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Loren Jackson Makes His Case For Harris County District Clerk In 50 Words Or Less

Loren Jackson is running for reelection to the position of Harris County District Clerk.

(Above–Mr. Jackson with moon walking astronaut Eugene Cernan.)

Here is the official web page of the District Clerk so you can study what this office does for the people of Harris County.

Here is how the Houston Chronicle describes the office—

“The duties of this office include summoning jurors for the district and county criminal courts, maintaining court records, preparing daily court dockets and receiving child support payments.”

I asked District Clerk Jackson to, in 50 words or less, tell the people of Harris County why he should be returned to office.

Mr. Jackson quoted from the Chronicle editorial backing his effort—

“In the race for Harris County District Clerk – the most important yet least known office in the Justice system – “the choice is clear. Democratic Incumbent Loren Jackson has done an excellent job.” ~ Houston Chronicle”

Here is the Chronicle’s full endorsement of Mr. Jackson.

Here is Mr. Jackson’s campaign web home.

Please consider voting for Loren Jackson for the office of Harris County District Clerk.

October 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Democratic Harris County District Clerk Candidate Loren Jackson Leaves Excellent Comment on This Blog—Mr. Jackson Respects All Laws

Last month, I made a post about incumbent Harris County District Clerk Theresa Chang planting campaign signs in public parks here in Houston.

It seems that wrongdoer Chang is committing this offense around the county. Loren Jackson, who will be elected County District Clerk at the expense of Ms. Chang in just a few weeks, recently left the comment below on my blog in response to my post of last month.   

Thank you Mr. Jackson for your comment, for you service to the people of Harris County, and for your respect for our laws.

From Mr. Jackson— 

Mr. Aquino,

This came to my attention the day that it happened. I gave Ms. Chang the benefit of the doubt and e-mailed her campaign manager privately asking for the removal of the signs and to refrain from posting her signs in public rights-of-way in the future.

Four days before, she also had illegally placed signs at 59 and the Beltway (right-of-way of a highway). The week following the e-mail, she placed signs in a public highway right-of-way at Hwy 59 and Townsend Blvd near Humble, and in public rights-of-way all over Fairmont Pkwy in Pasadena, on 34th Street, on TC Jester, on Scarsdale, and many other locations around the city.

Both Mrs. Chang and myself are attorneys, who swore an oath to uphold and defend the laws of this great State. The very law we swore to uphold happens to be located on each sign that we place. I have chosen to uphold that law. I publicly encourage Mrs. Chang to also begin upholding that law.

Please report illegally placed signs to the following:

Harris County Commissioner Precinct 1: Theodus Gay (713) 991-6881 ext. 1105
Harris County Commissioner Precinct 2: Laura (281) 487-2910

Precincts 3 and 4 are Republican controlled, and therefore, may or may not be of assistance in removing a Republican candidates’ illegally placed signs.

Other contact numbers for illegally placed signs:
City of Humble: (281) 446-2327
City of Pasadena (713) 475-4826
Texas Department of Transportation (Highway Rights-of-way): (713) 802-5071
City of Houston: Dee Harris (713) 218-5820.

September 26, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Houston, Politics | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Harris County District Clerk Candidate Jackson Gives Me A Shirt—I Will Wear It Where It Will Be Seen

This afternoon Harris County District Clerk Candidate Loren Jackson gave me a campaign tee shirt. I promised him I would wear this shirt while walking around Houston’s Memorial Park. There is a popular walking/jogging trail at Memorial Park and the shirt will be seen by many voters.   

Candidate Jackson obeys all laws and, unlike his opponent, does not place campaign signs on public property.  

I read as I walk around the Memorial Park trail. Today I will be reading Arthur M. Schlesinger’s Journals 1952-2000.

If you see me, please say hello.

October 3, 2008 Posted by | Books, Campaign 2008, Houston, Politics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Texas Liberal Endorsements For 2010 In Houston, Harris County & Texas

(Blogger’s Note—With Election Day tomorrow, I’m rerunning this post from last week.)

Here is the Texas Liberal endorsement post for the 2010 general election.

(Above–The red is the City of Houston within Harris County, Texas.  In the upper right is Harris County in Texas.)

Where possible, I am voting the straight Democratic ticket.

In the case of the office of the State Comptroller, I am voting for Green candidate Edward Lindsay. There is no Democrat in this race. If the Green gets 5% in this race, then Greens get automatic ballot access in Texas in 2012. I want the option of Green Candidates on the ballot.  Texans merit a choice that will consistently advocate for social justice and fair play. Hopefully the Greens can grow into this role in cases where Democrats let voters down.

(Blogger’s Note —I voted for Mr. Lindsay in early voting. Since that time, Mr. Lindsay’s ability to hold the office has come into question. You’ll have to figure out for yourself what course is best in this matter. It is a frustrating situation.)

I am voting Yes on Houston Proposition 1 in favor of the job-creating Renew Houston. This issue will help address our flooding problems in Houston.

I am voting Yes on Houston Proposition 2. This issue will help manage the Houston City Council redistricting process more fairly for incumbents not sure where their new district lines are drawn.

I am voting Yes on Houston Proposition 3. A yes vote in on Issue 3 will help save lives on our already dangerous streets by keeping our red light cameras.

I’m not voting the Democratic ticket with a full measure of enthusiasm. I’ve lived in a city everyday of my 43 years. Democrats sometimes take advantage  of the loyal support of urban voters and offer little in return. It is really little different from how Republicans take the majority of rural votes in our nation, yet at the same time offer few solutions to the many problems of rural America.

While I do believe that former Houston Mayor Bill White will be a much better Governor than the incumbent, I’m disappointed that he has not put forth a vision that includes all Texans. We live in what is many ways a poor state. Yet the poor frequently seem shunned by the modern Democratic Party. Continue reading

November 1, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 2010 Texas Liberal General Election Endorsement Slate

Here is the Texas Liberal endorsement post for the 2010 general election.

(Above–The red is the City of Houston within Harris County, Texas.  In the upper right is Harris County in Texas.)

Where possible, I am voting the straight Democratic ticket.

In the case of the office of the State Comptroller, I am voting for Green candidate Edward Lindsay. There is no Democrat in this race. If the Green gets 5% in this race, then Greens get automatic ballot access in Texas in 2012. I want the option of Green Candidates on the ballot.  Texans merit a choice that will consistently advocate for social justice and fair play. Hopefully the Greens can grow into this role in cases where Democrats let voters down.

(Blogger’s Note —I voted for Mr. Lindsay in early voting. Since that time, Mr. Lindsay’s ability to hold the office has come into question. You’ll have to figure out for yourself  what course is best in this matter. It is a frustrating situation.)

I am  voting Yes on Houston Proposition 1 in favor of the job-creating Renew Houston. This issue will help address our flooding problems in Houston.

I am voting Yes on Houston Proposition 2. This issue will help manage the Houston City Council redistricting process more fairly for incumbents not sure where their new district lines are drawn.

I am voting Yes on Houston Proposition 3. A yes vote in on Issue 3 will help save lives on our already dangerous streets by keeping our red light cameras.

I’m not voting the Democratic ticket with a full measure of enthusiasm. I’ve lived in a city everyday of my 43 years. Democrats sometimes take advantage  of the loyal support of urban voters and offer little in return. It is really little different from how Republicans take the majority of rural votes in our nation, yet at the same time offer few solutions to the many problems of rural America.

While I do believe that former Houston Mayor Bill White will be a much better Governor than the incumbent, I’m disappointed that he has not put forth a vision that includes all Texans. We live in what is many ways a poor state. Yet the poor frequently seem shunned by the modern Democratic Party.

However, it should also be noted that the Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor of Texas, Linda Chavez-Thompson, has offered a very inclusive view of who should share in the blessings of freedom and prosperity in our state.

In Harris County, Loren Jackson has done a great job modernizing and bringing new efficiencies to the office of Harris County District Clerk.

The entire Democratic slate for countywide offices is competent. And at least two of the Republicans running for countywide office are so-called Tea Party followers.

The Tea Party is not something we need in our Harris County.

In Texas Congressional District 7, located in the Houston-area, there is a write-in Democratic candidate against the Republican incumbent. Her name is Lissa Squiers. The incumbent is not running unopposed.

I am not endorsing any Republicans. It is possible a case could be made for the reelection of Harris County Judge Executive Ed Emmett. Mr. Emmett is a reasonable voice who brings some moderation to the Republican Party in a way that likely benefits the County as a whole.

Top conservative blogger Dave Jennings at Big Jolly Politics, endorsed Democrat Jeff Weems to serve on the Texas Railroad Commission. Mr. Jennings did this despite the fact he is Tea Party mouthpiece.

I cannot in this political climate endorse a Republican. It is not enough that Mr. Emmett is not a kook. Silence in the face of extremism is very much a vice. The present day Republican/Tea Party talking points of drastically scaled back government and racial and ethnic intolerance simply have nothing of relevance to say to our growing and diverse county.  Mr. Emmett needs to speak up against the rising menace of Tea Party extremism.

I urge all to vote in the upcoming election. Please vote for all the offices right down to the last judicial and county race.

Here are some links to facts about the election—

Here is the Democratic Party of Texas.

Here is the Green Party of Texas. ( I note that this web page has no update newer than July 23. I really want to be supportive, but are these people serious or not?)

Here is the Harris County Democratic Party.

Blogger Charles Kuffner has interviewed scores of Democrats on the ballot. Listen to these interviews and hear the candidates for yourself.

For those of you who insist on considering the Republicans on the ballot, the League of Women Voters of the Houston area has all the facts.

Here are the endorsements of the Houston Chronicle.

If you have a candidate you think is worthy of mention here, please go ahead and leave a comment.

October 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I Early Voted In Harris County—Some Democrats I Enjoyed Voting For And Two That Failed To Impress

Yestrerday I early voted at the Harris County Administration building (above) located at 1001 Preston Avenue in Downtown Houston, Texas. 

The electronic voting gizmo, which I feel is programmed to flip all my votes to the Republican Party, allowed me to vote in Vietnamese—

(Sunset in a Vietnamese fishing village called Mui Ne

   

…And in Spanish as well.

( Below is Valparaiso, Chile.)

If English is the official language of the United States, how come I can vote in Vietnamese and Spanish in a right wing place like Texas? We’ve even been at war with Vietnam and Spain in the past.

I’m glad we have the ability to make peace with former enemies. We are all brothers and sisters.

I’m very glad I got the chance to vote for a black man named Barack H. Obama for President of the United States. That is what I call progress.

( Below–Blacks voting in 1867. Here is a history of Reconstruction)

I voted for each Democrat on the ballot. Though I did not use the straight party ticket button. I enjoy voting and I went down and selected the name of each candidate.   

I’ve written before, and still assert, that the straight ticket voter is possibly the most rational voter of all. Party identification serves as a kind of shorthand for voters to be able to navigate the large number of issues we confront in our complex society.

However, we do retain the right not to support all the candidates of our favored political party. Inevitably, some will be hard to take.

I paused over the names of Michael Skelly for the 7th U.S. House district from Texas and David Mincberg for the office of Harris County Judge Executive.

Mr. Skelly has campaigned in large part on the false issues of earmark reform and a balanced budget. These are irresponsible postions at a time when swift and decisive action from government is needed to bring our economy back to health.

Here is what Nobel Prize winning New York Times columnist recently said about government’s role in our economic recovery—

….there’s a lot the federal government can do for the economy. It can provide extended benefits to the unemployed, which will both help distressed families cope…It can provide emergency aid to state and local governments, so that they aren’t forced into steep spending cuts that both degrade public services and destroy jobs. It can buy up mortgages (but not at face value, as John McCain has proposed) and restructure the terms to help families stay in their homes. And this is also a good time to engage in some serious infrastructure spending, which the country badly needs in any case. The usual argument against public works as economic stimulus is that they take too long: by the time you get around to repairing that bridge and upgrading that rail line, the slump is over and the stimulus isn’t needed. Well, that argument has no force now, since the chances that this slump will be over anytime soon are virtually nil. Will the next administration do what’s needed to deal with the economic slump? Not if Mr. McCain pulls off an upset. What we need right now is more government spending — but when Mr. McCain was asked in one of the debates how he would deal with the economic crisis, he answered: “Well, the first thing we have to do is get spending under control.”

If Mr. Skelly’s opponent has been bringing earmarks to this district, that is one way we would be better served by keeping the incumbent. Regretfully, the incumbent is quite far to the right.   

David Mincberg has been running a tone deaf negative campaign against the Republican incumbent. After so many years of Republican rule in Harris County, there are so many unmet needs and things to to be done. Why don’t we hear about some of that? Instead, what we are getting are attacks against incumbent that are simply not going to resonate with the public after his very visible role during Hurricane Ike.

Also, Mr. Mincberg has a campaign sign—one so big that it needs to be propped up from behind with rods—located on the right of way on a 610 feeder road near the Galleria. I’d like to take that sign and nail it to the side of Mr. Mincberg’s house. (I won’t though. And don’t you either.) 

I did in the end vote for Mr. Skelly and Mr. Mincberg. Though I’m not sure that was the right course. There is little doubt these men would be better than the incumbents. But from my view, as a liberal who has lived in a city all his life and had my vote taken for granted by Democrats who deliver little, both Mr.Skelly and Mr. Mincberg send up warning flags.

It’s not about ideological differences. There are only two main political parties for 300 million people and a big tent is required. It’s about the issues you choose to focus on and how you campaign. There is plenty of room for political creativity and correct behavior in even the most Republican of constituencies. 

In contrast to Mr. Skelly and Mr. Mincberg, there were votes I was glad to cast—

Rick Noriega for the United States SenateMr. Noriega will be quite a contrast to the far right incumbent. He has served his country in war and is now ready to serve in Washington.  Also, his wife has been known to visit this blog.

Ellen Cohen for the Texas House District 134—It is good that Ms. Cohen appears to have an easy race after banishing the lousy Martha Wong in 2006.

Loren Jackson for Harris County District ClerkMr. Jackson is very honest, never puts a campaign sign in the public space, and once gave me a campaign tee-shirt. Below is a picture of Mr. Jackson. If you see him be certain to shake his hand and to tell him you share his commitment to freedom.  

Loren Jackson

Adrian Garcia for Harris County Sheriff—Mr. Garcia is going to bring some real justice to our county. Everybody is going to be treated the same and that treatment will be just and decent.   

It was fun to vote. I encourage all who share my views to go out and vote. As for those who do not share my views—I can’t offer as much encouragement. You might want to think about staying at home. I’m sure there is some dusting or laundry you could catch up on. 

( Below—The young women below wanted citizens to vote “no” on the showing of movies on Sunday in the town of La Grange, Illinois. This was in 1929. I don’t know how the vote turned out.)  

original negative 

October 27, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, History, Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Harris County District Clerk Chang Befouls Public Park With Campaign Signs

Campaign yard signs for Harris County, Texas District Clerk Theresa Chang, a Republican, were placed on the grounds of Memorial Park and near the entrance of the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. I saw a bunch of these signs yesterday morning and a few remained this morning.  

( Above is a visual representation of the Chang for Clerk campaign.) 

Incredibly, the District Clerk’s job involves working within our county “justice” system. The clerk collects fees and keeps records for the courts. The clerk is also also responsible for summoning jurors.

What example is Ms. Chang setting for people who ignore a jury summons?  

Maybe Ms. Chang is getting political tips from Harris County “Judge” Linda Storey. Citizens of our community may well recall the appalling number of Storey campaign signs in the public right-of-way back in 2006. Now Ms. Storey judges others. It’s remarkable.

I think campaign yard signs on public property, or in vacant lots, should be nailed to the side of the candidate’s home.

The Democrat running for District Clerk is Loren Jackson. I strongly support Mr. Jackson. That is until I see one of his signs in a right-of-way. Then I will write a post such as this about Mr. Jackson. Though I have faith such a day will never come.

August 23, 2008 Posted by | Houston, Politics | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2010 BP Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill Facts & History

(Blogger’s note—This is the second version of the Texas Liberal Gulf of Mexico facts and history post. There are links here to learn about the BP/Transocean disaster, to learn some background on past spills and about oil in general, and to learn about some of the areas impacted by the spill. The posts ends with an extensive collection of links to stories about the disaster I’ve collected since my first spill post began on April 30. If there is a link you feel I should add, please make a suggestion. Thanks for reading Texas Liberal.)

Today’s update

(I’ll be on the road for a few days, but his post still has many links about the spill and the collection of articles I list is a good history of the events of the disaster.)

7/16/10–The leak is stopped, but there will still be some time before it is known if this will be the final fix.

7/16/10–Here is how the capping of the leak is seen in the U.K.

7/16/10—The test cap is working so far, but the government is not yet convinced. This is as of 6 PM central time.

Links—-

The Houston Chronicle has a web page with all the ongoing coverage of the spill.

Here is oil spill coverage from the great liberal magazine Mother Jones.

Here is the C-Span oil spill page with many video clips and links.

Here is the USA Today page on the spill.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has daily updates on the disaster.

The University of Georgia Department of Marine Sciences has a blog on the spill.

Here is the web home of the coordinated federal response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Continue reading

June 25, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Facts About Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill From Deepwater Horizon Rig Explosion—Updated

2010-05-19-nasagulfofmexicooilslickcolumn.jpg

Blogger’s Note—This post has been newly organized and is now being updated at this link. Please visit the new post and thank you for reading Texas Liberal.

(Blogger’s Note–This post is updated through today June 24.  If you take the time to get all the way to the end, there are all sorts of links with the latest news and larger issues of  just why an oil spill is so bad and the history of other major spills. As you read down the list of updates, you’ll be able to see some of the events as they unfolded. I imagine most of the update links are still good so you can also read the stories that have been the lead-up to the events of the present time. )

Here is a blog post with facts and updates on the BP/Transocean Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

(Above–The spill from space.)

(Update-4/30/10–The first of the oil may have reached the Louisiana Gulf coast.)

(Update 5/1/10–Some feel BP has not done all it could to address the disaster.)

(Update 5/1/10–Here is what a worst case scenario would look like as the oil keeps spewing out.)

(Update 5/1/10–Commercial fishers in Louisiana are concerned.)

(Update 5/1/10–President Obama will be visiting the Gulf to see the spill.)

(Update 5/2/10–The BBC has a number of reports on the spill. This provides some sense on how the rest of the world sees what is taking place.)

The Houston Chronicle has a web page with all the ongoing coverage of the spill.

Here is oil spill coverage from the great liberal magazine Mother Jones.

This June 24 article asks if BP is also drilling risky wells in Alaska.

This June 23 report says that the judge who overturned President Obama’s drilling ban owns shares in the oil industry.

Here is a June 21 story about the health impact of the spill.

From this report—

Q: Has anyone gotten sick from the oil spilled in the Gulf?

A: Yes, there have been reports of illnesses, but relatively few among people not involved in the spill cleanup. Most of the reported illnesses were related to odors or fumes. Almost all were mild and temporary, and many were in early May, within the first few weeks of the April 20 explosion. The reports are based on a doctor’s assessment, not on lab testing. All but 35 of the 109 spill-related illnesses in Louisiana have been workers; Alabama has 27 reports of illnesses, and Florida and Mississippi have had none.

This June 18 NY Times story is about how President Obama, in getting BP to pay, is restoring some balance in the relationship between multi-national corporations and average folks.

This June 11 NY Times column says that it is not enough to boycott BP stations of you want to hurt BP. What you would really have to do is use less oil.

Here is information on filing a claim with BP if you have been impacted by the spill.

With the spill now said to be bigger than the Exxon Valdez disaster, here are many facts about the Exxon Valdez.

Here is a list of four environmental disasters worse than the Deepwater Horizon spill.

The spill has impacted Native Americans living in Louisiana. Native Americans in Louisiana have long felt screwed-over by oil companies.

Here is a report on a question many have wondered about—With all this oil in the Gulf, what will happen if there is a big hurricane?

Here is the BP blog on the spill response.

BP has had spills and safety issues in the past.

(Below—Efforts in the gulf to contain the oil. That ship looks a bit outmatched.)

Hurricane season does not start for a month, yet here is a threat moving towards the Gulf coast.

Here are facts about the Mississippi River Delta from the National Wetlands Research Center of the United States Geological Survey.

Here is an essay from the Nature Conservancy about Gulf Coast prairies and marshes. This is an area that may be hit by the advancing oil.

Here is the web home of the Louisiana Shrimp Association. This are folks who want to be able to go out and fish for shrimp and who want you to be willing to buy shrimp.

Greenpeace has questions about what is taking place in the Gulf.

Here is a BBC map of how the oil has spread since the initial explosion.

Here the web page of WKRG-TV in New Orleans. WKRG has a running meter of the estimated oil that has gone into the ocean.

(Below–Many people are not pleased with BP.)

( Update 5/2/10–Interior Secretary Salazar believes the flow of oil can be stemmed, but the timeline for this is not clear.)

Here is the White House blog on the disaster.

The U.S. Coast Guard has a useful site with plenty of facts and pictures.

( Below—A controlled burn of the oil.)

(Update 5/2/10—National Public Radio offers this report on a 1980 Gulf of Mexico leak that took a year to plug.)

(Update 5/2/10–Politico reports that blame is being assessed in a way that mimics the Hurricane Katrina  Gulf coast disaster.)

(Update 5/2/10–BP has held a press conference discussing the spill.)

(Update 5/3/10–President Obama asserts that BP will pay the full cost of the cleanup.)

(Update 5/3/10—The Louisiana  seafood industry is waiting to assess the impact of the oil.)

( Update 5/3/10–The Austin, Minnesota Daily Herald says it is even more clear we must find new energy sources so that we use less oil.)

( Update 5/3/10–This N.Y.  Times story discusses how bad the spill really is and how bad it may or may not become.)

( Below—Oil washing up on the Louisiana coast on May 8.)

Burning the oil to make it go away is part of the response to the spill. Here is an article from the Mobile Press-Regster about what burning could accomplish and expressing the view that the burning should have started earlier than it did.

The spill began when an offshore oil rig exploded and sank. 11 people were killed in this disaster. The name of the rig was the Deepwater Horizon rig. The rig was leased by BP.

This Huffington Post article asserting that BP has resisted rig safety regulations, takes a somewhat different approach to the spill than does BP.

( Update 5/4/10–It may still be three days before oil hits the Gulf coast.)

( Update 5/4/10–Some BP shareholders are angry at the company because they feel BP did not do enough in advance to prevent the spill.)

( Update 5/4/10–-Some are concerned that the chemicals being used to clean the spill are also harmful to the ocean and to wildlife.)

(Update 5/4/10–The Democratic nominee for Governor of  Texas, Bill White of Houston, offered his views on the explosion and spill.)

The firm that owned the rig was Transocean. Here is the statement by Transocean about the explosion.

(Update 5/13/10–-Transocean feels lawsuit damages against the company for the blast should be limited at $27 million.)

There is a joint response web site which is being run by the both the companies and the federal agencies involved in cleaning up the oil. There is a lot of information at this site.

Here is a law firm that would like to file a suit on your behalf if you feel you’ve been impacted by the spill. It seems that this firm specializes in such cases.

(Update 5/5/10—Here is an excellent report from National Public Radio that is a timeline of what has taken place since the initial explosion.)

(Update 5/5/10—The Winnipeg Free Press asks what the spill will do to gas prices.)

(Update 5/5/10–Here is a report on damage to the underwater environment.)

(Update 5/6/10–A U. of Miami professor says the oil is entering currents that would send it up the U.S. east coast.)

(Update 5/6/10—Here is a story about the containment dome that will, hopefully, stop the ongoing flow of water into the ocean.)

Here are useful facts about oil spills and impact of oil spills on animals as prepared in 2002 by the Novi Meadows Elementary school in Novi, Michigan.

From the Novi site, here is how oil covered sea otters are cleaned—

“When sea otters are taken to a cleaning facility, the heavy oiled otters will be washed first. Workers will wash the otters with warm water because they hope it will break down the oil. The warm water also can warm the otters up. The otters also will get medical treatment while they are being cleaned. The otters will then have to wait so they can dry.”

(Update 5/7/10—Here is a story about a “social networking crisis map” of the spill.)

( Update 5/7/10—One idea to help keep the oil from reaching land is to increase the flow of water entering the Gulf from the Mississippi River.)

(Update 5/7/10—Here is a report on the progress of the metal box that was built to contain the leak.)

(Update 5/8/10—Efforts to place a big dome over the spill are not going so well.)

(Update 5/8/10—NASA has made an infrared image of the extent of the oil in the Gulf.)

(Update 5/9/10–The containment box has been parked on the bottom of the ocean and another effort will be made soon to use the box again.)

(Update 5/10/10–The next solution to be attempted to plug the leak will be to blast garbage into the pipes that are spewing the oil.)

(Update 5/10/10–-BP is spraying more chemicals into the Gulf to stop the oil from spreading.)

(Update 5/11/10–Hearings are being held in Washington today to get the causes of the disaster.)

(Update–5/11/10—The first hearings have been held. Shocker–Nobody said they were at fault.)

(Update–5/12/10—Here is a BBC map where you can track the extent of the oil slick from the beginning to the current day.)

(Update 5/12-10–BP thinks they may have a solution to the ongoing leak. There is also a video in this report of the oil gushing into the sea.)

(Update 5/13/10—Tar balls are beginning to show up on the Gulf coast.)

(Update 5/13/10–-The President of BP, Tony Hayward, says his job is on the line over the spill. No kidding.)

(Update 5/13/10—Criminal charges are being considered for this disaster.)

(Update 5/13/10—It is proving difficult to calculate just how much oil is being leaked into the ocean each day.)

The Independent newspaper in the U.K has an article abut the potential loss of marine life in the Gulf from this large spill.

(Below–One bird that could suffer losses from the oil is the Brown Pelican. You see that this pelican has already taken a severe hit.)

The Gulf of Mexico Foundation has many facts about the Gulf and about groups that advocate for the Gulf.

(Update 5/14/10–The latest efforts to stop the oil.)

(Update 5/14/10—President Obama had harsh words for the companies and federal regulators involved in the spill.)

(Update 5/15/10–Some accuse BP of using the Gulf as a “Toxic Testing Ground.”)

(Update 5/15/10–Here is a video of what it is like to actually be on the Gulf where the oil is floating around.)

(Update 5/16/10–Large amounts of oil are being found underwater.)

(Update 5/16/10–Tourism at some Gulf of Mexico beaches has begun to suffer.)

(Update 5/16/10—The combination of the use of chemicals to treat the oil and likelihood of  hurricanes in the Gulf  could cause the oil to appear on the Gulf coast for years to come.)

(Update 5/16/10—Progress is finally being made in diverting some of the oil away from spilling into the ocean.)

(Update 5/17/10—The oil may soon be headed up the Atlantic coast.)

(Update 5/17/10–Here is the latest on BP’s efforts to stop the spill.)

(Update 5/17/10–President Obama will be setting up a panel to investigate the spill. )

(Update 5/18/10—Tarballs have been found at Key West. Update to the update–These tarballs were not from the Gulf spill. They were from some other source. I’m not sure if that is good news or not.)  )

(Update 5/18/10–-BP says they have spent $625 million cleaning up the spill. I guess they will be passing that on to consumers.)

(Update 5/18/10—BP had little planning in place for a disaster such as they one that has occurred.)

(Update 5/18/10-–Here are four videos of the leak under the sea.)

(Update 5/19/10--Here is a story suggesting what type of new federal oversight is needed to prevent another spill of this kind.)

(Update 5/19/10—The American Veterinary Medicine Association says responders are ready to deal with wildlife harmed by oil. Though to this point there have few animals found that have impacted.)

(Update 5/19/10—The European Space Agency says it has photos showing that oil is headed towards coral reefs off the coast of Florida.)

(Update 5/19/10--BP does not seem to have a plan in place to help Vietnamese immigrant fishermen who are losing business to the spill.)

(Update 5/20/10–The U.S. and Cuba are discussing the possible effects of the spill on Cuba.)

(Update 5/20/10—Self-regulating oil companies are the norm around the world.)

(Update 5/20/10—A so-called “top kill” procedure will be tried this upcoming Sunday to stop the leak.)

(Update 5/20/10—Here are where things stand as of  noon Central Time.)

(Update 5/21/10–BP denies covering up the extent of the spill.)

(Update  5/21/10—A New Orleans Times-Picayune editorial directs the blame at BP for the story.)

(Update 5/22/10–The Hindu newspaper in India has written a report about the commission President Obama has formed to investigate the spill.)

(Update 5/22/10–Here is the latest  forecast for where the oil is headed.)

(Update 5/22/10–For all the talk about using hair to stop the spill, it turns out that such an idea will not work.)

( Update 5/22/10—A leading scientist for the National Wildlife Federation discusses the effect the oil may have on marine life.)

While it is clear enough that an oil spill is bad for the marine environment, the effects of oil in ocean are specific beyond the basic fact that such a spill is bad.

The web site Green living tips, written in Australia, has some of the specifics on the harmful impacts of an oil spill.

(Below–Tarballs washing up on the Louisiana coast on May 14. They do not look very nice.)

From the Green Living facts —

“When oil is spilled in waterways, it spreads very quickly with the help of wind and currents. …When oil starts mixing in water, it can change composition and becomes what’s known as “mousse”. This is a sticky substance that clings even more to whatever it comes in contact with. Many marine animals don’t know to avoid a slick and some fish may even be attracted to it as it can resemble food.”

The National Institutes of Health has an excellent web page of resources to learn about the effect of oil spills.

(Update 5/23/10 –Where the spill stands as of the morning of the 23rd.)

(Update 5/23/10–Off shore drilling is banned in British Columbia, Canada and that is not going to change anytime soon.)

(Update 5/23/10—Folks are mad in Louisiana. Though I wonder how many of these folks drive gas-guzzling SUV’s and broke the laws about proper fishing from their fishing boats.)

(Update 5/23/10–BP may not be able to start the latest attempt to stop the oil until this Wednesday.)

(Update 5/23/10–Here is what folks in Canada are reading about Interior Secretary Salazar criticizing BP.)

(Update 5/24/10—Here is the latest. The oil is still belching into the ocean and the costs of the cleanup keep rising.)

(Update 5/24/10—Is it  feasible for the government to take the lead role in the cleanup from BP?)

(Update 5/24/10–Most Texans say they still support offshore drilling on the Gulf. I imagine they do support that rather than giving up the big trucks.)

(Update 5/25/10–The NY Times has report about the situation in Louisiana as oil hits the shore.)

(Update 5/25/10—There is disagreement in the Senate over to what extent BP should be liable for the spill. Republicans want to limit how much BP should have to pay.)

(Update 5/25/10—BP also had a part in the poor response to the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska in 1989.)

(Update 5/26/10—President Obama will hold a news conference on tomorrow. Here are five questions about the government’s handling of the spill that a Washington Post reporter thinks should be asked of the President.)

(Update 5/26/10—Here is how the Voice of America is reporting the so-called “Top Kill” effort to plug the leak.)

(Update 5/26/10—People are still staying at Gulf Coast hotels.)

(Update 5/26/10–Here is a 42 second video of an eel investigating the gusher of oil beneath the sea.)

(Update 5/26/10—Here is a report on the Top Kill as of 10 PM CDT.)

(Update 5/27/10–Rather than the 5,000 barrels a day we’ve been hearing for weeks, the leak has been 12,000 to 19,000 barrels a day.)

(Update 5/27/10–The Coast Guard says that Top Kill is working.)

(Update 5/27/10–The public has questions about how the President has handled the spill.)

(Update 5/28/10—The flow of oil has been stopped for the time being. But it is not a given that this will last.)

(Update 5/28-10–President Obama is going to the Gulf Coast for a second time since the spill began.)

(Update 5/29/10--Scientists believe  there are large plumes of oil floating around under the sea.)

(Update 5/29/10–25% of the Gulf of Mexico is now closed to fishing.)

(Update 5/30/10–It may not be until August before the oil stops gushing.)

(Update 5/30/10—The White House is becoming more confrontational with BP.)

(Update 5/31/10–The British newspaper The Mirror says “Obama Furious at Oil Spill Hell.)

(Update 5/31/10–-Here is a review from CNN of where things stand at the moment.)

( Update 6/1/10—After the failure of Top Kill, Bp’s shares in London are at their lowest price since April of ’09.)

( Update 6/1/10–President Obama will be meeting today with his new oil spill prevention commission.)

(Update 6/2/10—Prices of BP shares continue to decline. )

( Update 6/2/10--The oil is advancing on Pensacola, Florida.)

(Update 6/3/10--This may not surprise you, but BP says they were not ready for this accident.)

(Update 6/3/10—A new permit has been allowed for offshore drilling within 50 miles of the Louisiana coast. This is a bit difficult for me to understand given the events of the moment.)

(Update 6/4/10—President Obama is putting off a trip to Asia to deal with the spill.)

(Update 6/4/10—They are getting ready for the oil in Florida.)

(Update 6/4/10–Laura Bush says President Obama should not be blamed for the spill.)

(Update 6/5/10–President Obama made his weekly five-minute address form the Louisiana coast. You can watch the speech from this Voice of America link. )

(Update 6/5/10—The Miami Herald has this story about “oil globs” washing up in Pensacola.)

(Update 6/5/10–Here is how The Age newspaper in Australia sees the threat to Florida poised by the oil spill.)

(Update 6/6/10–-Some are saying that BP in North America should be placed under temporary government control until this matter is resolved.

(Update 6/6/10—The President of BP says he will not quit over the spill.)

(Update 6/6/10–The Pensacola News-Journal says people are still going to the beach despite some oil at the beaches.)

(Update 6/7/10–Time magazine asks if the oil could reach Europe.)

(Update 6/7/10—This analyst says that the future of BP may be in doubt.)

( Update 6/7/10–People are concerned about the possible health effects of the oil spill. But these effects may not as bad as feared. )

(Update 6/8/10–-President Obama says the BP CEO should be fired.)

(Update 6/8/10–-The Toronto Star says that a spill such as the current one that took place in frozen Canadian  waters would be even more difficult to clean.)

(Update 6/9/10–The first signs have been posted on Florida beaches warning people about oil.)

(Update 6/9/10–BP share prices are at the lowest point in 14 years.)

(update 6/9/10—What public policy changes and what conservation measures by average folks would prevent another terrible spill?)

(Update 6/10/10–President Obama will be meeting today with families of the people who died in the rig explosion.)

(Update 6/10/10--Here are three audio accounts from the BBC of people in Louisiana  who have been impacted by the spill.)

(Update 6/10/10–Folks in Louisiana are upset with the slow pace that BP is paying out damage claims.)

(Update 6/11/10—British Prime Minister David Cameron will be discussing BP with President Obama tomorrow. There is pressure in Britain for the Prime Minister to defend BP)

(Update 6/11/10–Plans to burn the oil are raising health concerns.)

(Update 6/11/10–Here is how the Pensacola News-Journal is reporting the advancing oil.)

(Update 6/12//10–The price of shrimp is likely to rise.)

(Update 6/12/10—Florida has resisted offshore drilling, yet now they are being nailed by a huge spill.)

(Update 6/13/10—Some Folks in Britain feel they are being bashed.)

(Update 6/13/10—BP is putting some sensors around the leak to get a better sense of how much oil is being spewed. I’m glad they could finally get around to that.)

(Update 6/14/10—President Obama has compared the oil spill to 9/11 in some respects.)

(Update 6/14/10–BP may be punished by the U.S. government  with the loss of operation in the U.S.)

(Update 6/15/10—Oil company  chiefs are telling a House committee that the BP spill is an event not likely to be repeated. Sure.)

(Update 6/15/10–-Here is a list illustrating how the amount of oil said to be leaking has gone up and up and up since the disaster began.)

(Update 6/15/10—President Obama says the best way to help the Gulf is to come to the Gulf and spend money.)

(Update 6/16/10–This BBC report is about small coastal communities in Alabama dealing with the spill. The Mayor of one of these towns says domestic violence is up in his town as people face job losses.)

(Update 6/16/10–Here is how the Indian newspaper The Hindu reported the President’s speech.)

(Update 6/17/10—It  is not just the oil that needs to be cleaned up, it is the role of the money from big oil in our politics.)

(Update 6/17/10—Here is the video of the heckler removed the Tony Hayward testimony.)

(Update 6/18/10—BP CEO Tony Hayward went before Congress yesterday, but it is not clear that much was learned.)

(Update 6/18/10—Here is a quick round-up of where things stand with spill on the morning of June 18.)

(Update 6/19/10—Congressman Joe Barton of Texas seems to have gone into hiding since he apologized to BP.)

(Update 6/19/10– Congressman Barton’s views are not far from the views of the Republican Party. These folks do in fact feel that BP has been wronged.)

(Update 6/20/10—Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is under pressure from the White House to do a good job in handling the spill.)

(Update 6/20/10—The President’s Chief of Staff  said  today that Republican views in favor of BP are dangerous  for the American people. )

(Update 6/20/10-–BP had reason before the spill to know that the impact of  an incident such as this could be very severe. It does make seem to make the case that BP lied at first about how much oil was leaking.)

(Update 6/21/10–BP says the costs of dealing with the spill have reached $2 billion.)

(Update 6/21/10–Here is a story that attempts to  illustrate how much oil has spewed into the sea. From this story– “More not-so-dreadful context: The amount of oil spilled so far could only fill the cavernous New Orleans Superdome about one-seventh of the way up. On the other hand, it could fill 15 Washington Monuments. If the oil were poured on a football field — complete with endzones — it would measure nearly 100 yards high.There have been many large oil spills in the past.”)

(Update 6/23/10—Republicans will not demote Congressman Joe Barton from his high committee post for his apologizing to BP. If Republicans gain control of the House in 2010, Mr. Barton will be the main person in Houser on oil industry issues.)

(Update 6/23/10–Here is the latest on the spill as of  the afternoon of June 23.)

(Update 6/24/10–Here is the latest as of the morning of June 24.)

(Update 6/24/10–Despite all the trouble, Louisiana remains loyal to big oil and to underwater drilling.)

Here is a picture gallery of major oil spills from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

(Below–Growing up in New England, I recall the sinking of the tanker Argo Merchant off the coast of Massachusetts.)

Here is a list of the ten biggest oil spills ever.

Here is a Miami Herald Story from May 24 discussing oil spills that were as large or maybe even larger than the one we are seeing today.

While many look to learn about an issue when there is a big story in the news, it is always the right time to learn.

Here are some very useful facts on just what exactly oil is from the San Joaquin Geological Society.

Here is a list of the some of the things that oil is used for in our world.

Here is what is like to work on an offshore rig.

The University of Georgia Department of Marine Sciences has a blog on the spill.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has daily updates on the disaster.

Here is the blog of the Louisiana  Environmental Action Network.

Here is the live spillcam from PBS.

(Below–Mississippi River Delta without any oil cover.)

April 30, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments