Monday, April 28, 2014

MSM Story on BP claims process

In case your interested, some non-local paper published a story on the DHECC.  The story links to a post I wrote on this case you're unclear it's The American Zombie published by Jason Brad Berry.

Thanks...I guess....for the half-ass attribution, non-local paper.

While I'm a big fan of the reporter, Campbell Robertson, I'm not so much a fan of this story.  I suspect the heavy hand of the non-local paper's editors applied corporate bleach and left it in spin cycle too long. It's a damn shame because they missed one hell of an opportunity to tell the story of what is really happening here.

Oh well....maybe another MSM entity will step up to the plate.

Regardless, I'm getting back in the driver's seat next week after JazzFest.  I've just been super-busy for the past month.  


Anonymous said...

One of the things that is sad about the claims process mess is that most of the stories about the aftermath of the disaster are about the corruption and legal shenanigans surrounding the claims process.

Stories about what might or might not be happening to the affected ecosystems are hard to come by. Your work, going out in small planes and talking to scientists, was noteworthy for its scope even at the time, and outfits with better funding than you have never were telling those stories effectively and for the long term.

The human interest stories about people whose lives are being messed with as a result of the claims process are important, but they are taking place within an ecological context where the land that these folks have been living on for generations is hurting, too.

The changes in the water and the life on the water provide an almost unmentionable backdrop for claims process stories. That ecological reality deserves to be foregrounded again in the MSM.

One of the coolest things to come out of the protests over the Keystone pipeline is this little group called the Cowboys and Indians Alliance or something like that.

I`m not a part of these protests. These days I`m more interested in changing my own energy usage patterns and working on smaller things, closer to home.

But I like the name of this group, which takes an old antagonism and reframes it, uniting ranchers and tribal people who worry that the land and water that sustains them both will be hurt by this.

I don`t know anyone in the group and don`t know much about it. I just saw the caption under a photo that named and described these people, and I found the name of the group and the coalition being built oddly touching.

It seems to put aside so much bad history to focus on preserving a precious thing that everyone can agree is precious.

Jason Brad Berry said...

I totally agree with you. The ecological impact of the spill and the havok it's wracked on the people of the Gulf is going largely unnoticed by the MSM.

I plan on getting back to that soon but I felt like this story...what's happening with the claims process....could better serve the people of the Gulf in understanding why they aren't getting claims paid and help them understand the greed and evil isn't just on BP's side, it's also inherent in the people that are supposed to be fighting for them.

For me, this is a story we all need to understand in Louisiana as it is a snapshot into the unholy alliance between the Oil and Gas industry, politicians, regulators.....THE JUDICIARY.....attorneys and the mainstream media.

Our system of government is corrupt on every level and the entities that are supposed to be fighting for us are just as corrupt. If anything is ever going change in this state, we need to understand how deep the corruption runs.

Clay said...

BP clawback in action

Freeh allegedly finds corruption, holds claimant responsible, but also allegedly exonerates lawyers.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Yeah I know, I read it last night. But keep in mind, Freeh is not ultimately responsible for exonerating's Barbier. The buck stops with him.

Anonymous said...

Seems that a lot stops with Barbier, including lawsuits that are tangentially related to the oil spill, but that clearly pose a conflict of interest for him, nonetheless. And I do mean STOP, as in sitting on the burner behind the back burner.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to list the US attorneys.

Clay said...

60 Minutes about to cover the BP Claims process. Will it be Benghazi-bad?

Anonymous said...

My bet is a white wash. Freeh saves the day and Juneau smells like a rose.
I didn't hear anything about them talking to the pro se claimants that believed the BS, didn't get a lawyer, didn't get paid when the settlement was actually being followed as written because they weren't politically connected enough to get "sampled" and now are stuck with the full power of FG and PH trying to figure out a way to deny their claim.

Anonymous said...

Your passion as you follow this story is admirable.

Once again, anyone who wants to know what`s going on in Louisiana has to make your blog a must read, because, true to form, you`re out ahead of the pack.

The greed and corruption is not only on BP`s side.

It will be generations before the full extent of the damage is visible and comprehensible.

A time lapse, slow release disaster is quietly playing out in the breeding grounds of fish and oysters, and the money men are going to make a buck as fast as they can and get out.

I`ll be really interested to read anything you post about the judiciary. ``Who will guard the guardians?`` Is a question that has rung through the ages, since Plato, and since Plato writing about Socrates.

Your personal answer, one man actually exercising his First Amendment rights, is a damn good answer to that question.

American society is still the one that build that power you have into the national DNA. Thanks for claiming it and using it in an era of generalized fearfulness.

Anonymous said...

Tom Piazza, in his book, Blues Up and Down: Jazz in Our Time, has some pieces that he calls portraits of Wynton Marsalis.

Here, from page 81, is Wynton at 29:

``Jazz music... addresses all the complexities of the mythology of America. You have the negotiation between individual rights and group responsibility, all of it. Just like Martin Luther King was trying to make Americans be more American, that`s what jazz music tries to do. It gives us a spiritual architechture.``

Page 85, Piazza on Marsalis`s New Orléans: ``New Orléans is an idea to him almost as much as it is a physical locale; it is a touchstone, a image of an ideal society in which music was both an integral part of daily life-- was, in fact, the mortar which held the community together-- and also, with its style of ensemble playing in which every voice plays a seperate line and yet fits into a harmonious whole, a sort of running metaphor for democracy itself.``

That is a seriously idealized vision of the city.

But the picture of New Orléans, of the community of jazz musicians, and of America, where the great men would play humble neigborhood dances, and all the little guys were solid enough craftsmen to be session men for the greats-- a whole country of men who could be session men for the best when they came off shift from their day jobs! Damn, that America is golden.

The crazy part about America is that idealized as that seems, this spirit has existed for real, in many times and places.

Farm boys really did just cold build cars and planes all by themselves in the barn.

Pamphleteers of all political persuasions wrote brilliantly about democracy and civil society, and launched the American Revolution, the civil rights movement, feminism, and every other utopian dream that has pulled for a more just society.

The freaking Amish, with their stubborn refusal to be pushed to adopt modern technologies they think might seperate their communities and take them from their focus on God, now offer energy efficient small scale manufacturing technologies and techniques back to the larger collectivity.

(I wonder if anyone else has ever seen similarities between jazz musicians and the Amish.)

Seeing the older, deeper, larger pattern, the pattern that best supports a broad, purposeful, positive America is important.

How do we do for our political institutions what Wynton Marsalis and his hard working generation did for jazz?

He really focused on helping young musicians learn their instruments, he taught and taught that it was important to study and listen to all the greats of the past, to get them into your bones and soul so when you played, all the friendly ghosts would be on stage, too.

Put the sounds of where you live into what you play. So you need to make sure you`re living someplace alive with specific, local sounds-- make it daily, not Disney. Put other places, West Africa, Bach`s 12 bars, into what you play. So: local, cool, provincial, no way.

Deep political and civic literacy, a willingness to play as part of an ensemble, but an unwillingness to give up individual responsiveness and responsibility...

... a willingness and ability to play the counterpoint, the dissenting voice, to keep the tradition alive just with your own voice, but a preference for the humility of the session man when that post is available.

Is this possible politically?

It`s deep in the music of the place. It would be nice if the solid competence and integrity, the blend of traditional knowledge and inspired innovation, was in the politics and government, too.