Monday, September 20, 2010

Lies, Photos and Dead Fish

Putting the lie to claims the oil spill is over with no ill effects, this photo of a massive fish kill in the bayou outside New Orleans was released by a Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana resident to the media on the same day BP claimed the leaking well had finally been capped. In the age of the Internet, the news has spread far and wide. Fisheries experts claim the die-off is due to low oxygen levels, just the effect predicted by scientists, the outcome of exploding populations of oil-eating microbes in the presence of all the oil that BP and the clean-up crews never found. What makes this die-off noteworthy is that it is spread across a wide range of fish species, not just the usual one or two.

In an eerily parallel story, experts from the National Bureau of Economic Research declared today that the recession officially ended in June. We need no photograph to tell us how absurd that feels. In today's issue of the Concord Monitor, I counted two jobs for employment, two babysitting jobs at day care centers. What a long way we still have to go to get back to good times, and yet, it could be worse. The interesting thing is that the people complaining the loudest, apparently, are the very rich, as noted in Paul Krugman's opinion piece in the NY Times. I still can't get over the vehemence of the conservatives who, in the name of fiscal responsibility were asleep at the switch during the Bush years -- as we squandered the nation's surplus built up during the Clinton era 90's. And now they are oh so angry as Obama tries to implement the long feared communist takeover of America. How dare he enact health care for the sake of 40 million uninsured Americans. Bush's lies about WMD, well, never mind those. The redness of their faces, according to Krugman, is due as much to good living and overindulgence as to genuine anger.

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