Sunday, May 30, 2010

BP Oil Disaster

BP knows exactly how much oil is spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, because BP = Big Profits. Flow rate = money. 

Are we so bored with corporatist lying, we can't call a perpetrator like BP out?

When is the national emergency call?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Vote Vets has a new ad running tying the necessity for a new U.S. energy policy with BP's oil catastrophe in the Gulf. Thanks for being there, and thank you to the veterans everywhere who serve honorably where and when needed.

See the video at, and on YouTube.

BP's Sponsored Link

Web search: "oil spill" on any search engine, and the sponsored link popped top is BP. The page you'll be sent to is /GulfofMexicoResponse.

Google, Yahoo!, Bing...BP's paying to be first. Use Google, click "News" and BP's first again with an /OilSpillNews page.

Search "Gulf oil" - guess who?

All have the line "Learn more about how BP is helping."

Clever word selection. Response and helping are useful words that the BP marcom tossers are hoping create a PR plume big enough to distance BP from their mess.
The fastest response BP has made to help is to help themselves.

Songs for Oil Spill Cleanup

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

There Is No Planet B

We're rediscovering why a successful campaign team doesn't always make an effective leadership team. A gigantic ecological and environmental disaster is 36 days into changing the planet for countless decades, and Robert Gibbs is mad at the press.

BP can't get an alternative dispersant in time for a government deadline, and the United States government is again at the mercy of a Too Big To Stop corporate villain.

19 oil drilling permits without proper environmental oversight have been approved since the moratorium on no new drilling permits. Ken Salazar can't give a straight answer why. "Grandfathered" isn't good enough.

Dr. Steven Chu, Energy Department Secretary said on Rachel Maddow's show that he is getting his information from the newspapers. But he does favor stopping all drilling projects.

Where and when does this become a Federal Emergency? When the oil spill reaches Washington D.C.?

Peter Daou said it best; and then Rayne at The Seminal took it from there. There is no Planet B.

Monday, May 24, 2010

BoA: The New Good Guys

We just saw a commercial, lovely music, no voice over, words like "food banks," "neighborhoods," appearing on the screen: clearly a people-oriented company proud of how deeply it cares about the individual, family + community. Ah huh. I said to Dad, "oh oh, which of The New Good Guys is this going to be?" We waited through the clipart people at the end, and then we knew: We shared a good laugh.

The New Good Guys.

Wonder how much of our "neighborhood" money went to the agency that came up with this gem? I just drew this graphic in 3 minutes flat. Not even a decent effort to snow us, BoA.  I'd give BoA The Boot, but the company's not worthy.


The Great Lakes breathe in Kevin McMahon's film, Waterlife. Only 3 percent of the world's water is freshwater, and we need to preserve it, cherish it, and fight for its life. Like a precious and desperately ill loved one, we need to restore our water to health. Global screenings this year can be found at the Our Waterlife site.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Borders Finds Investor

Borders Group, Inc. will get a $25 million transfusion, and a new Chair of the Board. Vector Group, Ltd. will get 11.1 million shares of the bookseller and two seats at the table.

An interesting quote from the outbound Chair, while Richard McGuire itemizes the steps the troubled bookseller has taken to improve its position, he includes arranging the brick & mortar experience to succeed in a future of electronic delivery. Huh. And I thought it was Borders Books & Music.

$25mm isn't a lot of money, but I hope it will keep Borders afloat.

I wonder though if the in-store experience isn't about holding, perusing, browsing the good ol' paper and glue; admiring the slick covers and toothy cloth.  If it's an electronic delivery future, why not just order the stuff online? I sense stores closing. I hope I'm wrong.

Civil Rights

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tom Shales Gets the Boot

"Style" columnist Tom Shales still has his misogynistic forum. His latest target is Alison Stewart, cohost of PBS's new show "Need to Know." Alison Stewart is a pro who can take care of herself when attacked by this fool.

His last barrage of vitriol was pointed at Christiane Amanpour, a pro who can also take care of herself. Double Boot to Shales.

There is no wit in denigrating women. No humor. No intellect. A clever turn of phrase at the expense of any woman's professional or personal integrity is not smart. It's lazy, pandering to the lowest common denominator.

If the bottom is where you want to be, Mr. Shales, I'm glad to Boot you there.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Potato Salad

I don't make potato salad often because it's a lot of work. It's a lot of work because I make enough for 10 people + leftovers. I have a big family. I forget they all don't live here.

I made a potato salad for dinner. Chop, chop, mix, mix. I put hard-boiled eggs in this time, because well... I'm not watching cholesterol today.

Got the big ol' bowl out for dinner, and as there were eggs in it, the Miracle Whip I usually put in was too much.

Nobody complained, but I didn't like it sodden. So when dinner was over, and there was still a big ol' bowl left, and because the colander was in the sink doing nothing, I rinsed the colander, and then washed the potato salad with cold water. I'm not going to tell anybody though.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Crude and Cruder

Amendment I/Bill of Rights/U.S. Constitution:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

The First Amendment, that most scrutinized, analyzed and tyranized set of 45 words was trod on again in Manhattan by Federal Judge Lewis A. Kaplan.

Kaplan ordered documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger, creator of the film Crude: The Real Price of Oil to turn over to Chevron his raw footage of the polluted territory in Ecuador that Chevron has been fighting not to have to clean up since 2003. Chevron, who bought Texaco in 2001, but claims not accountability for Texaco's oily footprint in Ecuador as well, has been fighting accountability for their toxic behavior since. Chevron hopes there might be something - anything - in the footage that will help their case. Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan apparently wants to help Chevron, too. Judge Kaplan said that Chevron had done all that was necessary to "override" First Amendment protection. Wow.

Read the Bill Moyers/Michael Winship story here, WSJ's Law Blog here, and sign the petition at Amazon Watch.

President Obama talked today about holding BP, Transocean, and Halliburton accountable and responsible for oil still pouring into the ocean today, and in the same speech, asked for Congress to hurry up and pass federal money to clean up what can be cleaned up so far. Does BP have a checkbook? Transocean? Halliburton?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Awakening Women Cafe

Reverend Lorna Brown, blessing presence creator Ann Burton, PhD., psychotherapist and author Patricia Fero, and Spirit House visionary Leah Lambaria will guide the first Ann Arbor Awakening Women CafÄ— on Friday, May 21 at 7:00 p.m. at the Colonial Square Community Building in Ann Arbor, 3012 Williamsburg.

Michiganians, healing artisans, and allness practitioners, these remarkable women will facilitate an evening of powerful questions and identifying our awakening individual roles as we gather and record collective discoveries.

Using communication that encourages large-scale imagery (we can draw, doodle, write as thoughts bubble up) we will be able to see the collective wisdom of our group emerge and enlighten as personal contribution to community is revealed with inclusion and trust.

You may see the World Cafe site to discover more about the global model, and visit Vikki Hanchin's site, Whole Person, Whole Planet to share in the glow of the Pittsburgh cafes.

Please join in! Call 734.973.0817 to reserve your place.

Earth Women Outdoor Adventure

Barb Barton will be our nature guide for the second Earth Women Outdoor Adventure. In this class on Sunday, we'll begin beading our Squash Blossom offering bag, identify and cast animal tracks, and find more edible wild foods and teas.

Class begins at 1:00 p.m. at the Lake Lansing Park North. Wear gear appropriate to the weather, sunblock and your smiles.

I saw a morel mushroom yesterday - it was in another forager's mushroom sack, destined for Christmas Day dining.

In June, Earth Women adventurers will learn how to make a gourd canteen. Call Barb at 734.576.8427 for more information, or email her at

Stay tuned!


Yesterday I read the name of this little blue frog I've been unable to identify in Stephanie Mills' Epicurean Simplicity. Gray treefrog - Hyla versicolor. Ms. Mills, this tiny amphibian and I have homes in the Great Lakes bioregion. Stephanie Mills writes, speaks and lives environmental social change.

Today there is a BBC News article, with the results of the third Global Biodiversity Outlook. The article is titled "Nature Loss to Damage Economies." The second line reports ecosystems may become less useful to humanity.

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity project will quantify the monetary value of services that nature provides for us.

A chart from IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) of extinctions and near-extinctions puts our blue friend's family in the most endangered amphibian category. IUCN's site has three focal points. One claims 2010 the Year of Biodiversity, and while acknowledging that biodiversity is the foundation of life on earth, biodiversity "supports every aspect of human life and progress." Another focus notes that IUCN is working to make economic development more sustainable.

The language we use to describe the troubled marriage of economy and ecology contributes to the union favoring humanity over habitat. "You cannot manage what you do not measure," writes TEEB. Conceptual linguistic scaffolding. We must intuit the intention to save biodiversity, even as language usage reinforces the hierarchy of human domination over nature.

Today and tomorrow, the little blue frog and its descendants will live naturally. I will keep trying.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Book Cover Art FREE

Beginning with this lurid book cover, I will be gifting book cover art, or pieces of art suitable for book covers to a writer willing to give it a good book to wrap around.

I've created a bundle of art. Some commissioned, plenty sold, a handful of personal visions; and too much speculative art, created to get a paid art gig. I have sworn more than once than I don't do spec. art, which denies the folders full of it in my files. My Mac and I are aging at the same speed, so to clear our memory, I'm sending art that is idling, FREE into the world to new homes.

Each piece is created by me and mine to gift to a fledgling writer for their use. All you need do is write to me at and I'll send the high resolution art to you just as you see it. For now, it is first to ask/first delivered to the author who will share the story of their book dream. If you'd also like to follow my blog to see other art as it is gifted in the future, that would be nice, too.

This cover can have the title changed, or removed - or left if you're feeling the "Blood in the Sky" title coming your writing way.

This art began life as a lovely sunrise photo taken on Drummond Island, then, on a dare, was doused with saturation and menace in Photoshop. The heron, well, that's another story. Maybe yours?

Eagle Rock Protest: Stop Rio Tinto Mining

Cynthia Pryor writes today about the Eagle Rock Sacred Fire: it's burning and you can read about it here at Stand for the Land or on Huffington Post.

Pryor was arrested a couple weeks ago for trespassing. She was walking her dog to Eagle Rock, a sacred site to Anishinaabe tribes. Rio Tinto, not the land owners yet, called law enforcement who arrested Pryor when she refused to leave.

The Yellow Dog River watershed in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is still public land. Rio Tinto, who wants to gouge the land and poison the watershed to extract nickel and copper, has a land lease that still has no federal authority to be used. Rio Tinto has been stopped in their press to pollute the Yellow Dog River watershed in the past. Yet Rio Tinto has bulldozed, and blasted and now has engaged law enforcement for their private use - on public land.

The picture on the left is one of the small falls on the Yellow Dog River. It is pristine, beautiful and rolls as nature intended to Lake Superior. The picture on the right is a mountain stream that feeds into the Cheat River in West Virginia, rocks stained permanently by the mining operations in the area.

The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community has joined the protest to protect their treaty rights and their sacred site.

I blogged about the Yellow Dog, the legacy of metallic sulfide mining and the stay of execution for this wilderness granted by Ingham County Circuit Judge Paula Manderfield, exactly one year ago today.

Kennecott (Rio Tinto) needs to be backed off their treacherous trail immediately. I'm writing to Senators Stabenow and Levin right now. It's the feds who have not approved yet, and it's the feds that need to step up the volume on their disapproval.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

"Undue Alarm"

Downstream is a short documentary featuring Dr. John O'Connor, an activist doctor who took on Canada's health system and energy ministries, regarding the high incidences of exotic cancers among his patients in Fort Chipewyan who rely on the Athabasca watershed for survival, and who are at risk from oil sands development.
Tim Webb's story in the Guardian connects the catastrophic impact of the BP Deepwater Horizon leak, and the continuing and expanding pollution and devastation of Alberta's wilderness.

Syncrude's trial regarding the deaths of 1,600 waterfowl in one of their gargantuan tailings ponds is underway.

Natural Resources Canada, cheerily explains how all is well and getting even better on their site, while Tailings Pond Number One leaks 5.7 million liters of benzene, mercury, arsenic, and napthalmic acid doused toxic water per day into the earth and watershed and has for years.

Shell shareholders are due to vote on expanding Alberta oil sands development on May 18. BP, as of last month, was going ahead with their development.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

How You Talk!

I went to the bank today to deposit a check I picked up yesterday. It was fortunate I went because I bolloxed my accounting. The bank was adding overdraft fees as fast as multiple debits can be processed, so it was horrifying, but damn lucky I did Saturday banking. My heart thumped unwelcome gymnastics, enough to scare me.

To the manager's credit, she reversed some of the loot. But she found it necessary to "remind" me that it is required to actually have the money in one's account. She said this in a tone that was automatic, without looking at me at all, and with a patronizing lilt that was humiliating. I was so furious and ashamed, I couldn't speak.

A friend and I are writing a book about aging, and caring for our aging seniors. We have noticed during this investigative journey that some senior offspring have a tendency to speak to their aging parents as though their elders are small children. I've caught myself doing it. I don't know why we do it, but the role reversal we adopt shows up, and not to our credit. Our parents are older, have more life experience, have wisdom we may never find or share, had enough intelligence and stamina to raise us to adulthood, and deserve and need the respect they are entitled to have.

I tasted the humiliation of being treated like a child today. It is unpleasant and unnecessary. Even when I'm a stupid adult, or a muddled senior, I'm never a baby, and I hope I will keep that thought in my heart and brain before I speak.

Pepsi Refresh: Code Breaker Project

Barny Wong, fellow Michiganian, created a Scales Tool for revealing and releasing our inner blocks to achieving our goals. Called the Code Breaker Project, please vote for a grant award on the Pepsi Refresh site, or click the link from the Code Breaker Project website.

Pepsi is smart-marketing by offering grant monies to support great ideas.

Mosey the site, and please vote for the Code Breaker Project. If you have your own great idea, put your plan together and apply for a Pepsi Refresh grant yourself. This is how the world is supposed to work.