Greetings and salutations from the sand, sun and surf of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket! On a very warm day here on Cape, I bid you a fair adieu. The crowds have made their way to the little seaside village of Osterville, as evidenced by the enormous amount of traffic on our narrow lanes and avenues, along with the massive numbers of people flocking to the beaches and ponds of this little sand bar built over 11,500 years ago by the last Great Ice age–not much ice around here today, unless it is in a drink of lemonade… The big news in the Gulf now is the “cap” bp is trying to place atop the well head that has been spewing oil at the rate of at least 84,000 barrels a day, now, more like 100,000 barrels a day while we all wait, and hope, that the newly formed “cap” will fit and meet bp’s expectations that the new device will catch 80-100 percent of the oil being emitted into the pristine waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Underneath the surface of that pr is the reality of the workers on the ground and in the water, who are getting violently ill from inhaling the dispersant that bp has been using since the beginning of this crisis that began 83 days ago. Bpmakesmesick.com is the website you need to go to if you happen to be one of those workers. 20 percent of offshore and 15 percent of onshore workers have elevated levels of a toxic chemical, at least twice the “hazardous” amount, and therefore are feeling the effects with symptoms of nausea, dizziness and headaches. Bp officials have been reported to “dissuade” the workers from using embarrassing ventilators with the threat of firing them, should they use any of the protective equipment. Scientists have testified in Washington D.C. to this fact, that bp was deliberately dispersing the oil with a highly toxic dispersant (Corexit 3500, a Nalco company with ties to Exxon Mobile and bp, and banned in the United Kingdom) in order to “hide” the amount of oil (as the dispersant breaks up the oil into smaller particles, thus making it “appear” as if there is not that much oil, hence limiting their overall liability, (the only aspect of this crisis that they care about), and limiting their “obligation” to clean up the oil on the shores and in the Gulf itself. Mary Lee Orr, from the Louisiana Environmental Action Program, states that, “bp is not finding any toxins in the air and discourages workers from using masks, or respirators. 1.72 million gallons of this toxic dispersant has been released into the Gulf since the crisis began and our folks are told they will be “reassigned” if they use the protective gear.” This website is a voice for the poor people of the Gulf who are forced to work for bp in order to put food on the table, while bp has destroyed their wetlands, perhaps forever, destroyed the fishing industry, tourist industry, restaurant industry and just about any other industry (save the oil and gas industry) that was once a thriving part of the bayou economy. Rick Steiner, a marine conservationist, asks the question, “what about the other 33 deep water oil rigs, do we have the technology available to us if, God Forbid, this was to happen again?” The insanity of allowing these rigs to continue to operate without a thorough review of what really happened and putting in place at least “some” unprecedented safety measures does not seem to be asking for the moon. The lack of regulation in this county is not the only problem that we face. There seems to be a much more disturbing trend in this country that involves “authority figures” and their blatant use and abuse of violence towards our fellow citizens, resulting in a lack of SOCIAL JUSTICE. Case in point, the horrible shooting death of Oscar Grant, a 22 year old kid, a black kid, from Oakland, California, where a short while ago, he and his friends were involved in a fight at an Oakland subway stop, the bay area rapid transit system, or b.a.r.t.. At least ten witnesses saw an officer, who already had the suspect down, face down and handcuffed on the ground, cooperative, then rise, draw his revolver, and shoot the man point blank in the back, killing him instantly. According to the “officer”, he was going for his “taser” gun, which is hard to believe for it is on the other side of his belt and moreover, a veteran police officer would not have made that kind of mistake. Why would he “taze” a man who was already handcuffed, cooperative and laying face down on the ground anyway? To prove what a big, strong “man” he is? As the man was laid to rest, a fury of anger overtook Oakland, and that anger was stoked even higher when the verdict came in for the police officer who was looking at second degree murder…he received a 2-4 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter. Oakland erupted a few nights ago in the form of riots, as this sham of “social justice” was handed down from a court in Los Angeles, giving you a clue as to the problem right there. Jakata Imeri, from the Ella Baker Center for Excellence, said of the recent interest taken by the United States Justice Department, that because of that interest, perhaps there might be Justice after all. “Traditionally, because of the tight relationships between DA’s and the police officers involved, convictions of said police officers are rare, but with the Federal government stepping in, perhaps there might be a stop to this senseless violence taken by the “authority figures” dressed as “police officers”, whose JOB is to “protect and serve”, to take every measure to not commit violent acts against our citizens they are “sworn to protect.” You can do your part by logging on to ellabakercenter.org and email your district attorney to demand real justice for Oscar Grant’s family and all victims of this new “cruel and unusual” punishment expressed in the United States, i.e. the rampant problem of POLICE BRUTALITY across this country of ours. According to the United Nations, taser guns are being used at will and are considered by the U.N. to be torture and can be lethal. This case hits home for me, as I was brutally attacked by an “officer” of the law on the fair island of Nantucket. My upcoming novel, “Taking Fog to Nantucket,” coming out this fall, is a classic case of police brutality. I too was arrested, with no cause, and according to witnesses who were literally 20 feet from where it happened, the officer handcuffed my hands behind my back, then tripped me, deliberatley, according to witnesses, and then, “slam dunked” my head into the sidewalk next to the famous cobblestones that line the streets of the little town of Nantucket. One of the witnesses ran out of the Atlantic Cafe and screamed at the cops, who by that time, realized what they had done, as blood was gushing from my forehead while I still laid in that face down position for, “the next ten minutes.” I was in a coma for 18 hours and when I awoke I could not see out of either one of my eyes, as they were swollen shut. The head trauma left me with a psychological disorder called PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder, severe delayed onset, and has given me time to take a step back and comprehend the effects any kind of violence has on a person, whoever that person may be. If this can happen on the fair island of Nantucket, it can happen anywhere. However, the fact that the United States Department of Justice is awake and doing it’s job again, does bring me hope that this violent nation of ours may take that same step back and ask itself, “what the hell are we doing to our brothers and sisters?” What part of the King James Bible code includes, “thou must taze your brother?” There will be JUSTICE and violence is never the answer, especially for employees of the state, county or town– who have NO RIGHT to commit violent acts upon the citizenry–EVER! GOD’S SPEED to the GULF…all of the people, sea creatures, DOLPHINS, WHALES, BROWN PELICANS, and SEA TURTLES, and marsh lands therein…may your days be better soon! Have a blessed Sunday folks! Peace~M
July 11, 2010
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