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When Yana Berlin promoted me, much to my chagrin, from columnist to expert, I was a bit hesitant to accept. In my column on Politics, I never claimed a title. My column was also to include current events. I've learned that all 'current events' end up being political. I do, however, claim to be an expert on two things, common sense and integrity. I also will claim to be a pretty good writer and editor, which is what I do. Frequently, I plan on using the 'current event' classification in my column as I do believe with all my heart that the American public is rarely aware on a large scale of some of the crucial things going on. I'd like to improve on that when I feel I can, at least, on the platform so generously granted me by the founder of Fabulously 40 and Beyond, Yana Berlin. I also want to add that my statements here are uncensored and not always necessarily the opinions of said Founder. I take full responsibility for them.

Tonight, I'd like to tell you all about something else that is going on as I write this. You won't hear about it on the news unless funds can be raised for advertising. Did you know that there is no government law that provides for free public service ads for approved non-profit organizations? There should be in a Democracy that is 'of, by and for the people'! We should have free and open access to events that affect our very lives. We must figure a way to remove money from the games, especially political games. People would still be allowed to make their own decisions, but they would get unbiased announcements with links to research sources.

I do think the enormity of the Gulf oil spill is beginning to be realized by the entire country and the entire world. The stories and claims, as well as the responsibility acceptance, of BP changes hourly. Now, however, the nation is beginning to see the clips of dead or oil-drenched wildlife washing up on the shores of four states. Texas, so far, has escaped only by the grace of ocean currents.  (These pictures you are now seeing have been slow in coming due to censorship by BP! These clips now, with thanks to others with cameras and, yes, independent media and reporters, are actually, due to reality, itself. BP can no longer hide behind their false claims of a 'modest problem in a big ocean'. The truth will always win out over falsehood. It's just a shame that a lot of suffering usually takes place in the interim.  

As a Gulf Coast resident, and no media corporation executive to silence or 'spin' me, I can share what I really observe in MY state as it happens. As of now, I am fortunate enough to live in South Florida. The oil is 'out there' but hasn't embarked our shores yet. It's a different story in the Panhandle for my northern, fellow residents. We're all pretty much aware of the economic disaster facing the nation. If not, you will be. The truth will win out there, too. I will keep you updated as the oil progresses on its journey of devastation as I personally observe it.

Whether you believe in, or even realize the crucial nature of our environment, one thing I think everyone WILL agree on is the power of corporations and money in today's world. What we might disagree on is the level at which it exists. While the populace is focused on the Gulf spill and oil companies, Mitsubishi Corporation and its partners are preparing to rape the Bristol Bay watershed on American soil in Alaska with the largest open pit mining project in the world. Anglo-American is a foreign-owned mining conglomerate. Its major investor is Mitsubishi Corporation. Do you associate Mitsubishi with cars? I did!  

I knew nothing about Mitusbishi's involvement in mining! I've owned three Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyders, the first foreign-made cars I've ever owned in my entire life and I bought it for its style, quality and fuel economy in which GM lacked at the time. I can guarantee, armed with this revelation, I'll never own another. Back to American made for me! Truth always wins out. I regret that I was ignorant for so long! I'd bet that GM has learned a hard lesson, as well. Money doesn't always win! Now, they seem to have their act together and are paying off their loan early. I'm thankful for the worker's sake. That is why GM was bailed out. The worker's and the jobs. It wasn't a government "take-over" as reported. I still have family working at GM that may not have a job if it had been allowed to fail. The CEO was fired by the president! No one at the banks was fired by President Bush who favored and instituted THAT bail-out. Please don't forget that.

Often we say, or hear, "What can one person do?" Admittedly, without awareness and accurate information, not a whole lot. I'm an avid supporter of the National Resources Defense Council. NRDC is a non-profit team of Environmental attorneys and legislators that take up the battles in the courts where you and I can't go. Their list of accomplishments for the Planet is impressive. As a member, I get news updates of what is going on behind the scenes. The general public doesn't get the chance to make intelligent decisions because NRDC doesn't use their funding for advertising; they use it for the court battles. Their list of proposed devastation is long and always growing. It's sad.  

I can help a little by giving you the information on the proposed mining disaster being perpetrated right now by foreign-owned corporations on American soil. Knowing that we have an Interior Department that is rife with the corruption of the Mineral Management fiasco and its permitting practices, wouldn't you want to know more about this so you can make your own decisions? I could copy and paste tons of information on the possible tragedy about to be instituted, or I can give you the place to check for yourself and YOU decide what to do. Please take just a few minutes and visit the N.R.D.C. website at www.nrdc.org/  I ask you to sign the petition if you care about the future of life and this planet. The Corporate meeting is to be held in Tokyo, Japan on June 24th 2010. There's no time to waste. This action will at least hold things up and help NRDC stall the battle. Let's REALLY take our country back!

I am going to repeat the quote I used in my first article on this new 'expert' platform. It still carries a real eye-opening message and I trust we'll eventually get the whole 'book', if you will forgive my penchant for metaphor. The truth always wins out and THAT is the truth.

    

"Americans learn only from catastrophes and not from experience." Recent headline? A remark heard this past week? No. This little nugget of truth was stated by Theodore Roosevelt about the time he was appointed to Assistant Secretary of the Navy by President McKinley in 1897.

I rarely mention my own work here but I would like to announce that I've pledged to donate 15% of my book sales off the top to four different wildlife organizations including NRDC: National Wildlife Federation, ASPCA and my own Sarasota County Humane Society. On my own, I donate food to the local no-kill cat facility run by solely by St Francis Volunteers. You wouldn't believe the cats they house, all dumped or found on the streets. Please spay or neuter your pets and support your local shelters and consider rescue and adoption. So many counties have cut funding to these facilities nationwide. What's to become of these helpless animals? My books are available on Amazon.com at discounted prices. Thank you.

Susan Haley

          

 **Susan Haley is the published author of three books, several articles on networking, an award-winning poet, contract copy editor, and book reviewer for AME Marketing. She is a columnist for The Florida Writer the official magazine of the Florida Writers Association, and serves as Facilitator for the Sarasota County Chapter. She is a frequent contributor to the Fox and Quill and the Infinite Writer e-zines and the political columnist for Fabulously 40 and Beyond out of San Diego.  

The audio version of her novel Rainy Day People was awarded in the 2008 Indie Excellence National Book Awards. She also contributes a variety of editorials and excerpts of her work to various newsletters and local papers, and is Founder and Designer of a Spiritual website dedicated to Nature. www.sucarha.com Her third book, Amber Returns to Maine and Other Songs of the Soul was released in March 2010. All are available on Amazon.com.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Paris Mano wrote Jun 5, 2010
    • Great article and thank you for your insights to current affairs.

      It is so sad about the oil spill. I cannot stand to see those poor pelicans washed ashore and gasping for air. That is enought to crush a person.

      I too live in South Florida and have been watching as they project the oil spill to get into the Loop. It looks like the whole East Coast of the U.S.A. will be ruined before going out into the ocean. Then where will it go....looks like it is headed to other countries.

      Keep up the good work and wonderful information.....

      Congratulations on the new promotion!!!estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Midnightmom wrote Jun 5, 2010
    • It is so heartbreaking to see the wildlife covered with oil and struggling to live! There are plenty of travesties for humans, but nothing like what is happening to the innocents! I can’t bear to see it! We will have to rely on you who live there to show us what is really going on. Our awareness of the truth, and our speaking out and demanding action, is the only way to get something done. As long as BP can lie they will. But, if we have you there to show us they will be exposed for what they are.

      Obama needs to do a heck of a lot more than run around bad mouthing BP and touting the bill will go to them. That should be a given. Why doesn’t he deploy the National Guard Immediately? This is a war that needs to be fought like no other. Oh, it’s fine and dandy to go fight a war to gain power over the oil fields somewhere else, but what about those who are here sucking it out of the ground and causing such loss of life right here at home?  

      He should be orderng BP to shut down all future offshore drilling forever and use all of their assets and manpower to clean up the poison before it is too late! BP and all others in the gulf that are drilling should be stopped right now! They should have had to prove that they could handle the job not just claim that they could. Their so called accident was really caused by the greed that drove a few to increase the drilling past the safe limit all the while watching chunks of rubber coming up as the seal broke apart in front of their eyes. They ignored it in the name of making a damn quota. That is criminal!

      If there is no law for free air time on the public broadcasting stations, then doing what you are doing right here is the way to fight it. Go to your local TV and newspaper websites and get your comments out there on the blogs where you will be read. The news stories online do allow for leaving comments and if you do that where you will be seen the most then that would be the way to fight back. It is free.  Isn’t it the camera that is Online showing us the leak live 24/7? We need more cameras there to show what is being done 24/7. No more lies.

      The federal government better do something a hell of a lot more productive then fining BP! I say get National Guard down there NOW and get it cleaned up without delay. Then talk about who is going to pay for it. The National Guard is on the ready and they are already being paid.  

      I admire you, Susan, for the care and mostly the action you take in your caring for the wildlife. Everyone needs to help the innocents. They have to be protected from the human race. That is such a dark truth! It is us, the humans with the brains, that bring destruction to the beauty of life on earth. If we don’t change our ways we will be the last of the mammals to be left barely living in the cess pool we have created. Our beautiful beautiful home - destroyed and suffering at our own hand, and what for? So, we can travel about the earth as we please to take in all its beauty? That will come to an end. We should be using our brains to avoid the end being total desimation. It seems our hearts have failed at the job.

      Please, go online and post comments on your local news websites and be heard! Demand the president and congress send the national Guard Now! It is no wonder the people who live is LA feel abandoned, by the governement, just like Katrina.  

      You are doing the right thing by using this column to inform all you can about what is going on there, Susan. I sensed a little hesitation, or at least your need to explain why you are writing on current events - having to define whether it is politics. It is Poilitics that has to be used to get something done, and fast! We have a war on our hands - a war against destruction by our own doing. . .



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Haley wrote Jun 5, 2010
    • Thank you, Paris, for reading my new column and responding. I’m sure you, too, are aware of what is going on around here.

      Midnight, I can always depend on you to react to my columns and I thank you for your support. I can surely see this situation has you fired up as it should. But remember, anger is a good thing only if controlled. I think President Obama has mastered that ability. I’m sure he is quite angry, as he has already seen to it that the Attorney General is opening a criminal investigation. He’s been on the job since day one. He HAS told the MILITARY in charge if they need more Guardsmen they need only ask. Most of the Coast Guard is on the scene there and the Coast Guard IS part of the Military. He has banned all deep water drilling in the Gulf. This well-head is a mile beneath the surface of the water! Pressure doesn’t allow just anybody to be running down there with cameras.

      BP is doing the work because only BP has the deep water equipment! You don’t see ‘people’ down there. As for clean up, that takes immense coordination and training! Animal handlers, especially, have to be trained. The oil is extremely toxic and protective gear is required. You can’t have mobs of people down there tramping around without adequate training and coordination or it would be chaos and evolve into a National Health Disaster! Believe me, there is no shortage of people already volunteering and going through training courses! I have signed up myself. It takes thought and planning! Mr. Obama is doing ALL that can be done as it can be done. BP didn’t put those cameras down there for public access but for their own use. They were ORDERED to release the videos to the public.

      The travesty in the Gulf is already in progress. I am keeping a close and studied eye on the events. BP has been told to start paying with more expediency. We are dealing with a foreign owned Corporation! Corporations are rarely complacent in following orders! Court battles will ensue and go on for decades! That’s the law until Congress changes it! Scream at Congress if you must! Or make your vote count!  

      Right now, I’m concerned in stopping another rape and pillage BEFORE it happens! Have you checked the NRDC in regard to Mitsubishi? They just won a battle in your Rocky Mountains on National Park land. Did you know about that?

      The Earth is ONE big organism. That’s what we have to realize. It doesn’t end in our backyard.

      I do appreciate your intense concern. Please channel that anger where it will do the most good.

      Best,
      Susan



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tamra wrote Jun 5, 2010
    • “...due to censorship by BP!”

      Am interested in learning more.  Would you mind sharing the details of BP’s censorship activities?  I have not heard about this in the news.  Interested in knowing what they did in that respect.  Thanks in advance.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Haley wrote Jun 5, 2010
    • Hi Tamra

      BP, at first, even fought giving the journalists access to the beaches, put restrictions on airspace altitude requirements, boats, on and on. I can see it to a point because mobs of ‘gawkers’ on the beaches, boats on the water surface and small aircraft in the skies could be an impediment as well as a safety hazzard. Tony Hayward, BP CEO was caught on tape removing even journalists from the beaches. This is how it was explained by CNN as to the video access. Often liability fines are assessed based on the number of gallons released into the water. BP had the only operation cameras down there so were drastically under-reporting the huge amount of oil being spewed into the water. I imagine hoping they’d get the leak capped and the evidence would be unprovable in the ‘vast’ ocean they insisted, described the Gulf.

      For purposes of brevity, we all know what happened to their ‘numbers’ when the oil began to amass on the surface and the marshes. At first, the Coast Guard was also limiting access which is understandable, too, in the first hours of comandeering such a massive crisis. But don’t take my word for it. There are countless articles archived on most of the government access and newsprint sites on the web. I’ve copied one such site below. If Googled, I believe it was something like half a million responses. One could research ALL sides for weeks! One site is run by a joint effort of all libraries. Myownlibrary.com or something like that. I simply cannot remember all of them. I like the one on Constitutional Ammendments.

      This is why I am always insisting, pleading and whatever else it takes to get folks to research all important issues from all points of view. There really isn’t a proper excuse for being uninformed on issues that affect not only our country but the entire Globe! Knowing and believing only one side of multi-faceted issues by allowing for only one source is, in my humble opinion, the same as being uninformed. But, absolutely, it takes caring and effort. It takes a reorganizing of priorities. If we fail, the price is going to be high. This does NOT mean that there won’t be disagreement and debate, but it will be productive and civil for the good of all. Politics and current events, to be effective, demand this. We return to good old common sense and critical thinking.  

      As for cable media, I will say that Anderson Cooper has done a phenomenal job on reporting on this event on 360. He is truly a journalist, not a pundit with an agenda. All perspectives are given and all controversial people are invited to come on his show. Chris Matthews on MSNBC is, as well. Others, on these same networks are not so much. That’s why we need to explore all avenues of information.  

      Here is one site loaded with articles:

      Gulf Oil Rig—BP Ordered to Switch Chemicals to Fight Oil Spill - CNBC
      The EPA has also ordered BP to make public the data it has been collecting on ... Ed Markey demanded the company allow access to its undersea transmission, ...
      www.cnbc.com/.../BP_Ordered_to_Use_Less_Toxic_Chemicals_in_Oil_Cleanup - Cached



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tamra wrote Jun 5, 2010
    • Yes, there’s certainly an infinite amount of information out there for us to digest regarding just about any subject.  But, unfortunately, the real challenge is in knowing which sources are reliable.  On the internet, bloggers can say anything, anything at all, and it is often taken as truth regardless of factual basis.  Even tv media take great liberties to overdramatize the news in an attempt to increase ratings.  That’s certainly very scary to me!  Lies and half truths cause responses in people that are destructive rather than constructive.  And this oil spill is no exception.

      I think it’s understandable why BP tried to restict access early on.  No individual nor company is typically forthcoming about details surrounding mistakes.  It’s just not smart pr.  We all want to preserve our reputations.  When was the last time we were allowed to see a company’s accident scene immediately following the event with no restictions on access whatsoever?  I dare say that’s never happened.  So to suggest they were acting out of turn by doing so in the beginning seems a bit illogical to me in this age of massive litigation and headline grabbing.  As long as the gov’t officials who regulate the situation had complete visibility from the onset, I think the situation was and is being handled effectively with respect to oversight.  

      But now we are able to see every minute detail of the operation if we so choose.  That sort of revelation is unprecedented.  I just hope it isn’t costing a large sum of money that could be going to the clean up.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tamra wrote Jun 5, 2010
    • Btw, I have a cat.  He’s a rescued animal a friend found on a doorstep.  Plus he’s neutered.  happy  And he’s not the only animal we’ve rescued over the years.  Does a soul good to take in an animal and commit to care for the them for their lifetime.heart



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Haley wrote Jun 5, 2010
    • Bless your heart, Tamra. I do think adoption and rescue is becoming more accepted. Especially since the truths about most, not all, but most puppy mills has become known. I’m sure there are reputable breeders but even that is about money and shows. We have so many animals that NEED love and care. Is your cat fairly young? Sometimes it’s hard to tell if they are exceptionally large or small. I have four cats, all rescues. That’s why I have to take food rather than ‘volunteer’ at the shelter! I’d be bringing them all home. I have considered fostering, but I get too attached.

      I agree with your response. I rarely, if ever, go on blogs for the very reasons you mentioned. I limit myself to public access sites and well known publication sites. I do like Time and Newsweek because they DO give ‘sources‘. Sometimes, I’ll read the comments sent in and laugh myself sick at peoples’ thought processing. I wanna say ‘is it real or is it Memorex?’ They’ll reiterate talking points heard daily on partisan TV. That’s why I mentioned Anderson Cooper and Chris Matthews. They are journalists of the dear Tim Russert’s type. That doesn’t mean I like every pundit on CNN or MSNBC. I watch them all just for my own education. It’s really an amazing experiment on the concept of “News“. You wonder if all these people are on the same Planet!

      Thank you for caring and I do hope you check out the NRDC site. You will be sadly enlightened at what goes on in the “Board Rooms“. And yes, I have no problem with ‘priviledged’ information for the sake of national security. But, frankly, I don’t trust any oil company to care about the environment. It’s all about money and profit. And consumers! The consumers share part of the blame, too. Just like expecting complicated issues to be solved in a week. Issues that took decades to proliferate! But someone is expected to solve it overnight without stomping on ‘freedom’ and ‘rights’ or they are bashed and deemed a failure or a tyrant. That’s what dictators do! Solve things with one ‘order’ and you follow it or be damned!
      Yet still, our main problems lie with a totally corrupt election and legislative process and it knows no party lines. The president, ANY president, has limited power IF they stay within existing laws. Those who are corrupt simply cannot be without a lot of inside support of their (corruption). I think their main job is to provide a set of shoulders upon which to lay the blame. :)

      Have a great Sunday. And enjoy that cat! I’m sure the cat is grateful.

      Susan



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Trudy S wrote Jun 8, 2010
    • I work for a non-profit.  My understanding is that unless a radio/tv etc. station ‘sponsors’ a non-profit they have to give political ads the lowest rate available (this is a law).

      Therefore, if they give ‘us’ freebies that makes their lowest rate $0 and then they have to give the political ads the same rate.

      Sponsorship doesn’t count as they are ‘buying’ recognition through exchange of airtime for their name being promoted.

      This is WA State...but I am pretty sure this is a national law.

      Let me know if you have heard anything similar.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Jun 8, 2010
    • Drill baby Drill... those words haunt me, and hopefully the haunt mccain and palin as well. tongue out

      How do you plug up a pipe a mile underground? Allowing deregulation is part of this happening. BP did what they did at the lowest cost to them for a profit.  

      So, my thought [maybe stupid] get one of those balloons that raise items from the sea. Send it down to the pipe, drop it in and inflate it to block the opening. Maybe it will hold until they can figure out how to stop it. I’m no scientist or anything, so it probably is a dumb idea. lol Just thinking outloud here!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tamra wrote Jun 9, 2010
    • Being a scuba diver, I’ve studied a little about underwater pressure and its effect on gases in the blood.  (Ever heard of the bends?)  I don’t think using a balloon would work because the pressure exerted at that depth would collapse the balloon.

      But you are thinking outside the box.  And that’s exactly what it’s gonna take to solve such an unpredictable problem.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tamra wrote Jun 9, 2010
    • “Drill, baby, drill” - those words haunt me, too.  That mindset would actually help reduce the danger inherent in subsea drilling.  If we were allowed to drill in shallow waters in more places, the complications being encountered in this scenario wouldn’t exist and the leak would have been stopped much sooner.

      The real answer is “stop, baby, stop.”  Stop consuming so much oil!  The CBS Sunday Morning Show reported that the estimated amount of oil leaked in 46 days = 1 hour of US consumption.  ONE HOUR!!!  That figure shocked me!

      But stopping oil consumption is totally unrealistic, imho.  We love our plastic too much to stop consuming oil.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Haley wrote Jun 11, 2010
    • Hi Girls - So glad to see a discussion going on here. I’m temporarily away from my computer, but hope to carry this forward, perhaps with a new column on recent developments, early next week. Thanks for caring!

      Have a great weekend!

      Best,
      Susan



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