifty eyes” can be questioned by the police. I’m not kidding.

Since enacting the bill, Brewer’s approval ratings have skyrocketed overnight. And apparently, she thinks this means it’s okay to take the routing to the next level: Targeting the children of illegal immigrants. Oh, and, just so you know, the “official” term for the child of an illegal immigrant is an “anchor baby.”

Wow. Let’s just break out the KKK while we’re at it.

The new bill would deny birth certificates to any children born to illegal immigrants, making it impossible for an illegal family to put down roots in the United States. As I said, I am all for a crackdown on illegal immigration; but I take issue with targeting the children, too. For one, it’s actually unconstitutional. If a child is born on American soil, it is an American citizen. No contest. Take a look at the 14th Amendment if you don’t believe me. Secondly, these are children. They have no control over whether they are here or not; it’s their parents who have come here illegally. So denying a child his Constitutional right for something that’s not his fault in the first place does not sit well with me.

Not only that, as many have been quick to point out, legal Hispanics no longer feel secure in their own neighbourhoods. Many feel as though they are the subjects of heightened suspicion and mistrust. This creates communal divides—and I shouldn’t have to say this, but, given all the other problems we have right now, the last thing the United States needs is the public’s distrust of one another. We need to be a unified nation, not a divided one—but Arizona’s new law is doing everything in its power to make sure we are as divided as can be.

(As a side note: Brewer looks kind of like The Mummy. That alone should spell trouble.)

I’ve decided to only post two news items today, as the first one was rather long, and I need to get some more work done for Ivory, as well as run to the library to get the next film I plan on reviewing: 9 ½ Weeks, starring the lovely Kim Basinger and the as-of-yet-not-disfigured Mickey Rourke. If you haven’t seen the (what I am hoping to be ) good, inevitable sexiness that will ensue, check out this YouTube video.
(Warning: The last few seconds are slightly NSFW. As in, you see Kim’s rather shapely behind.)

Will I rip it to shreds? Will I love it? Stay tuned!

Regards,

Film Bitch

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Do you have a strong drink on hand?

Well, I have some bad news, kids. Several pieces of bad news, actually. But, then again, what news is ever reported today that’s not bad?

The pullout method

Do you all remember way back when we had an incompetent fool and his incredibly sadistic underling in the White House? I do.

They started this thing called, “The Afghanistan War,” in 2001, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, in response to the attacks on September 11. Like the Iraq War, Bush and company promised it would be over within a few months.

Ha! Right.

Instead, the violence has dragged on for almost nine long years. And Obama hasn’t helped.

In February of last year, Obama promised to have most of the troops out of Iraq by 2010; however, he also added that approximately 17,000 more troops would be deployed to Afghanistan, and never revealed how many troops who had just been withdrawn from Iraq would simply be redeployed to Afghanistan.

(Defeats the purpose a bit, don’t you think?)

In any case, the latest from the front is that a certain operation called “The Kandahar Operation,” which focuses on turning the locals against the reigning Taliban government, will take longer than expected—which also means that more troops will be deployed, and fewer will be able to go home. Of course, the military leaders of the operation hasten to make it seem as though everything will be all right. In this Huffington Post article, General McChrystal said that, though the “operation to secure the Kandahar region will unfold more slowly and last longer than the military had planned,” he nevertheless remains confident that the military will make progress, and that “he can still demonstrate a turnaround…by the year’s end.”

Somehow, I tend to doubt this. Not only is the war presently in a stalemate of sorts, but the fact that yet more troops are set to be deployed—by October 2011, an estimated 300,000 US troops are expected to occupy the region—means that, even if the operation succeeds, this does not signal a “turnaround” in the war. To me, a “turnaround” implies uphill progress, i.e. getting our troops the hell out of there as quickly and safely as possible, while at the same time ensuring the well-being of and not further screwing over the people whose region we decided it would be a good idea to invade. But more troops and a longer-than-expected operation are not portents of good things to come.

Currently, the casualties of Operation Enduring Freedom number 1,079 US troops.

I only wonder how many more will go now.

Start panicking!

(And if any of you got that movie quote, then I sincerely love you.)

So remember how I was talking about how the Democrats need to pull themselves together, lest we lose all our civil liberties in one fell swoop? I wasn’t kidding.

Harry Reid, the current Senate majority leader, is facing a scary opponent: Sharron Angle, who, says Jennifer Steinhauer in this New York Times article, is “a largely unknown former state lawmaker with 10 grandchildren, whose fondness for weightlifting and her .44 Magnum won the ardor of the Republican Party base.”

While I certainly don’t want any of the little creatures my ownself, and also enjoy weight lifting, the rest of that sentence leaves my heart pounding in dread. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but it’s pretty close.

The thing about Ms. Angle is that she, like George Bush Jr. before her, presents herself as a family woman, with nothing but the people’s best interests at heart. In addition to the not-so-subtle loving, matriarchal connotations that come with having ten grandkids, she also conducts most of her campaign from a cozy living room in her Reno, NV home.

Though the voter numbers tend to work in Reid’s favor on paper—579,750 registered Democrats versus the 468,245 registered Republicans—this does not necessarily mean the polls will produce a favorable outcome for Reid. As you may recall, Nevada was one of the states to give Obama an unexpected and major victory back in 2008. Thus, the electorate is clearly anything but predictable—and after the series of flubs Obama and the Democrats have been making, it wouldn’t be surprising if Angle did indeed win the race.

As if it weren’t bad enough that she’s a rather conservative Republicans, it just so happens that she, like Sarah Palin, is a Tea Party darling. For those of you who don’t know, the Tea Party largely consists of ultra-conservative nutjobs hell-bent on taking down our current government. So having one in power, in place of a more mentally stable, though face of an admittedly fumbling party, is like trading in the demon you know for the devil you don’t.

Furthermore, it has been discovered that Angle is a supporter of a rather controversial Scientology rehabilitation program.

(Yeah. I mean that Tom-Cruise-and-Xenu shit.)

The program, called “Second Chance,” is a “detoxification” program for prison inmates addicted to drugs. The program is the prison version of the we’re-not-affliated-with-Scientology-at-all-nudge-nudge-wink-wink Narconon program. The Lost Angeles Times did a long piece examining the connections between Scientology and the Second Chance program, which goes into more detail about the program and its initiatives. But if you want to keep your crazy quota to a minimum today, here are the basics of the aforementioned “detoxification”: The process involves pumping participants full of various vitamins while at the same time exposing them to the literature and other assorted materials of Scientology. Oh, and they have to sit in a sauna, too.

I wish I were kidding.

The most recent numbers from the polls show Angle as having an eleven-point lead over Reid. If I believed in God, I think I would be praying right now.

I’ll close with two shorties for today:

Misplaced bodies and oily predicaments

Turns out over two hundred bodies in Arlington Cemetary have been misidentified or placed in the wrong graves.

The two men being held accountable are Arlington Cemetary’s top managers, Superintendent John Metzler and Deputy Thurman Higgenbotham, both of whom have, for all intents and purposes, lost their jobs as a result of the mistake, which was discovered after a call for an investigation into Arlington Cemetary management issues last November.

At the last count, two hundred and eleven graves had been mismarked, two of which were located in the section reserved for troops who had died in Iraq or Afghanistan.

(This calls for a classic *facepalm*.)

It was recently discovered that the BP gusher has been spewing anywhere from 25,000 to 30,000 barrels of oil per day, far above the original estimate. This means there’s more oil that has yet to be cleaned up, and that efforts to clean up the mess are much further behind than anticipated. Not only that, but it means that BP and the government are going to have to severely alter the way they’ve been approaching this, and treat this as a disaster, not just as a very bad spill. They will need to bring in more equipment, collection vessels and crew to do this.

However, in a slightly strange way, I am kind of glad: Because there is more oil leaking into the Gulf, BP will have to pay higher fines.

Have a lovely day!

Film Bitch, over and out.

P.S. There are some technical difficulties with the hyperlinks, apparently. For some reason, WordPress has added an extra quotation mark to the end of each of my tags, which results in a “Page Not Found” or other 404 warning. However, when I try to correct the mistake, it takes away the hyperlink altogether. For now, if you click on a link, just delete the extra quotation mark that appears in the search bar, and you should get to the page. I’ll try to work out the kinks before the next post.

It’s a process!

Published in: on June 10, 2010 at 9:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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