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Aug. 1st, 2014

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and living in the modern world

I was assaulted in March of 1974. In my mother's living room, by her boyfriend at the time, Pat Gorman. It was Sunday, I was 15 and sassing my mom. I had some embroidery in my lap and my sewing tin opened with the lid in my hand and I think I must have been waving it around while I was sassing. Suddenly from my extreme right, I was pulled over the edge of the couch, over the large wicker trunk that served as a side table and thrown onto the floor in the dinette. Mr. Gorman was 6'6" tall, a VietNam veteran who taught shop class at Plymouth-Canton High School, the twin to my own high school, Plymouth-Salem. He already had a reputation for slamming young men against the lockers during school. My mother was head of payroll for the school district at that time. Everyone knew both of them.

Mr Gorman knelt on my arms and sat on me while, with his class rings on, he beat my face til I was unrecognizable. I was unable to fight him, but I began to scream and scream. He finally got some hold on himself, turned me toward my mom and said, here mother, its your turn, as though she might want to spank me. The look on her face I will never forget, the pure horror. He let me up and I ran to my moms room and tried to make a call but he picked up the extension. I then ran out the front door, in my pajamas and robe, across the apt parking lot to the apt where my dad's friend, Mrs. Walton, lived; they were at church yet. Patsy Walton opened the door and with a sigh and a smart remark let me in. I waited for my dad, the Detroit Police officer, to come back from church.

Dad and Mrs Walton came back, with all the accompanying drama, and then we went back to my Mom's, where of course Mr Gorman was nowhere to be found. My father, in his dramatic, passive-aggressive way, threatened to shoot Mr Gorman if he ever touched me again. Mom, as usual, didn't take my side. There was nowhere for me to go but to my Uncle Jim's house. I moved in for about 10 days. At almost no time was I given comfort, attention, loving care. I was made to go to school the next morning. My homeroom teacher, Mr Ditmar, took one look at my face and took me directly to the principal. They immediately knew Mr Gorman did it; they asked me if he did and I said yes. Did I want to press charges? I said no. They took pictures of my face and sent me back to class. That night my Uncle Jim came to me to tell me he had received three phone calls: the first from my Mom...was I ok. The second from my Dad...was I mad that I couldn't stay with him. The third was from Mr Gorman...was I going to press charges? No phone calls to me...no apologies...nothing. Ever since.

I didn't know about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for many years afterwards. I grew up, improved in character, went to college where I sang and was on the Dean's list for a 4.0 gpa. I got married and had two beautiful children and also acquired three lovely stepchildren. Life had become incredibly wonderful for me in spite of the traumas I suffered when younger.

Then two things happened in 1995: I was the fortunate recipient of a newborn niece who had no where to go after she was born. My brother Paul lived in the rooming house and the babies mother is schizophrenic, and wasn't able to care for the baby safely. My mother said NO...my step mother said...NO...but I said YES and very enthusiastically. In fact, I felt as though she were a gift from God and I, the luckiest aunt ever.

The second thing that happened, a few months later, is that we discovered my husband, Chris Russell, had Lou Gehrig's Disease, or ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). That was August '95. By November my husband was sufficiently compromised by the disease that I had to turn the baby, Abigayle, over to my Mom to care for. She was willing by then because Abby had turned out to be a darling child. So, life changed again, and instead of caring for a 7 month old baby, I instead began to give care to my husband.

ALS robs its victims of the use of all their motor muscles...walking, grasping, speaking, smiling...over the course of the illness any kind of movement becomes impossible. Eventually breathing and swallowing are impaired, and then cease, so the person with ALS suffocates and starves to death. In handling him I encountered trauma after trauma that took such a toll on me that eventually something inside me 'sprang'. Because the crisis wasn't about me, I stuffed the reactions deep within, until I could get my van out at 3am and drive for miles alone screaming and crying. I began having panic attacks. We lost Chris February 27, 1997. I have never really recovered from his suffering and his loss.

After about four months I told my Mom I was ready to take Abby back. She hemmed and hawed and finally said that Dennis (my stepfather) wanted to adopt her. At that time Mom and Dennis had no children of their own, but they both had a history of neglecting the children they did have...Dennis to the tune of 9 children by at least 4 different women. I couldn't argue with her...I couldn't have argued with a kitten at that point. I was broken like I'd never been broken before. Abby stayed with them. I met my future husband online, and although I told him I didn't see how the relationship could work, he persisted til I gave in. We've been together ever since. I began commuting back and forth from MI to PA and back, about every 10 days to 3 weeks. My own children were in high school. I asked my brother Paul to come live at my home while I was away, to make sure there was an adult present at all times. It was all a huge mistake. He was a drunk, and on repeated occasions my son Ian had to throw him out. They never told me what they were going through....my parents were so glad Paul had a real home to live in that when my children complained, they told them....let her go...don't bother her...don't tell her. Again, I had suffered an enormous trauma and they all just 'let me go'.

Within a few years I knew I was going to have a real problem with my emotions and mental health. I had run as hard as I could from the pain, until it took over. By 2003 I sought help and found a wonderful therapist, Dr. Linda Mascetti, who helped me get through the next four years, when she retired after her husband was killed in a car accident. During those four years I learned that I was Bipolar, and not just manic depressive....my first major depressive episode was at the age of 11, and I had never had a truly manic episode; instead what I had was Bipolar II with mixed symptoms. The official diagnosis was (is) Agitated Depression. We also learned that I was exhibiting the 3 main symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: avoidance, hyperarousal, and reliving the scenes of horror from Chris' illness. I told Dr. Mascetti about the beating from Mr Gorman and she was certain that PTSD was a part of my illness, as well as generalized anxiety disorder. So, we went the medication route for a while. I lost 2004 while on lithium, crying and sleeping. I became suicidal on antidepressants. So I discontinued all medications, except for the xanax I'd been prescribed originally in '95 when Chris got sick.

Until this month I have not sought help for the ongoing symptoms I have been experiencing for almost 20 years, except the .25 mg xanax I'd used over the years successfully. Depression to one degree or another has been my constant companion. An exaggerated startle reflex; high levels of cortisol leading to digestive difficulties. I held one job or another until August 2013, when I retired. During the last 2 years of work my condition continued to deteriorate so retirement was a relief.

My mother, brother Paul and his daughter Abby, now 19, all live together in Redford MI. Dennis died in Jan 2012, so my mother is a recent widow. She is 74 and recently learned she has diabetes. A slender woman, she brought us all up on sugary starchy food, and a lifetime of consumption, as well as raging alcoholism for about 20 years, had begun to take its toll on her. From March to July we cajoled, begged, did everything we could...all of us I thought...to get her to eat better and take the insulin. I live 500 miles away and am not able to be much help unless we are in town visiting. In the past year my husband has given them the equivalent of 200.00 a month in help. Some was a gift, some wasn't. In my mothers poor health situation things began to disappear: prescription pills...$400.00...no one seemed to know why. No one seemed able to help Mom with decent food and taking the insulin. She finally ended up in the ER where the doctors apparently were able to scare her into giving herself the shots. She has been doing so ever since. Her mind is starting to get clearer. We went to visit, and every day tried to pitch in to make a difference: John fixed their electricity which had completely gone out in the kitchen. I went through the entire yard and pulled weeds, from the lawn, landscaping and the cracks in the driveway and patio out back. We went grocery shopping for them. We brought bulk dry paper goods which their food stamps could not cover. Anything we could do.

On Sunday morning, July 20 I got a call from Paul. He was trying to walk to the pharmacy for Mom's pain pills and couldn't make it all the way...would we come get him? Paul has emphyzema. He has a bad heart. He doesn't do much but lie down and sleep. I said where is Moms car? He said Abby has it and she is not answering the phone. Great. I called her phone and left a blistering message. She was in the habit of taking the car for days at a time, and not responding to the folks at home. We drove over, picked him up, got the prescription, and got back to Mom's. She was fast asleep on the couch when we came in. I asked Paul... is there auto insurance on the car....he said no. We said do you know that's a felony if she or anyone gets caught driving it? He said Oh my god, and then called her again, leaving a message because she wouldn't pick up. So we all talked about Abby, and we discovered the lies...That her boyfriend wasn't thrown out of school for marijuana...he was expelled for making a bomb threat and Abby and Paul had him hidden at the house for months til he went to turn himself in. My mother's house. Over time he became so unpleasant that even when he tried to get it together, they had to ask him to leave. That was January this year. The day he moved out, Abby slapped my mother. My 74 yr old mother.

After Paul unloaded the truth about Abby and Mike and the exploitation of the car and Abby's accident which had made it financially impossible to obtain new car insurance, Abby finally called her Dad back. I could hear her nasty tone and rude manner so I asked for the phone and told her to get Moms car home immediately. She hung up on me. John and Paul went in our truck to go get the car, because no, she wasn't really at a friends house, she was at Mike's and Paul knew it. They left and about 5 minutes later Abby pulled in. I went to the front door and told her to pull the car in back. She began to scream obscenities at me, but pulled the car back just to the rear gate. I went out back and told her to pull it in the back to the garage. She walked past me and went in looking for her dad. I demanded the keys, she refused. I followed her back out demanding the keys, which she refused to hand over. I made the move to take them and she shoved me, so I shoved her, and she reached back and punched me with all her might in the right side of my head, just where Mr Gorman had attacked me from. We had a mutual brawl in the back yard, which I barely remember. Somehow I got her in the house, while she kicked and punched me I grabbed her by the back of her hair and bent her all the way over and whaled a spanking on her. She got away, kicked me to my knees from the kitchen to the living room. I got up and she looked me, took my new glasses off and snapped them in half in my face, then threw them across the room. I put my hand to her throat and held her against the wall. Then I just quit. She ran out, told the neighbor I was trying to kill her and had the neighbor drive her back to the bomb terrorists boyfriend's house. John and Paul got home then, and I tried to explain, but then Abby called Paul and said I don't know what, so Paul decided to blame me and John lost his temper and said we are out! I went out back and Paul said ...you lied to me...and I told him, I am done with you, and we left. Both Paul and Abby as well as Michael, harassed me all evening online until I could finally block them from communicating with me. I was numb at first. We left the next day. The week got worse and worse for me, I had eleven bruises and knobs on my body, but the damage to my heart and my emotions were far far worse. It took me 3 days to put together whether I had started it, but when I looked up the definition of assault, verbal assault was equal to physical assault and it wasn't me that started screaming obscenities and punching. I wanted the keys. She was driving illegally and didn't care what it might mean to my mother and their home if she had another accident that totaled the car or hurt someone else. She didn't care that Mom almost had a diabetic stroke while she wouldn't answer the phone and had the car away from home for days. Paul had been walking to get Moms pain pills so he could take them...Mom didn't know what they were and after he gave her one he walked away with the bottle even though the rest of her meds were lined up on the table right in front of the couch where she had been sleeping since coming home from the ER.

I waited a week, then when I called my mom to see if she was ok, Paul got on the extension and began screaming and screaming and screaming, at me, and at mom. Mom was a mess, again. He tried to tell me that I wouldn't see her again, and Mom told him that was not true so he turned on her and began to scream even louder. We waited a couple more days then called again and they didn't guess it was us. I have since made an appointment with James Lewandowski, an attorney in Plymouth, to get durable power of attorney for both Moms health and her finances, with her consent. That appointment is 8/12/14 at 2pm.

Paul was screaming at Mom, you lost 2400 dollars and its all your fault and we are behind, etc...while she is trying to recover from almost dying. Yet I saw them give Abby the credit card and the pin numbers. $400 missing in the house? It didn't get up and walk away. Neither of them care about Mom. She had insulin for 3 months there in the house and neither of them could be trusted to help her get it in her body.

Exactly one week after Abby assaulted me, on Sunday July 27, I started having suicidal thoughts. John took me to the hospital we had been advised to go to in case of such an emergency. I have been suffering from worsening depression for 2 years, mostly because I am too far from my family that needs me. Recently it worsened and we were following advice from our family doctor. He'd said there was a mental health clinic there 24/7. Not true. After being brusquely handled by the male triage nurse I had to undress, get into hospital garb and sit in a room with just 3 long padded benches against the walls, door open, being watched because I was suicidal. 7 hours we were there. We had to ask for water and a bite to eat. Danville had no beds in their psych ward, so they wanted to send to me a psychiatric hospital. Since I'd voluntarily signed myself in we declined, and they threatened to 302 me (commit me against my will). John immediately told them what was what and we finally left with no help whatsoever and got home at 2am.

In the end it's just you, along with your issues, who has to help yourself. It seems to me there isn't a thing in the world that can help me. I am so disappointed, in Paul, in Abby, in the medical system, in my mom who'd been playing all of us against each other until she got so sick she couldn't function. Disappointed in myself, who went a lifetime until the age of 55 without ever putting my hands on someone in violence. Even my children were shocked...Ian said ...my mom only ever spanked me 5 times in my life and 4 times I deserved it. Lissa maybe once. My kids were angels. What happened to Abby? I am sick at heart almost all the time, with disappointment with Abby and with fear for my mother. Trouble sleeping. Not much appetite. Exaggerated startle reflex acting back up. Agitated daily and going through xanax...the only thing that touches that dangerous agitation...going through it like never before. My rock is my husband, who after another week of perseverance finally coughed up a PTSD doctor that I now have an appointment with on Sept 19.

This is not over, but it wont take me down. They will not continue exploiting my mothers condition with impunity. My patience is exhausted, as well as my body and my spirit. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.

Mar. 17th, 2014

New look and new direction 2014

 Welcome, Gentle Reader

I've decided to renovate my blog, rename her and try to write essays and such more regularly. Anyone who knows me might realize automatically that there may be any number and variety of topics examined...photos and events perused and discussed...art to ponder and dissect. I make lots of stuff that I need perspective and objectivity in doing, which I find by posting pictures and analyzing them, Learning that I was Manic-Depressive (Bipolar II: mixed symptoms manifesting as agitated depression), will be coming up. It was a hard pill to swallow at age 45, discovering the one thing that might have changed my entire life had it been known earlier. Being a creative genius who just isn't very smart has its us and downs when the two are paired paired. There will no doubt be some sarcasm displayed from time to time. I may bring up religion but I refuse to accept comments that want to fight or intimidate me to think or believe in a way that I do not. I don't have as much time to do better and be better and be more aware. I see the need to act and to do and to be, right now and right here with what I've got on hand, for the the greater good as well as for myself. Especially now that I am 'retired' and the master of (most of) my own time. And so that is what I try to do.

Why 'Gilded Lily'? A few reasons. My name, Susan, is Hebrew for Shoshanna, which is the lily of the valley. All lilies are mine then, by rights!  Gilding the lily is having your cake and eating it too (mmmm birthday cake)...it is adding that last bright bit of golden paint to an already perfect painting...loving ornament and pattern all tumble jumble like a William Morris tapestry crammed with flora. morris1 It has always seemed the perfect business name to associate with myself, and so I have.

Why bother sharing? I think I would just like to be known in this world, and try to make a mark on it that wont fade as quickly as I am fading. No I am not sick. I might live 55 more years and you will be sick of reading my BS!! And no, I do not want to make a 'dollah ofa ya', although from time to time I may offer something I've made for sale here. I will probably talk about my bipolarity at some point. Feel free to skip anything you hate! However, no pity parties allowed!! No whining! LOVE and LIGHT til we IGNITE!  \o/

What's next? It IS Spring, and I've already been outdoors fussing in the chill morning air. It cain't stay frozen forever! I have plans! This commences my very favorite time of year. Oh yes, I have already seen the green grasses emerging from frozen cornfields, and flocks of robins over the landscape. There is no holding it back now! The happy expectation of gardening and my myriad textile projects are on going!

All my love
Sue

P.S.: DISCLAIMER: If I post a really bad rant (hopefully I will be more tasteful), I promise to say so in the beginning, in case it's really bipolar drama and you'd like to skip it :D   - ♥ suz
P.P.S. Disclaimer II: I f I post a real story I will not name names if there is controversy involved. I am not looking for a fight, EVER. - ♥ suz

Jun. 13th, 2010

First Hand Gulf Spill Response photos and comments (May 2010)

http://www.doomers.us/forum2/index.php/topic,67380.0.html

Got in yesterday, had a tough time getting over this pneumonia like pattern of coughing and bronchial congestion - feeling better today.

Back on April 22nd, I arrived out at the site of the explosion via crew boat late at night, and took this blurry image of the rig burning in the distance.

These are iphone images since my nice camera would've been too revealing to management. Project supervisors have an eagle eye on workers for these things as BP doesn't want unregulated information being disseminated to the public. It was explained to me that people would take photo's and worker comments out of context; due to ignorance or the desire to spin anti-BP commentary to the activists, without a BP representative to explain what a photo was showing - right.

The first two days I filmed with my video camera, but was caught by the crewman and told that it wasn't allowed - I would sneak video from time to time regardless. (When my wife gets done eating crawfish I'll post some video, I'll upload the video's to utube - have to do it on her laptop)

The vessel I was on was a (I will leave out the company name) 300 ton ship designed to skim oil and store a 4000 barrel capacity. There are multiple barges out there that skimming boats offload too when full. We carry a 660' boom (a long snake like series of air filled bladders) with a heavy weighted chain, 6' in vertical height, and all of which is pulled by a smaller boat called the "Monson." The Monson pulls the boom around the starboard side (the vessels right side) into a J shape configuration. This directs the oil towards the back of the boom where it forms a pocket that the transwreck - skimmer - sucks up the oil into the storage tanks. A industrial hygienist takes frequent readings for H2S gas, VOC's, and benzene - on multiple occasions the levels were at dangerous levels, but were modified to skew the results so respirators weren't worn when they should've been. VOC's of 60 and 120 ppm. There were times you'd come out from inside the ship and the fumes coming off the ocean would give you a headache. I tried to stay inside for the most part as my duty was to be available if a oil worker became sick or injured. I was the lead medic in the spill zone.


(Boom rolled up on the ships spool - it would take about an hour to unroll)

(Monson boat stored on deck up under the helo deck)
- Night operations weren't allowed due to safety, and the boat had to be pulled back on deck each evening.


(My onboard clinic)


(Boom deployed)

(Me in the clinic - no time to smile while surrounded by oil)

(Rib boat, response boat that is used to scout out the slick)

(Oil in boom)

(Oil in the pocket)

After a day of skimming there is a decon zone setup between the back part of the deck and where workers come back into the ship. They wear tyvex suits that are shredded when coming back through decon, a bucket of diesel fuel is used to remove oil and then soaps to scrub off the the rest. The whole deck is frequently covered in sea water and oil. Very messy, very smelly.



(Decon area)

A bird, covered in oil on the lower half, showed up on the second day to take a moment of respite on the deck. It would later die.

No environment rescue boats are allowed in the zone - fuckers  Angry. BP has the policy that all workers are to have a "hands off" view of all birds and marine life. We did rescue a brown pelican covered in oil on the last day out since it was caught in the boom zone, but the crew members took their time about it. The poor bird covered in oil sat in a box for 6 hrs plus time on a crew boat - they refused a helicopter (despite the fact there is a helicopter that flies over every 2 mins in the area at all times).

I have no clue where it was sent or how it fared. Hopefully they sent it to Venice where several groups are there to clean birds.

There were frequent migratory birds from South America that showed up on the decks covered in oil or were overcome with the petrol fumes. Their corpses popped up all over the place.





Marine life, like a pod of dolphins, were swiming in and out of the oil, lots of jelly fish covered in oil. The extent of the damage there goes unseen due to the nature of the sea - a hidden locker full of mystery.

Now going out to the oil spill I expected images of what I remembered back when the Exxon Valdez spilled those millions up in Alaska decades ago. What I found out was that oil has multiple characteristics as it becomes aged by sea, wind, and air - and not all of it skimmable. Mitigation efforts have ranged the gambit of skimming, burning, and spraying these damn dispersant's. While dispersant's may remove the visible aspect of a oil spill they cause oil to miscilize - rather than simply disappearing - and sink further down into the water column. It doesn't make it go away, it's still in the marine environment, but they would rather have there than wash up on the beaches. What's out there is a mix of traditional black "honey" oil that floats on the surface in a traditional slick, to a reddish goo, small chunks that look like diarrhea, or a rainbow colored sheen. Skimming boats want the kind that floats, the honey oil (I think they get money for every barrel they recover), but the other kind of oil - the vast majority - is not really skimmable since it doesn't congeal in the boom pocket to skim up. That oil will eventually sink to the sea floor or wash up on the beaches.


(Honey oil)









Once the oil filled up our holding tanks, 4000 barrels, we would head over to the barge (usually at night) to offload.



Before filling up our tanks we would periodically decant the oil - to remove the oil - and get a better product mix. This would involve bilging the water that's usually below the oil to pump off the ship and back in the ocean. Most of the 10 big skimming ships were sent to the incident site, near the leak, to get the good skimmable oil while the coast guard worked the spill further out with dispersant's and occasionally burning it. We were putting away about 24,000 barrels each day (I don't have the exact figures) and still not keeping up with the oil (from what I could tell) - so that should tell you something about what's being released.


Often other skimming boats, much smaller than us, would come over and unload their oil to our boat.



Meanwhile, there were large ships at the incident site that were constantly sending down ROV's, a large platform was towed to the site where the dome boxes were lowered to the leak - and would later fail.








Most of the skimming operations have to shutdown in seas over 4', so all ten of the 300T vessels head into the Mississippi everytime the weather is bad. This leaves the oil pumping out for days at a time without any mitigation.




OK, I could ramble on, but I would rather field some questions. Especially since I'm dealing with another issue at the moment.

Jun. 10th, 2010

NY Times article: Attacks on BP Are Excessive, British Investors Say

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/11/business/11bp.html

Push for BP to Halt Dividends Hits Resistance in Britain

By JULIA WERDIGIER
Published: June 10, 2010

BP’s shares, which are widely held by pension funds here, dropped 7 percent in London on Thursday because of concerns about the costs for the oil cleanup. The shares have fallen more than 40 percent since the fatal explosion at the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in April, wiping more than £50 billion, or $73 billion, from the company’s market value.

Shares, however, were 11.9 percent higher Thursday in New York trading after falling 15.8 percent on Wednesday. The drop came after lawmakers in Washington called on BP to suspend its dividend and advertising campaign to pay for the cleanup, and a senior official said the Justice Department was “planning to take action.”

Investors in Britain were particularly furious about the suggestions that BP should not pay a dividend until it cleaned up the oil spill. BP’s dividend payment accounted for about £1 of every £8 handed out by British companies last year, according to FairPensions, a London-based charity.

Most shareholders rejected concerns that the costs of a cleanup and possible damages could force BP into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and said the drop in the share price is not justified by the value of BP’s assets.

“BP has many problems in the U.S.,” Justin Urquhart Stewart, co-founder of Seven Investment Management in London, said. “One of them is that it has the word British in its title.”

In a statement on Thursday, the company reiterated that stopping the oil leak, cleaning up the spill and dealing with damage claims remained its top priority, and that it had a “significant capacity and flexibility in dealing with the cost of responding to the incident, the environmental remediation and the payment of legitimate claims.”

Regarding its recent drop in the stock markets, BP said it “is not aware of any reason which justifies this share price movement.”

BP earned more than $16 billion last year. In the first quarter of 2010 its profit more than doubled to $6.08 billion from $2.56 billion a year earlier on higher oil prices, the company said in April.

BP has said it would decide next month whether to keep the quarterly dividend at 14 cents a share for the second quarter. Last year, the company paid about $10.5 billion in dividends.

The cost of the response to the oil spill has reached about $1.43 billion, BP said Thursday, adding it was “too earlier to quantify other potential costs and liabilities associated with the incident.”

The company told investors last week that it had $5 billion cash on hand and that it was generating “significant additional cash flow” as the price of oil remains above $60 a barrel. BP had 18 billion barrels of proved reserves and 63 billion barrels of resources at the end of last year, it said.

Iain Armstrong, an analyst at investment manager Brewin Dolphin in London agreed with BP that the company has enough money to pay for the cleanup efforts and also rejected any potential concern that the company might not be able to pay for its debt.

“It’s gotten completely out of hand,” Mr. Armstrong said. “It’s a totally overpoliticized situation. There is a disconnect between reality and BP being totally lambasted.”

“Ironically, by being extremely strong financially, BP has become a target here,” he said. Mr. Armstrong said that President Obama should not forget that 40 percent of BP shares are owned by United States shareholders. “So he’s not doing them any favors either,” he said.

Peter Hitchens, a research analyst at Panmure Gordon in London, said most analysts and investors in Britain are “more relaxed” about the future of BP than their American counterparts partly because of the geographic distance. “We don’t have all the press coverage that’s over there and we’re further away from U.S. politics,” he said. “We have a more rational view.”

Indeed some investors said they see the recent decline in BP’s share price as a buying opportunity. But as oil continues to spew into the Gulf of Mexico they also acknowledge that while BP would probably be able to pay for the cleanup costs, the real question is whether it would be able to weather the political storm.

In a report Thursday, the International Energy Agency said the ongoing oil spill could prove to be a “game changer” because it could restrict future undersea oil development and limit supply.

“Emotion is understandably running high, and the way deepwater hydrocarbon developments are approved, operated and regulated will of course be thoroughly examined and potentially amended,” the agency said in its monthly oil market report.

Mr. Hitchens said the situations has now “gone beyond what’s rational” and some investors might start to fear that BP could be kicked out of the United States.

London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, said Thursday that the drop in BP’s shares was slowly becoming a political issue in Britain.

“When you consider the huge exposure of British pension funds to BP and the BP share price and the vital importance of BP then I do think it starts to become a matter of national concern if a great British company is being continually beaten up on international airwaves,” he told BBC Radio Thursday.

“What people forget is that if anyone breaks a pipeline, you’d thank god that it was a company that can actually pay for it,” Mr. Urquhart Stewart said.

Some business leaders on Thursday urged the British government to come to BP’s defense.

But Reuters quoted Prime Minister David Cameron as saying, “This is an environmental catastrophe. BP needs to do everything it can to deal with the situation, and the U.K. government stands ready to help. I completely understand the U.S. government’s frustration.”

Earlier, a spokeswoman for Mr. Cameron said the prime minister would be discussing the issue with President Obama in a weekend telephone call.

David Jolly contributed reporting from Paris.

Sue Kaufman
Drums PA
June 10th, 2010
2:46 pm
It's funny, the money end of this tragedy never really occurs to me. Of course, I'm fortunate to live many miles away from the Gulf and its formerly pristine coast. I won't be directly harmed by the oilcano. No, my obsessive focus these 6 weeks has been with all that oil being vomited from the sea floor. There is NO way to cap it; the pressure above and below the sea bed is so disparate that the BOP and attachments could be launched into space if less than enough pressure were used to cap it. I think I heard 22,000 tons would have to be lowered onto it (and now that battleship idea is looking logical). And then there is the problem of seepage. No one wants to encourage more seepage than already is seeping! Yet that is a possible outcome of improper capping (as has already been proven). And then there is the guessing game of how powerful this flow is. No way it was ever 1000, 5000, 12000 or even 19000 bpd. It looks more like 50000+ (maybe double). So here is a sickening story of death by torture, by poisoning, by fire, by neglect and carelessness, and bankruptcy both moral and financial....and money is what everyone is worried about?? No sympathy for the shareholders: They ARE BP. This is the reason that the love of money is the root of all evil. And this is pure evil, staring us right in our faces. Money is meaningless compared to the unstoppable series of events now unfolding.

May. 29th, 2010

Read while pursuing Gulf oil spill info:

In short, I belong to international exchange of traders. We share asset rotations to trade assets in other countries as some asset classes are unavailable in one country but are available in another, but without the regulation overhead costs (5 of whom observe this board, 1 other who seldom participates in discussion besides myself ). We've recently had some internet group conversations about the unprecedented move to allow one countries tax payer dollars to bail out another. We agreed to hire some "special" consultants to get an "owlseye" view and after a significant amount of "research and analysis" fees from all of us, I'm sure many on this board will be pleased to what we have discovered, although you really shouldn't.  TPTB that have orchestrated this crash, seemed to have gotten themselves in over their heads. The controlled crash was all designed to hide the fact that due to natural sun lifecycles, the effect on gravity, and the magnetic shield, we will see increased geological events beyond the control of any species. First there were land prone hurricanes, then tsunamis, then earth quakes, and now volcanoes. The latter of these will be the most destructive on a global scale. The volcano in Iceland is actually a precursor to the eruption of a caldera called Katla. This was measured to within a 4 month period by TBTB, and necessary measures from their standpoint, have been unfolding over the last 4 years. Many don't understand why the govt is subsidizing home building while having a 9 million foreclosure backlog while focusing on mass transit instead of fixing the roads etc. The real reason is that the govt is anticipating a GIGANTIC influx of residents into the US by years end. Where will the 10'a of millions come from? Europe, Russia, China, and any other eastern worlder who wants to live. Almost the entirety of the continents populations. When Katla blows, Europe alone will be under 30 feet of ash within a month. The mega ships, prison rail cars, seed vaults, haldron gravitational stabilizer, high altitude holographical signal system, etc... these are all to handle the upcoming chaos with zero electricity as the grid will fail in short time due EMP storms while the northern hemisphere gets covered in ash and snow for 3 years. The true test of humans banning together to survive is on deck. Many residents will flock to Canada, US, Mexico, South Africa, and South America. The authorities will start sharing this information with the public as they try to infuse authorities, govt workers, education systems, etc from the eastern countries with the west and south. We're tyring to decipher the market impact of this event. We expect a sudden massive drop as the news gets out, followed by a mega rally as the London exchange crashes to nothingness and the American exchange doubles after investors realize that domestic equities benefit from a doubling population almost overnight. The US designed an oil spill of global proportions to distract people from the volcano and the breakdown of the EU and EU markets as the "in the know" crowd races for the exits looking for bagholders. BP stepped up as a volunteer with massive cash reserves to be agile to any "unknowns" and had calculated that the current small box was mostly methane now that it is depleted and that the gusher would spew methane along with only .005% of what’s left of the oil making it look legit. Here is the kicker, and this is good, the methane deposit was the majority of the box, but when the rig was detonated, the current infrastructure punctured a BIG deep box adjacent to the small reserve deposit. Not only can they not cap it, they don't even know where the oil puncture is yet. This will be the end of ocean life anywhere near the gulf and impact the food chain around the world. With the aquifer levels at a deficit around the world for the last 6 years, I'm sorry to say that we will not be able to support the global distribution for more than 3 more months as our grain and other commodity reserves are currently running dry. You'll see many heads of state and leaders of multi-national corporations taking leave over the next 6 months and relocating to the southern hemisphere. I suggest you do the same. The problems have now amounted to beyond what they can manage. The funny thing is that in 3 years the problems are exponentially worse as the caldera in yellowstone becomes the least of your problems. Hint - at the equator, the sea level is 26 miles high if the globe were to flatten out as a perfect sphere which would occur in a pole shift. I can't help but put this in this thread for my own twisted means, and I hope I waited long enough to bury this post deep enough, but this is not a doom scenario, this is real. I'm not trying to win the contest, keep your mountain house pack you're going to need it.

Aug. 7th, 2009

Detroit continues to struggle

Wayne County Commission to sell notes to cover bills

Emergency $60-million bond deal necessary, some say

BY KATHLEEN GRAY • FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER • August 7, 2009

Facing payless paydays, the Wayne County Commission voted Thursday to sell $60 million in tax anticipation notes to cover its bills until Sept. 30.

Advertisement

The 14-1 vote came despite concerns from commissioners that they weren't alerted to the problem of the possible cash shortfall until Wednesday. Comissioner Jewel Ware, D-Detroit, voted against the bonding request.

"This is a crisis," said Commissioner Bernard Parker, D-Detroit. "We cannot just have business as usual. Some adjustments need to be made right now."

For the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano needs to resolve a $105-million deficit and has asked employees to take 12 unpaid furlough days and contribute 5% more for health care premiums.

The county also needs to resolve a $37-million cash shortfall by Sept. 30. Wayne County Chief Financial Officer Carla Sledge asked commissioners to approve the $60-million bond for the current fiscal year and $100 million for next year.

The commission declined to support the $100-million bonding request.

Sledge disputed that the county was facing payless paydays, but said cash flow was "really tight."

J.P. Morgan Chase is to hold the $60-million notes for 120 days, when the county expects it will be able to repay the money from property tax due in mid-September.

"We could probably squeak by," Sledge said. "We're just taking precautionary measures."

The county is to pay J.P. Morgan Chase $60,000 to handle the tax anticipation notes, which also are to carry a 3% interest rate, costing the county $1.8 million.

Contact KATHLEEN GRAY: 313-223-4407

or kgray99@freepress.com



www.freep.com/article/20090807/NEWS06/908070422/1001/NLETTER09/Wayne-County-Commission-to-sell-notes-to-cover-bills-



I am all for downsizing government as a way to balance the budget. It is horrible to have to spend 1.8 million in order to bridge a gap that is ever widening anyway. There are many facets to government that could share the weight of an across the board 10% cut. If we could see the stupid money being squandered, we would completely freak out! Tighten it up! 10% can't hurt that bad if everyone shares, and a little wisdom applied to purchases... or better yet, a moratorium on all new purchases until some real vision of the future can be restored and changes implemented.

Unless you prefer a straightforward crash.

America itself is really and truly bankrupt, unless belt tightening happens everywhere, and immediately. This isn't round one for everyone, some folks have seen this train coming for a while.

There isn't going to be more money, tax revenues have begun to plummet, with no real end in sight yet. Come 2011-2012, we will be living in a new America! There begins to be no need for any government at it's present levels, particularly when they can never get it right. I don't mean radical, instantaneous change, that would be chaotic and lead to anarchy. And of course we NEED our military. But just as we have over grown, we now need to pull in our tent stakes, make a smaller footprint, have fewer children, take loving care of all that we now have, and return to governing selflessly. Public service of any kind in American tradition has its roots in selfless service. When did ego take the upper hand over humility? Who is there amongst us who governs with a right attitude?

Be the solution! Go local! Love your neighbor!

 Sue
(What do we really have anyway? We will not be here forever. Let it go. It really isn't yours.)

Aug. 3rd, 2009

Here is a big article on the state of the world's oil supplies

www.independent.co.uk/news/science/warning-oil-supplies-are-running-out-fast-1766585.html

Warning: Oil supplies are running out fast

Catastrophic shortfalls threaten economic recovery, says world's top energy economist

By Steve Connor, Science Editor

 

The world is heading for a catastrophic energy crunch that could cripple a global economic recovery because most of the major oil fields in the world have passed their peak production, a leading energy economist has warned.

Higher oil prices brought on by a rapid increase in demand and a stagnation, or even decline, in supply could blow any recovery off course, said Dr Fatih Birol, the chief economist at the respected International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris, which is charged with the task of assessing future energy supplies by OECD countries.

In an interview with The Independent, Dr Birol said that the public and many governments appeared to be oblivious to the fact that the oil on which modern civilisation depends is running out far faster than previously predicted and that global production is likely to peak in about 10 years – at least a decade earlier than most governments had estimated.

But the first detailed assessment of more than 800 oil fields in the world, covering three quarters of global reserves, has found that most of the biggest fields have already peaked and that the rate of decline in oil production is now running at nearly twice the pace as calculated just two years ago. On top of this, there is a problem of chronic under-investment by oil-producing countries, a feature that is set to result in an "oil crunch" within the next five years which will jeopardise any hope of a recovery from the present global economic recession, he said.

In a stark warning to Britain and the other Western powers, Dr Birol said that the market power of the very few oil-producing countries that hold substantial reserves of oil – mostly in the Middle East – would increase rapidly as the oil crisis begins to grip after 2010.

"One day we will run out of oil, it is not today or tomorrow, but one day we will run out of oil and we have to leave oil before oil leaves us, and we have to prepare ourselves for that day," Dr Birol said. "The earlier we start, the better, because all of our economic and social system is based on oil, so to change from that will take a lot of time and a lot of money and we should take this issue very seriously," he said.

"The market power of the very few oil-producing countries, mainly in the Middle East, will increase very quickly. They already have about 40 per cent share of the oil market and this will increase much more strongly in the future," he said.

There is now a real risk of a crunch in the oil supply after next year when demand picks up because not enough is being done to build up new supplies of oil to compensate for the rapid decline in existing fields.

The IEA estimates that the decline in oil production in existing fields is now running at 6.7 per cent a year compared to the 3.7 per cent decline it had estimated in 2007, which it now acknowledges to be wrong.

"If we see a tightness of the markets, people in the street will see it in terms of higher prices, much higher than we see now. It will have an impact on the economy, definitely, especially if we see this tightness in the markets in the next few years," Dr Birol said.

"It will be especially important because the global economy will still be very fragile, very vulnerable. Many people think there will be a recovery in a few years' time but it will be a slow recovery and a fragile recovery and we will have the risk that the recovery will be strangled with higher oil prices," he told The Independent.

In its first-ever assessment of the world's major oil fields, the IEA concluded that the global energy system was at a crossroads and that consumption of oil was "patently unsustainable", with expected demand far outstripping supply.

Oil production has already peaked in non-Opec countries and the era of cheap oil has come to an end, it warned.

In most fields, oil production has now peaked, which means that other sources of supply have to be found to meet existing demand.

Even if demand remained steady, the world would have to find the equivalent of four Saudi Arabias to maintain production, and six Saudi Arabias if it is to keep up with the expected increase in demand between now and 2030, Dr Birol said.

"It's a big challenge in terms of the geology, in terms of the investment and in terms of the geopolitics. So this is a big risk and it's mainly because of the rates of the declining oil fields," he said.

"Many governments now are more and more aware that at least the day of cheap and easy oil is over... [however] I'm not very optimistic about governments being aware of the difficulties we may face in the oil supply," he said.

Environmentalists fear that as supplies of conventional oil run out, governments will be forced to exploit even dirtier alternatives, such as the massive reserves of tar sands in Alberta, Canada, which would be immensely damaging to the environment because of the amount of energy needed to recover a barrel of tar-sand oil compared to the energy needed to collect the same amount of crude oil.

"Just because oil is running out faster than we have collectively assumed, does not mean the pressure is off on climate change," said Jeremy Leggett, a former oil-industry consultant and now a green entrepreneur with Solar Century.

"Shell and others want to turn to tar, and extract oil from coal. But these are very carbon-intensive processes, and will deepen the climate problem," Dr Leggett said.

"What we need to do is accelerate the mobilisation of renewables, energy efficiency and alternative transport.

"We have to do this for global warming reasons anyway, but the imminent energy crisis redoubles the imperative," he said.

Oil: An unclear future

*Why is oil so important as an energy source?

Crude oil has been critical for economic development and the smooth functioning of almost every aspect of society. Agriculture and food production is heavily dependent on oil for fuel and fertilisers. In the US, for instance, it takes the direct and indirect use of about six barrels of oil to raise one beef steer. It is the basis of most transport systems. Oil is also crucial to the drugs and chemicals industries and is a strategic asset for the military.

*How are oil reserves estimated?

The amount of oil recoverable is always going to be an assessment subject to the vagaries of economics – which determines the price of the oil and whether it is worth the costs of pumping it out –and technology, which determines how easy it is to discover and recover. Probable reserves have a better than 50 per cent chance of getting oil out. Possible reserves have less than 50 per cent chance.

*Why is there such disagreement over oil reserves?

All numbers tend to be informed estimates. Different experts make different assumptions so it is under- standable that they can come to different conclusions. Some countries see the size of their oilfields as a national security issue and do not want to provide accurate information. Another problem concerns how fast oil production is declining in fields that are past their peak production. The rate of decline can vary from field to field and this affects calculations on the size of the reserves. A further factor is the expected size of future demand for oil.

*What is "peak oil" and when will it be reached?

This is the point when the maximum rate at which oil is extracted reaches a peak because of technical and geological constraints, with global production going into decline from then on. The UK Government, along with many other governments, has believed that peak oil will not occur until well into the 21st Century, at least not until after 2030. The International Energy Agency believes peak oil will come perhaps by 2020. But it also believes that we are heading for an even earlier "oil crunch" because demand after 2010 is likely to exceed dwindling supplies.

*With global warming, why should we be worried about peak oil?

There are large reserves of non-conventional oil, such as the tar sands of Canada. But this oil is dirty and will produce vast amounts of carbon dioxide which will make a nonsense of any climate change agreement. Another problem concerns how fast oil production is declining in fields that are past their peak production. The rate of decline can vary from field to field and this affects calculations on the size of the reserves. If we are not adequately prepared for peak oil, global warming could become far worse than expected.

Steve Connor, Science Editor



Apr. 24th, 2009

Excellent web site for great kitchenware!

                                                                       

                                                                                
www.greatinthekitchen.com

This is my mother's new website. She is assembling a wonderful assortment of small appliances, gorgeous glasssware, glass lamps and a zillion other things. Take a look around, and if what you see pleases you, then tell a friend too!





Apr. 8th, 2009

Quick update

Been a long time since I posted here. Much is changing. I start a new job this week, in Wilkes Barre. Waldenbooks has blown a fuse and doesn't seem to be recovering. We are also in the midst of obtaining a fantastic used RV, with which we hope to do a great deal of traveling!
Hopefully I will get a bigger card for my new camera, as it is prime picture taking time of year here, and then I will do a real post, with pictures and everything.

Until then, I hope you are well.

Love, Sue

Jul. 20th, 2008

Tolerance, and some excellent jokes (adult content)

I so agree, and continue to strive to be more open minded. It aint easy but is a worthy pursuit. Enjoy!

http://www.solopassion.com/node/4895

 

Memo to Bleeding-Heart 'Libertarians': Grow the Fuck Up!

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Sun, 2008-06-22 23:46.

[Note from Linz—I've taken the liberty of lifting this post by Oirishman O'Cresswell from the More Accurate Badges thread as it deserves maximum prominence. It's a response to one of the Politically Correct bleeding hearts on that thread who presumed to be offended on behalf of all "right-minded" people" on the subject of Mordis, their gravy-train, their excuses and their inferior culture. If anyone reads it and is not offended, I apologise.]

"This post is deeply offensive - yes, offensive - and just plain wrong."

Oh yes, you're absolutely right.

Thank goodness that right-minded folk like yourself exist to ensure that none of use say anything inadvertently offensive. God Bless.

Perhaps you could help out we less enlightened folk by drawing up a charter to ensure readers are never inadvertently assailed -- nay, assaulted -- with bad thoughts, bad jokes, or actions likely to bring Objectivism/SOLO/Libz into disrepute -- especially since everyone here is speaking in the name of Objectivism/SOLO/Libz at all times. Can't be too careful. Might offend some right-thinking person at any moment.

Perhaps you two right thinking persons, Richard and Luke, could draw it up -- perhaps with a committee of other "right-thinking people" -- since you're both such obviously outstanding ethicists in their own right.

Perhaps Wikipedia will already have a list you can use?

By the way, what do you call a Welshman with a stick up his arse? Answer: A taffy apple.

Please tell me if that should that be banned because it's offensive? Would I be a wrong thinking person for laughing at it? Perhaps you can tell me when you get the stick out of your own arse.

I need to know, is that sort of joke too offensive, and just plain wrong? Because I'm only an ignorant cracker arsehole, and I just can't tell.

Or how about this ...

Q: Why can't Helen Keller drive?
A: Because she's a woman.

Or Irish jokes ...

Q: What's the difference between an Irish wedding and an Irish wake?
A: One less drunk.

Or Jewish jokes...

Two Jews walking down the street pass a pretty girl going the other way. "Boy," says one, "I'd like to lend her one."

Q: What's a Jewish dilemma?
A: Free ham.

Or German Jokes...

Q: How do you tell the Lufthansa planes at the airport?
A: They're the ones with hair under the wings.

Or French ...

Q: Describe the French national flag?
A: A white cross on a white background.

Or other jokes about Welshmen...

Q: What do you call safe sex in Wales?
A:Marking an 'X' on the sheep that kick.

Or Mexicans...

Q: How do you starve a mexican?
A: Hide his food stamps under his work boots.

Or Canadians...

Q: How do you break a Canadian's fingers?
A: Punch him in the nose.

Chinese...

Q: What do you use to blindfold a Chinaman?
A: Dental floss.

Q: How do Chinese name their babies?
A: When they're born they throw up all their cutlery in the air to celebrate. Baby is named by the noise the cutlery makes hitting the ground.
American...

Two families moved from Pakistan to America. When they arrived the two fathers made a bet - in a year's time whichever family had become more American would win. A year later they met again. The first man said, "My son is playing baseball, I had McDonalds for breakfast and I'm on my way to pick up a case of Bud, how about you?" The second man replied, "Fuck you, towel head."

Jokes about Australia ...

Q: Why wasn't Jesus born in Australia?
A: Couldn't find three wise men or a virgin.

Aussie chicks...

Q: What do Australians girls put behind their ears to make themselves attractive to men?
A: Their feet.

Chicks...

Q: Why did god invent alcohol?
A: So fat women can get laid too.

Q: Why did god create women?
A: Because dogs can't get beer out the fridge.

Q: What's the best thing about dating a homeless chick?
A: It doesn't matter where you drop her off.

Mothers in law...

Q. What's a mixed feeling?
A. When you see your mother-in-law backing off a cliff in your new car.

New Zealanders...

A kiwi walks into his bedroom with a sheep under his arm and says: "Darling, this is the pig I have sex with when you have a headache."
His girlfriend is lying in bed and replies, "I think you'll find that's a sheep, you idiot." The man says, "I think you'll find that I wasn't talking to you."

New Zealanders (again) ...

Q: What do you call a kiwi with a sheep under one arm, and a goat under the other?
A: A bisexual.

Q: Why are NZ sheepdogs such fast runners?
A; They've seen what happens to the fricken sheep.

Cripples.

Q: What's better than winning the para olympics?
A: Having legs that work.

Q: What do you say to a woman with no arms and no legs?
A: Nice tits!

Epileptics...

Q: What do you do if an epileptic has a fit in your bath?
A: Throw your clothes in.

Indians...

Q: How do you tell when an Indian boy becomes a man?
A: When the diaper goes from the bottom to the top.

Q: What do you say to a Paki at Xmas?
A: A pint of milk, a loaf of bread and 20 Benson & Hedges please.

Q: Why can't Indians play soccer?
A: 'Cos every time they get a corner they want to put a dairy on it.

2 Indian heroin addicts injected curry powder by mistake. Both in intensive care !!
One has a dodgy tikka, and the other one is in a korma.

Pakis ...

Q: What do you call 500 pakis running down the street
A: Hindi 500

Poms...

Q:What's emptier than the non-alcoholic beer aisle in an Irish store?
A: The toothpaste aisle in an English store.

Muslims...

I went to a Muslim birthday party last night.
Fuck me if that wasn't the fastest game of Pass The Parcel I've ever seen!

I see police have released the names of 2 of the Glasgow car bombers:
Singe Majeep and Maheed Sonfayr.

New website to investigate. It's for muslim terrorists to get in touch with long-lost pals.
It's called Friends Re-Ignited.com.

The Metropolitan Police found a carbomb outside Finsbury Park mosque. Luckily, they managed to push it inside before it went off.

Aborigines...

Q: How do you make an Aborigine pregnant?
A: cum on her feet and let the flies do the rest.

Q: What do Aboringines use for birth control?
A: Fly spray.

And blacks...

Lad comes home from school and says to his mum "I've got the biggest knob in the third year, is it cos I'm black?". She says "No its because you're 19 you fucking retard".

Q: What do you call a black man with a BMW?
A: Defendant.

And white men...

Q: what's white, hard, and 9 inches long?
A: Nothing.

And blondes...

Q: How can you tell when a blonde is having a bad day?
A: When a tampon's behind her ear and she can't find her pencil.

And Jesus:

Q: Q: What's the difference between Jesus and a picture of Jesus?
A: It only takes 1 nail to hang the picture.

Sure Jesus loves you, but does he swallow?

And Mormons...

Q: How do you circumsize a Mormon?
A: Kick his sister in the chin!

And Catholics...

Q: What's the difference between a Catholic priest and acne?
A: Acne waits until you're 13 to come on your face.

And Michael Jackson...

Victoria Beckham has announced she had an affair with Micheal Jackson; Jacko's lawyer said its all lies as he was in Brooklyn at the time.

And Stevie Wonder ...

From 'Rolling Stone' magazines interview with Stevie Wonder: "Stevie, what's it like being blind?"
Stevie: "Could have been worse. I could've been black."

And Mike Tyson...

Q: Why does Mike Tyson cry during sex?
A: Mace will do that to you.

And the KKK...

Q: What's the KKK's favurite film?
A: 'Roots.' Played backwards.

And lepers...

Did you hear about the leper playing cards? He threw his hand in.

And old people...

Q: What's 60 feet long and stinks of piss?
A: A conga line in an old peoples home.

And South Auckland:

Q:Why do people in South Auckland go to garage sales?
A:To get their stuff back.

Ferrari's F1 team manager decided to employ some South Auckland teenagers as their new pit crew. This was because of their renowned skill when removing car wheels quickly. At the first practice session not only did they change all four wheels in 6 seconds but, within 12 seconds, they had re-sprayed, re-badged and re-sold the fucker to McClaren for 8 cans of Cody's, a bag of weed and an all-year pass at McDonald's.

And Arabs...

Q: Why do they call camels ships of the desert?
A: Because they're all full of Arab semen.

And lawyers...

New client asks lawyer how much he charges.
"Six hundred dollars for three questions," says the lawyer.
"Crikey, that's expensive, isn't it!?"
"Yes, it is. Now, What's your third question."

And rednecks...

Q: What's the last thing you usually hear before a redneck dies?
A: "Hey y'all... Watch this!"

Q: What does a redneck say when she loses her virginity?
A: "Gramps, you're crushin' my smokes."

Q: What's redneck definition of a virgin?
A: A girl who runs faster than her uncle.

Q: If a man and woman are married in West Virginia and move to California and get a divorce, are they still brother and sister?

And I have to presume there'd be no, abolutely no, under any circumstances, jokes like these about the sainted tangata whenua allowed ...

Q: What do you get when you cross a Scotsman and a Maori?
A: A pisshead who never pays for his drinks.

Q: What do you get when you cross a Maori and an octopus?
A: An shoplifter with eight hands.

Q: What does a Maori get for Christmas?
A: Your bike.

Q: Three Maoris and an Islander get into a car. Which one drives?
A: The police officer.

Scientist are trying to combat crime by combining the DNA of a Maori and a Samoan.
The are hoping to come up with a black arse too lazy to steal.

Q: In a race between a honky and a Maori through a tunnel, who would win?
A: The honky, because the Maori has to stop and write on the wall.

Q: What's black and white and rolls down a hill.?
A: A Maori and a seagull fighting over a fish head.

After complaints that there aren't enough Maoris on TV, TVNZ has vowed to solve the problem.
They are now going to show Crimewatch 7 nights a week.

Maori walks into an employment agency.
"Hi. I really really wanna job. Do you have anything?" he asks.
The woman behind the desk looks up and replies; "You're in luck! One just came in. A multi-billionaire needs a driver to drive him around. He's only here one week out of the year, the rest of the time the top-of-the-line-car is yours. But you do have to look after his twin, model, nymphomaniac daughters whilst he's away. And this job pays 300k a year. Interested?"
The Maori starts to smile. "Come on... you're bullshitting me right?"
The woman looks up and says "Well, you started it."

Here's just some of the new Maori television line-up for June:

The Young and the Jobless,
Unmarried with Children,
Little State House on the Prairie,
Black Eye for the White Guy, and
H*A*S*H.

All far, far, far too offensive for right-minded folks, I'm sure.

In fact, why not just give up humour altogether. Far safer. Let's not even think about laughing at jokes like this:

Q: Why did Hitler commit suicide?
A: He opened his gas bill.

But even if you don't laugh you can still be in trouble. "It's great being a Jewish comedian," says Jewish comedian Josh Howie. "If people don't laugh it's not because you're not funny, it's because they're Nazis."

That's Howie's Hitler joke above, by the way. Did you laugh? Bloody Nazi. And also by the way ...

Q: What's the definition of a bigot?
A: Anyone who disagrees with a liberal.

So, point made?

Perhaps we could all simply listen to the wise advice of Hugh Laurie's former comedic partner Stephen Fry:

'It's now very common to hear people say, "I'm rather offended by that", as if that gives them certain rights. It's no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. "I'm offended by that." Well, so fucking what?'

Or Bill Hicks:

"And I've got something else to say to those people who say, 'I'm offended', like some five-year-old child throwing a tantrum. Ready? There are a lot of things in life that are offensive, life itself can be offensive, I myself have a large list of things that offend me...So what!? Grow the **** up! We now live in the 'Age of being offended.' Get over it. Perhaps a little open-mindedness, tolerance, and acceptance may be the antidote to what ails you. Try it and see if your load isn't lifted just a bit. See if your pinched face of fear doesn't relax a tad. Why don't you exercise a little of the faith you say you believe in so much etc etc....you're offended by this material? Well you offend me, where can I send my letters? Huh!?"

In other words, grow the fuck up.

And to paraphrase Johannes Brahms, If there is anyone here whom I have not yet offended, I beg his (or her) pardon.

 


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