Video - BP's Ponies and Balloons: 'anytime officials show up, they get ponies and balloons'.
[The pieces of this post come from the invaluable transcript @ Suburban Guerilla apparently compiled first at DemocraticUnderground from the video apparently first made by the folks who put together the GulfEmergencySummit.org. My most recent encounter of this video was at Naked Capitalism "BP: Gulf Resident Gives Behind the Scenes Account, Slams Cleanup and Safety."
Note: the clip is about 16 minutes long so I've only excerpted a few seconds of the transcript. You truly need to watch / read the complete segment and made this video viral.]
Gulf resident and fisherman’s wife Kindra Arnesen took advantage of the offer extended to her by BP officials to visit cleanup sites and staff meetings. From a CNN story when she first began speaking out,
For several weeks, she hesitated to talk publicly about it. Like many fishermen who can no longer fish in the Gulf, her husband has signed a contract to work with BP to clean up the oil, and she doesn't want to bite the hand that puts food on her family's table.
But now Arnesen, a 32-year-old "uneducated housewife" -- her words -- is breaking her silence and is encouraging others in her community do the same. After attending a lecture by Rikki Ott, a toxicologist who's worked with families affected by the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, Arnesen decided to organize other wives to ask questions about the safety of working near the oil.
[from the transcript linked above]"...At any rate, I was invited the following week to go behind “enemy lines.” They gave me, of all people, security clearance to go into the base of operations meetings in Venice, Louisiana eight days in. Open door invitation to sit like a fly on the wall. Can you believe it? It’s really going on. They also gave me security clearance to go up to the Homer Incident Command Post which is over the entire region of Louisiana. I’ve been in Coast Guard planes all the way out to the site itself. Helicopters. Boat rides. I have been everywhere that anybody could ever want to go to get an inside look at what’s really going on..."
"...This is unacceptable!
They are slowly poisoning every person that I’ve ever been close to in my entire life and I’m standing here saying NO MORE!
Now, if I ruffle some feathers, and make some people mad. So be it. I don’t care. My people are more important to me than their “bottom line.” And that is *my* bottom line.
So basically, this whole “ponies and balloons” act — if someone does not come in and properly oversee this response — our marsh now is being used as a boom. an overworked (?) boom, a big, giant sponge. It’s on both sides of us. It will fill up, it is filling up, constantly. We have heavy, heavy crude penetrating our marsh right now as we speak. They deploy , and then they pull ‘em back in when the politicians leave and this is not acceptable!
They’re not cleaning it up; they’re covering it up! This is, we’re barely into this. This could go on for years and years and they are already cutting costs! Cutting costs, cutting corners, taking shortcuts is why we are all sittin’ in this room today."