Monday, July 05, 2010

Why it's important to surf the fringe

I have what some would consider a bad habit.  I love to surf fringe websites and indulge in outrageous conspiracy theories.  That doesn't mean I believe them or promote them, I just find it entertaining to find out where the latest bigfoot sighting is or how Lady Gaga is an Illuminati agent.  I suspect bigfoot and Lady Gaga are in cohoots, but that's another story.

One of the great benefits of surfing the fringe, is that every once and a while you run across a real gem.  You get information on topics which somehow do lead to a larger "conspiracy" that isn't so crazy, but in fact plausible.

Such is the case with this webumentary from the ATS (Above Top Secret) site.  I was intrigued by it because it involves the Bureau of Land Management, MMS, The Dept. of Interior and these organizations all too cozy relationship with the oil and gas industry.  I happen to be researching a story right now in which I hope to highlight this issue, so I was really interested to see what is happening with the BLM and wild horse populations in Nevada.

The interview is with investigative reporter, George Knapp, from Las Vegas.   He's done stories on UFO's, Area 51, and a host of other fringe stuff.  But this story is not fringe...not at all.  The first part focuses primarily on how the BLM is systematically dwindling wild horse populations on game reserves on public lands in Nevada.  I would recommend watching it, but if you're in a hurry, the second part is the one I would highly recommend my Gulf Coast peeps view.

Interesting stuff.  But this next section is particularly enlightening to me.  The story I'm working on now has many parallels with what Knapp is claiming regarding the oversight organizations being staffed with former oil employees.  It's not just the MMS, it's the EPA, the LDEQ (Louisiana Dept. of Environmental Quality) and even goes as deep down as Fisheries and Wildlife.  We've put the fox in charge of the hen house and we're paying dearly for it.

I'd love to find out more about the MMS Lake Charles officials who were having sex parties and receiving kickbacks from the oil and gas industries.  I've come to realize that the graft and corruption going on in New Orleans is miniscule to what's going on in other parts of the state.


Anonymous said...

Thanks. You are my favorite.

Editilla~New Orleans Ladder said...

George Knapp also hosts at Coast-to-Coast AM. He is old school gumshoe.
Speaking of Voices from the Fringe
[Many harsh critics of BP -- including Leonard Bahr, a former Louisiana State University marine sciences faculty member and coastal policy adviser -- vouch for van Heerden without reservation, praising him as "well-respected." But other observers disagree, especially those with more of a {fringe perspective}(hehehe). Last month the blogspot New Orleans Ladder commented "now that it appears that Ivor van Heerden is into the Jury-Tainting Business with BP, I sincerely hope that our readership may [serve on his jury] in his own case against LSU."]
AHEM... :):):)

Anonymous said...

Jones (R) Act done in 1920 by GOP-led Congress

Yet storms blow these stupid booms and stop the skimmer ships from running and the GOP want to Distract by Blaming Obama.

Everybody knows if your plumbing blows a pipe you better turn the water off before a mop and bucket are going to do you any good.

Why hasn't Big Oil stopped the gusher yet? Why is the Oil volcano still erupting? Day 78 and the Free Market can't stop the Leak?

Will it ever be stopped?

Mantan Calaveras said...

It's not like corruption ends at the boundary of the city, or the state. The corruption, and just plain stupidity, seems to be pretty pervasive in politics.

Conspiracy theory is a lot of fun. And it can be very useful too, I used it as a means of de-constructing my mainstream viewpoints on politics and history. It's more coherent, but that doesn't mean it's true.

Jason Brad Berry said...


You speak of conspiracy theory as if it is a pervasive, cognitive discipline...either true or false.

I think all conjecture and hypothesis in regards to social function (meaning events which transpire involving more than one person) must have an element of "conspiracy". All deliberate actions on governmental and social levels come from a group of individuals who "conspired" to affect an outcome.

I think the semantic construct of "conspiracy theory" is rooted in the notion that an action was planned in secrecy in direct contrast to the democratic process...usually by a small group of people who benefit from the action at the expense of the greater good. Therefore the notion of "conspiracy" has taken on a malevolent slant in our lexicon.

But I would argue that almost all pivotal social construct and change has resulted from conspiracy, i.e., the American Revolution, the Civil Rights movement, etc. I suppose history belongs to the victors and hence Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, etc. are now defined as founding fathers as opposed to seditious conspirators.

What I find interesting is how eagerly people dismiss the notion that great, sweeping events which influence entire countries and even the planet, can't be created and enacted by a small group of well positioned, intent individuals.

One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite people:

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

All great social or political events which have affected the reality of the masses were seeded in the minds of the few or even the mind of one.

Unknown said...

I am watching this now and am astonished and rather ill feeling at the BP connections of the very folks Obama put in charge of the MMS and the BLM.

Killing wild horses, radioactivity in the ground water, giant spewing oil closing over a third of the Gulf to fishing - damn this is bitter stuff to realize.

Anonymous said...

I watched these segments again today. The word "chilling" comes to mind.

I am so angry. I can't tell you how angry I am.

My anger is an indication of how powerless I feel.

When I feel angry, I try to figure out, is this a situation where I need to accept the situation, or where I need to act to change it?

I can't accept this, my whole being revolts against it, but I have no idea how to act to change this.

What action can we take?

What should we be doing?

Anonymous said...

You probably have read this... but great read even if a little out dated

Anonymous said...

Don't forget when pursuing Lake
Charles MMS, the US Atty. for Western District, Donald Washington, was in house for Conoco, then defended them for Jeansonne, Remondet, Lafayette attys. This was on Countdown with Olberman but is also widely known in South La. He is the one who did not bring any charges against MMS, unlike the Eastern District and good ole Jim Letten who did.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous has jumped at the bait and can't step back far enough to ask more meaningful questions than why hasn't the free market stopped the leak yet...normally, this would be where I become very sarcastic, but I am too tired so I will be blunt.

There are important questions to be asked before someone contemplates the free markets incompetence.

How did the free market become so reckless? Possibly because you can't encourage competition and then say by your actions/in-actions that the rules don't apply. Apply to scenario to your favorite sport and you could see how it would fall apart, similar to our economy and government.

Why did it take so long for the government (on both sides of the aisle) to allow foreign countries to aid in the gulf cleanup before they pointed the finger at the free markets inability to stop the leak?

Why has the government abdicated its regulatory duties in the free market? Pick an industry and explain which one is being monitored within reason, outside of the IRS.

Before you roll your eyes and dismiss me as a tea bagger (which I am not), a republican (which I am not) or some other inaccurate descriptive because I choose to hold this administrations feat to the fire (as I did the last one), stop and look at results. We are a results oriented society - yet, our population has the attention span of a 5 yr old off their Ritalin. We have stopped asking what am I getting for my taxes, it has just been accepted that we pay them and get what we get. It wasn't racism that spawned the tea parties, it was being fed up.

Frankly, I feel the solution is to start stripping away useless bureaucracy and pork laden budgets. The first party to come out with a 5 year plan would win the country by a landslide, it doesn't have to happen overnight. This wouldn't require any changes to the constitution, maybe a few changes to the way politicians are funded, frankly, I wouldn't mind seeing term limits but that's fantasy.

This is a systemic problem, no single party gets a pass, no politician in office past or present isn't part of the problem that caused the BP leak. For those of you pointing out we shouldn't be drilling, get a f-ing grip and wake up to reality, the world runs on oil and if solar was a sustainable/viable power source it would have been commercialized and marketed long before now. The technology is improving but its not there yet. Our best bet is start building nuclear plants asap - so we might reduce the amount of drilling we need to do. Stop spending so much time thinking about the statement you make with your Prius and analyze how the systems of the world work together (financial/energy/govt, etc).

jeffrey said...

Oh come on, man. Lady Gaga IS Bigfoot. Get it right!

Anonymous said...

Five year plans? Nuclear power plants?

What is this, the USSR in 1981?

So not with you on what we need, Dude.

Anonymous said...

URL says it all....

a simulation of the potential spread of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill over 360 days.

Their hypothetical scenario? All sorts of bad.

Anonymous said...

Oh, here's a good one:

BP actually struck a volcano and the government is covering it up with pics, graphs, and video

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

This story is so depressing, but thanks for sharing it. Your blog is one of my favorites.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like your kinda movie:

The central actor in Ruppert’s doomsday scenario is the concept of Peak Oil, which says basically that the internal combustion engine and access to such a cheap energy source has been the main driver of worldwide civilization and prosperity for about 150 years, but we’ve now reached peak production, and we’re on an inevitable downward slide which will see all our modern institutions collapse, because they’re all connected, and were all, in one way or another, propped up by oil products.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Yeah I know all about Ruppert. I used to read From the Wilderness weekly. He's an interesting dude, but I think he's definitely paranoid schiz. He claims his office was ramsacked by Black Ops and his life was being threatened. He took off to Venezuela for a while then I think landed in Canada.

I think he knows a lot of shit, but I also think he's a little delusional.

He did nail the economic crash 8 years ago. He's been rather prophetic on many things with the exception of Peak Oil. There is a documentary about him out now, but I haven't seen it yet.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Oh shit Collapse is the documentary....doh.

Anonymous said...

An explanation for the BP oil spill-

BP Oil Spill: White people did it !

Its interesting to see the reasons for this issue being taken in so many directions and becoming so personal.