Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The First Rule of Blogging - Do Not Poli-Blog!



I just broke the first rule of Hendo-Blogging.  Do not bring politics into the blog place.  Whoopsie.  Here we go...

Over the past few weeks, there's been increased chatter about boycotting BP.  For obvious reasons.  I don't need to get into all that here, right?  Everyone's up to speed on the atrocity taking place in the Gulf.

So, here's the thing.  I'm not a big boycotter of things.  In the 90s I heard something about Coors not liking gay people.  So I did stop drinking it.  But really, nobody should be drinking Coors anyway.  It's not even real beer.  @DenaTauriello will back me up on that. 

The point of this blog, though, is BP.  And the arguments I'm hearing from people against boycotting it.  That's right.  Not boycotting BP.   

I know most of us are sickened by what's taking place in the Gulf.  It's downright terrifying how we are destroying our planet, quite frankly, and BP is hardly the only guilty party.  That being said, BP has certainly fast forwarded themselves to the top of the list of the planet's worst offenders.  All in agreement say "aye".  (insert your aye in the comment section if you're with me on that.) 

So, some people are boycotting BP.

I understand that sentiment.   I've read some passionate blog posts and even some extremely succinct tweets and Facebook profile updates from people who feel very strongly that we should boycott BP.  In almost every instance, someone else posts a response against boycotting BP.  Some of the arguments against the boycott I will post here for you to read.  This first one is from Sharon Begley.  I airlifted it from her piece over at Newsweek.com:

-"Drive right on by the BP station and pull up to the pumps from Exxon, the company responsible for the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989 and, more recently, one of the biggest corporate funders of the movement to tar the science of climate change. Exxon also managed to reduce the $5 billion in punitive damages awarded by an Anchorage jury for the Valdez disaster to $507.5 million; the Valdezfishermen and other victims have still not been made whole."

This next opinion was airlifted off someone's Facebook page.  I'm not naming names, so just chill (there's going to be a mad rush to de-friend me on Facebook tonight).

-"The only thing that your boycott will accomplish is hurting the local franchisee. They barely make enough to get by and you are going to boycott them?"

Here's one last airlift against a boycott that I found on Facebook.  Again, no names.  Get your panties out of that bunch.    

-"Not everyone realizes that gas stations are usually individually owned and operated by the people who work there (and their families). They're just a small business licensed to sell a specific brand of gas. Gas companies stopped owning gas stations a long ass time ago."

 I have also noticed that many people against the boycott tend to bring up Obama, and how we should vote him and incumbents in general out of office.  The argument is that pitching these politicians out of their comfy offices will send a much clearer message that accepting special interest money isn't flying with the peeps.  Putting mom and pop BP station owners out of work won't teach corrupt politicians that we think what they do sucks.

 Quite frankly, I do find the idea of voting incumbents out of office an attractive one.  I think we should do it every election cycle.  Just toss whoever's in, OUT.  You had your term, you brought your fresh ideas, by the end of your term you got tainted by corporate special interests, and now we need some fresh thinking in your office.  Toot-a-loo, Jimmy.  You're outta here.  At the very least, we'll keep the corporate special interest people extremely busy because they'll have to re-bribe and taint the brain of whoever just got voted into office.  Or does that scheme only sound fun to me?

Anyway, here's my point.  I can hear all of you begging me to make it already.  

I have great sympathy for the moms and pops that could go out of business as a result of a boycott against BP.  Sure.  But I feel even worse for all the people in the Gulf region who've been put out of work for BPs totally egregious behavior.  I also feel badly for the animals who are suffering and dying because of this unfathomable leak that continues dumping oil into the ocean.  Most of all, I feel badly for our babies who were born into a world where humans treat each other and the planet worse than a garbage dump.

So, I'm wondering.  What the fuck do we do about all this?  People talk about how we need a change.  But nothing ever changes.  It just comes back at us in some unexpected way ten times worse than our brains can even comprehend.

I do have friends who are boycotting BP.  They have a website, and if you're interested in learning more, you can check it out and form your own opinion.  http://www.weboycottbp.com

I lean toward boycotting them, yes.  But I feel like I'm doing it with hopelessness in my heart.  I'm doing it because, really, I just can't in good conscience intentionally hand money over to a corporation that is so blatantly and wrecklessly destroying the planet.  And, in my opinion, not showing any real convincing remorse for the mess they've amassed on the world.

I feel let down by our President.  I think he's well spoken, and probably at some point was well intentioned.  And I'm sure he's a good dad who loves his kids.  But what happened four miles under the ocean is the result of corruption that's been handed down from President to President.  Democrats.  Republicans.  Everyone's hands are dirty.  He may not have been the one to make whatever crooked deal on top of crooked deal on top of crooked deal got us into this mess, but I guarantee you he'll be sure to strike another crooked deal to be sure we don't find out about any of the crooked deals that came before it.  

I don't think driving past a BP or an Arco is going to make a damn bit of difference for the families that are suffering in the Gulf region tonight.  It's not going to save the animals who are drowning in oil as I blog on and on.  And it's not going to help me explain to my kids why I insisted they be born into this ticking time bomb of a world.

But it's going to make me feel like I'm doing something.

And I'm voting all idiots out of office.  I plan to figure out who they are, one by one, and I'm voting their asses out.  If you know who some of the idiots are for sure, post them here.  They need to be outed in a public forum.  And this blog might one day become that.       

Seriously.  What are you guys doing?  I want some more ideas. 

 Oil should not be the only thing spewing right now.  Post your thoughts.

#Hendo

25 comments:

  1. Aye! I vote KHendo for president.

    I think it's sick how we're destroying the environment. And it makes it even worse when I think about the animals that are losing homes and being killed. I don't even like to type about it. But it's the horrible reality. One would think that with all the technology and processes that are out there, we could stop the oil from spewing everywhere. I don't know what all is involved... but it certainly doesn't seem like it'd be brain surgery. Could be, I don't know.

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  2. Also, I don't think the boycott will do anything. Politicians and BP know we're pissed. I'd like to think it would make a difference, but unless EVER U.S. citizen boycotted BP, it's not gonna do a thing. However, if it makes individuals feel like they're making a stand, I say go for it! I hope it does make a difference.

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  3. Aye! I feel horrible for all the people in the gulf and the poor animals. Its so sad.

    Lets start the change.

    What ideas you got?

    BTW - Coors isn't real beer!

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  4. Aye. Will post more when I'm home. I have thoughts.

    #AV

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  5. Aye.
    Term limits are the answer to all of the corruption problems we have. The problem is trying to figure out how to get the career politicians to make term limits law.
    I've voted against the incumbants for a long time now, of course, I live in a predominantly republican area, so that was easy.

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  6. there's still Arco's around?????

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  7. I agree with Whereskaren...there ARE???? I haven't heard of Arco in YEARSSSSS...

    Money equals power. Power can do one of two things..breed corruption or turn things around. Obviously the former seems to win out and has been winning for years. And with lobbyists being able to essentially bribe campaigns and getting things passed, it makes it worse tenfold. I work at a newspaper as some of you know, so I hear about this every second of the day. It really does piss me off like everyone else. To see picture after picture of the devastation is just overwhelming and it pulls at my heart strings. I don't think Obama was stern enough however I can't see him going down and putting an oil condom on this leak. It ain't happenin' cap'n. For every person who boycotts BP, myself included, there are many who will not. And it's sad. If EVERYONE makes a group effort and I don't see that happening either.

    You said to vote people out. I agree with that. I've also thought for a few years now that there should be term limits on serving in office. I do believe that would be a good start. Because these people who are as old as the earth itself serving and allowing the greed and corruption to happen need to be kicked out. They serve no purpose other than for their own selfish corrupted visions - oil being one. And they've lost touch with what makes this country coolio.

    But what do I know? The list my dear is way to long to name them all...trust me on that. On BOTH sides.

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  8. Coors Light isn't real beer? My world is now crumbling...

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  9. @shutupchops, that's what @denatauriello told me.

    @whereskaren and @j-bird, yes there are still Arco's around. I think. I feel like I've seen them out there during our travels.

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  10. I want to make a note here- Hess Corp- the company that owns almost ALL of the Hess gas stations up and down the east coast is an American owned and operated company. They stand by their corporate responsibility and are a fabulous company to work for. (yes I WAS an employee with them for 7+ years- until I ended my employment to finish my Master's). If we are going to promote a company- lets go there!

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  11. We can boycott B.P. until we are blue in the face, but the fact is, it won't change anything. These companies make BILLIONS in profit every year. The U.S. isn't the only place where they sell their gas. We blame B.P. and rightly so, but don't you think we all in a way had a hand in this? We want our gas prices lower, so we demand more oil. While it would be nice to drive electric cars and have nothing but clean energy, the fact remains that we need petroleum. Are you willing to give up your Shampoo, guitar strings, computers, cell phones, speakers, cameras and clothes (the list goes on and on). I would hate to see a local family lose their business because people stop going to their gas station. They don't make that much money on gas to begin with. Most of their money comes from the chips and soda they sell inside their stores. Will I boycott? I only buy Shell gas to begin with, but I do stop inside the local B.P. to purchase chips, soda etc. There is no easy answer to this problem. I live in Florida and I am an avid SCUBA diver, and the thought of oil destroying the reefs and wildlife kills me! What's done is done, and I hope everyone can learn a huge lesson from this. We obviously didn't learn a lesson after the '79 gulf oil spill, which spewed oil for 9 months.
    As far as the government is concerned, well. Here is my thought. First of all, we are the ones that keep voting for them, and we re-elect them to do the same shitty job. It doesn't matter the promises they make because we all know they will go back on those promises. Instead of focusing on "big" government, we need to focus more on local. When is the last time any of you went to your local town hall meeting? Have you ever really thought about the sheriff you elect, or your school board members? That's the government we need to worry about, because that's where it starts, in our own towns.

    As far as Coors goes..any beer that has to put a stupid cold indicator on it's cans and bottles is ridiculous. If you can't tell when your beer is cold, then you deserve to drink that crap...

    And that's how Heather "C's" it...

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  12. To all those who say that boycotting BP won't make a difference, I beg to differ with you. It will make a world of difference in how I feel about where my money goes. And it will make people think about where THEIR money goes.

    A spokesperson for Toyota was questioned about the reports that the Prius really isn't any better for the environment, when you take into consideration the carbon footprint left by the batteries, and the fuel used to ship them over here, etc. He did not disagree, but said, (and I'm paraphrasing), "The best thing about the Prius is it made people think that way." And now people ARE thinking that way, and more and more companies are offering hybrids. And the technology to make them is coming HERE.

    The boycott is not about BP, it is about the BIG picture.

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  13. @Heather"C"- hahaha! come to my house for a bbq! I'm so impressed the way you dragged my guitar strings into this argument. Do I have to stop playing now? Sheesh...this is a hardcore boycott...

    And @MonaLisa, you come too. We'll put you on opposite ends of the picnic table.

    Rock.
    #Hendo

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  14. Thanks for the blog and the plug of the site. I have to say that I agree with the overall sentiment. We felt like we had to do SOMETHING. And that is why we launched the site (www.weboycottbp.com). Yes, another shameless plug.

    So, we are selling BOYCOTT BP car magnets. Go ahead. Lousy disaster profiteers! Capitalist pigs! Exploiters of national crisis! Feel better? We don't. Check out our site and read about what we're trying to do.

    If you purchase a car magnet you will a) raise awareness of the issue on a whole new level. Yes, the oil spill has been in the media nonstop, however when you make your voice heard by putting a magnet on your car, there is something more personal about it. It tells people that YOU got involved and YOU made a choice to do something; b) raise money for the cleanup. We'll be donating to organizations like The National Wildlife Federation, Gulf-Aid, and The Gulf Restoration Network. We give people the opportunity to vote online as to where they think the money should go first and we ask for suggestions on other worthwhile organizations that are on the front lines doing good work; c) send a message to BP that this could easily have been avoided but for their complete neglect to safety and their disgusting lack of concern for human, animal, and plant life. They need to know that this is unacceptable and that Americans won't stand for it.

    I digress.

    If you decide a magnet is not for you, please donate to one of the organizations listed above directly. They are all doing good work and they are saving lives everyday.

    -Matt, Pete, & Danny
    www.weboycottbp.com

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  15. I thought the guitar strings was a nice touch, lol. However, the whole bbq thing, up north?? I moved away from the north for a reason. Wouldn't you much rather have a bbq @ my place? At the beach? In Florida? Near Disney? Everyone's invited, and I promise NOT to serve Coors :-)

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  16. Wait, Heather, you'll boycott the North, but not BP?
    LOL
    I'll make the trek out to LI for a BBQ. If Heather doesn't show, I win the debate, right?
    Is their room on the bench seats for the twins AND the triplets?

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  17. I beg to differ with those who claim a Boycott of BP is in vain. We the consumer stop buying, their stocks plummet, stockholders stop investing. It's probably the ONLY way we can smack BP, a multi-billion dollar corporation, in the wallet.

    While I do feel sorry for the franchisees who are going to be affected by this, it seems small in comparison to what's been done economically to the Gulf region. I can not in good conscience continue to buy from BP after they've kicked the post-Katrina Gulf while it was still down.

    If you think that the technology for clean-energy powered vehicles does not exist, you are mistaken With the available technology, we DO NOT need gasoline to drive anymore. Politicians, lobbyists and money are working very hard to keep this technology from reaching the consumer.

    One last thing, the televised testimony from BP representatives. U.S. politicians berating these people on television is irking the &$%& out of me... In all seriousness, WHAT DOES THAT ACCOMPLISH? BP knows we're mad, the politicians know we're mad and so their show-boating and showing how "hard" they are being on BP. "You've been a very bad boy, BP!" Don't waste my time. The U.S. doesn't NEED a badly scripted reality show where these BP execs are called names and told that they should be ashamed of themselves. The U.S. needs to know how everyone involved plans to FIX IT.

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  18. Aye!! I'm with ya' on the whole BP thing and most certainly agree that term limits NEED to be in effect! I'm all for people speaking their political minds! Great blog :)

    I don't have a BP that is near enough to me, but I would choose another station if given the opportunity. This is a man-made disaster that they need to be fully responsible for.

    Note to self: Be sure husband wears Coors Lite t-shirt to concert next Friday night!

    "Cheers! Gulp, gulp", says the husband.

    ~Tree

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  19. Kristen...thank you for bringing up such a great childhood memory!Arco use to have Noah's arc and every week or so they would give a pair of animals to go with when you filled up.I loved that thing! I was always so excited to see what the next animal set would be!I can still see that thing! You use to snap off the floor of it and store your critters below.

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  20. We're all preachin' to the choir... at the end of the day, all of us are going to have to make an effort to boycott. And you (general you, not you personally lol), know there are people who won't. It's sad but true. I wish there was an easy solution, but there isn't. Not being a cynic. But a realist. *some people confuse my views:-)*

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  21. Wait Mona, I can't just "let" you win. I am too competitive for that, lol.
    I do want to bring up one sobering thought for everyone. If you go to your local no-name gas station to fill up, you COULD actually be getting BP gas and would never know. Also, chances are that at your BP station, the gas itself is NOT BP gas. When the companies pump the oil, they send it to a refinery and it gets mixed with other companies gas. Then the gas makes yet another stop where it is stored in tanks, some owned by BP, and some by other companies. Finally, the tanker trucks pick up the gas and deliver it to the gas stations. It's only when the company adds it's additives does it become "their" gas. So in a nutshell, what you have in your tank is most likely a mix of Shell, Exxon, Bp and others.
    Oh, and gtrchk, you mentioned that we do not need gas to drive. I agree. However,what do you think is used to make the tires that go on the car or the electronics that go into it? Petroleum. We will always need oil and that's a hard truth.

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  22. It will be a long time before we are not dependent on oil for so much, but every little bit moves us in that direction. Will it happen in my lifetime? No. In my children's lifetime? Nope. But we'll get closer and the journey of a million miles begins with the first step.
    And we fill better about driving by the BP. :-)

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  23. We'll even FEEL better when we drive by the BP to FILL up somewhere else.
    --lisa

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  24. I haven't watched a Brad Pitt movie in ages, so I guess I've been boycotting BP long before the spill.

    But seriously, as always is the case with me, I can see this situation from all sides. Yes it is horrific what is going on, and BP is to blame. I think laying blame is one thing, but trying to fix it, should be the concern of ANYONE who is capable. If the government, or Kevin Costner, or some unknown farmer has an idea to help the clean up, we should be considering every and all ideas. Maybe we are, I'm honestly not following the story that closely because politics and me do not mix. But when I do pay attention, all I see and hear is the blame game. That's not going to solve anything. We should solve the crisis first, then hold the responsible parties responsible in whatever ways we see fit. Fix first, ask questions later. But i have a very naive way of thinking sometimes, so it'll never happen that way.

    In any case, I still have no desire to watch any Brad Pitt movies at this point in time.

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