Brown River Queen cover art

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

BP Kills Gulf, Delays Payments to Residents. Cartoon Villains Everywhere Green With Envy

We haven't heard much about the Gulf of Mexico lately, and what we have heard from BP is a cheery line of 'Well, back to normal!' that is <gasp> slightly less than true.

Vast regions of the Gulf are covered in a thick layer of crude and dead animals.  See for yourself here. But because the damage isn't visible from the top, BP and their best buddy Feinberg have been accused of underestimating the damage and dragging their heels in paying Gulf residents who lost everything in the spill the money these people were promised.

Now, to make matters worse, BP is complaining that Feinberg is being too generous in his meager payouts.  And that's while BP is flooding Washington with lobbyists and paid 'scientists' who are actively working to reduce the official total volume of oil spilled -- because that number directly affects the payouts.

Read about it here.

BP is doing precisely what Exxon did in the wake of the Valdez spill.  They drag their heels, throw legions of lawyers in every direction, and bide their time, knowing their petro-pockets are deeper than any of the plaintiffs'.

It's despicable.  But that's way big business is done.

BP and all the rest will be drilling in the Gulf again, before the summer is out.  And they'll be cutting corners and taking risks and generally acting like boozed-up seventeen year olds with their first taste of whiskey and freedom.

Live and don't learn, that's us.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I'm Looking at You, Italy

Let me start by stressing that I have no strong opinion either way concerning Amanda Knox, the American exchange student who was tried and convicted in Italy of murdering another college student.

Innocent?  Guilty?  I don't know.  I didn't follow the trial and barely noticed the verdict.  My own rule for traveling abroad is this -- don't lick the taxi seats.  Also, don't engage in drug-fueled romps with strangers and knives.

Those simple rules, plus my habit of always traveling under an assumed name after receiving extensive plastic surgery to alter my appearance, has always served me well.

But now I hear that the Italian police are suing Amanda Knox's parents for libel, after they reported mistreatment of their daughter by the cops.

Oh, so convicting their daughter wasn't enough, Italian police?  Now you've got to sue the mortified parents because they dared to insinuate you might have engaged in (gasp) mild police misconduct?

That's just not cool.  You got your verdict.  Justice was presumably served.

Suing Mom and Pop because they acted like parents just smacks of petty spite.

I hope the Knoxes tell you where to shove your libel suit.  Heck, Italian police, maybe you'd like to sue me for libel.  After all, I did just call each and every one of you a doorknob-sucking hacksaw snacker.  I also hinted that it takes six of you to count to four.  Too, your language sounds like a ferret sneezing.

Come and get me.

I'm in Rome right now, at the Hotel della Minerva, under the alias 'Samsonite M. Pennyfathing, Esq.'

I dare you.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Finally -- Anonymous Versus Westboro Baptist

The world is, regrettably, filled with people I don't like.

The offenders are plenty and varied.  People who text in movies.  People who drag jam-packed shopping carts into the 20-or-less line.  People who --

Well, most people, really.

So I'm not a people person.  But even the most touchy-feely huggy-huggy pro-people people must agree that the  members of Westboro Baptist Church are indeed the most repugnant examples of a truly subhuman species of lower primate -- and I wouldn't even give the Westboro bunch that high a rating.

For those of my readers across the water, the Westboro clan is composed of a senile old preacher and his mostly-inbred congregation of knuckle-walking morons.  Now, if this bunch of genetic mistakes kept to their own ragged hovels and only intruded into the lands of men long enough to raid garbage dumps or gaze longingly at dental offices, they'd not be the target of my ire.

But instead of quietly attracting flies in some damp corner of rural Kansas, the Westboro creatures spend their time trotting from funeral to funeral, where they disrupt the proceedings by yelling in their gutteral dialect and waving badly-made signs expressing condemnation of the dead -- right in the faces of the bereaved families.

Why they do this is a question best answered by a qualified clinical pathologist who specializes in severe mental disorders.  My own explanation is much simpler, and can be expressed by the equation 'inbreeding + innate stupidity + paranoid delusions = a bunch of complete wankers.'  Yes, there is a religious element to all this, but it's so juvenile and grotesque I won't burden you with a description of it.

They're just stupid hillbillies with an equally stupid agenda.

For years, they've been more or less tolerated, since they are after all the grimy underbelly of Free Speech.  Towns have gotten clever about granting them a space for their 'protest' and then making sure a few thousand actual humans show up and occupy that space before the Westboro primates can coax their aging minivans into town.

Motorcycle gangs and riders even meet the 'protesters.'  The bikers then park in front of the toothless Westboro troglodytes and rev their bikes to drown out their hoots and bellows.

When biker gangs note your activity and proclaim it unacceptable, man, you've really crossed a line.

Well, Westoboro has apparently crossed another line.

They have, reports indicate, provoked the wrath of Anonymous.

Anonymous is the shadowy group of elite hackers who have recently laid numerous high-profile corporate bullies to rest.  VISA, Mastercard, and at least one much-praised internet security company have all fallen prey to Anonymous lately -- and none of them had first cousins for parents.

According to a letter alleged to be from Anonymous, they've had enough of Westboro, and they've issued to them a warning -- crawl back into whatever damp hole you came from, or face the wrath of Anonymous.

The Westboro bunch can be counted on for one thing -- stupidity.  So they'll do the stupid thing, and call Anonymous out.

And then -- well, I'll start popping popcorn, because this will be hilarious.

It's one thing to wave signs at funerals, Westinbred.  But if you think your tinker-toy websites and your private info will remain even remotely intact if Anonymous sets their sights on you, well, you've got another thing coming.

And in my mind, it's a thing long overdue.

Go Anonymous -- FOR THE LULZ!