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Illinois hunting and fishing

Gulf disaster may impact waterfowl

June 09, 2010 at 07:13 AM

Minneapolis Star Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS - In two months, blue-winged teal will begin leaving Minnesota for the coastal marshes of Louisiana and other points south. Within weeks afterward, wood ducks will join the autumn migration, followed by many of the other duck species that nest in the North but spend their winter months along the Gulf Coast.

What exactly awaits these birds is unknown. But for the 13 million ducks and another 1.5 million geese that historically have used Louisiana’s coastal marshes either for the entire winter or a portion thereof, it likely won’t be good.

Worst-case scenario:

Oil continues to flow from BP’s deepwater well off the coast of Louisiana, and tropical storms and perhaps hurricanes this summer and/or early fall would push the crude not only into barrier saltwater and brackish marshes, but also farther inland, into freshwater marshes and ponds.

This would kill not only ducks and other birds, but despoil crucial habitats, perhaps for generations.

Worse, it’s possible that oil flowing from the well won’t be staunched for many months. Or even, as was the case in Mexico in 1979, for up to a year.

If so, thousands - perhaps hundreds of thousands, or even more - of ducks, geese and other migrants, including shorebirds, could be killed this fall.

Already, North America is not exactly flush with ducks. In fact, if many hunters and others who spend long days in the field in autumn can be believed, the United States and Canada host far smaller populations of ducks today than was the case even 15 years ago.

But what if circumstances surrounding BP’s oil well improve significantly, and quickly?

Perhaps, for example, the well will soon be capped or its oil otherwise collected, and instead of coming ashore, most of the oil already on the Gulf’s surface will stay farther at sea, dissipating, o ver time, either (somewhat) naturally or due to chemical dispersants.

Even if that occurs, some damage already has been done to the nation’s richest and most productive coastal wetlands. And wildlife - particularly marine life - likely will be adversely affected for some time. As will countless local residents and their livelihoods.

What then to do now? Should vast, new temporary habitats be developed near the Gulf Coast, if possible, as a way to lure birds from oil stained marshes?

Should state and federal waterfowl officials attempt to “short-stop” Mississippi Flyway ducks in Missouri, Arkansas, northern Mississippi and northern Louisiana, by feeding them?

Should waterfowlers in those areas be asked to forego hunting this fall, in an attempt to keep birds north of the Gulf Coast?

Hard to tell.

But there is time to discuss various scenarios and devise contingency plans. And if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ducks Unlimited, Delta Wat erfowl and other groups don’t begin to do so immediately, they are forgoing their responsibility not only to their supporters, financial and otherwise, but, especially, to ducks and geese.

Ducks Unlimited

Top Ducks Unlimited officials, including new CEO Dale Hall and chief biologist Dale Humburg, recently toured parts of the Louisiana marsh, guided by Louisiana wildlife and fisheries officials.

Last week, I talked to Humburg in Louisiana via cell phone while he and others were still in the marsh, wrapping up their trip.

“Our primary intent over the last couple of days has been to get a handle on the scale of the issue, that is, the size of the landscape that could be affected by the spill,” Humburg said. “We also wanted to determine what is real in terms of immediate impact, and some idea of what the impact could be, if things get worse.

“What we ended up with is a high degree of uncertainty. Unfortunately, until the oil is contained, we won’t know the exte nt of the problem. And without an idea of the extent and the distribution of the oil, we won’t know what the response should be.”

So far, Humburg said, oil coming ashore on the coastal marshes generally has been limited to saltwater marshes on the open Gulf, with minimal impact to date on freshwater or brackish areas.

Species of special concern, given conditions that exist today, would be scaup (bluebills) and redheads, both of which have tended in recent years to raft up in vast flocks in the Gulf of Mexico - in areas that already are contaminated with oil.

Mallards, though in places abundant, are not overly common in many areas of coastal Louisiana. Instead, teal, gadwall and widgeon (the latter two often are grouped as “gray ducks” by Louisiana hunters) are common species, as are ringnecks and pintails in areas.

Humburg said one option being considered is expanding the amount of flooded acreage on the northern edge of the marsh. This would begin to address the deficit of habitat that already exists in the region.

“The challenges of coastal marsh deterioration have taken decades to develop and will take years to address effectively,” he said, adding that the oil spill brings immediate focus to a waterfowl and wetlands conservation challenge that has existed for some time.

“We spent an hour in a boat getting to the edge of the Gulf (of Mexico), and what a trip like that does is give you a pretty good dose of reality regarding the scale of the challenge, and the scale also of the response that might be needed to make a difference,” Humburg said.

Asked whether it might be possible to shortstop some birds in Missouri, Arkansas, northern Mississippi and northern Louisiana by feeding them and by abstaining from hunting, Humburg said such actions might have a local and perhaps regional effect.

“But these would be short-term impacts,” he said, “and I suspect that they and similar actions might imply we have more control over the migration than we actually do. The fact is, when days shorten in fall, the weather turns cold up north and food becomes scarce, ducks migrate. And always have.”

Other concerns

I’ll add here a few additional “doses of reality” that should disquiet anyone concerned with ducks and this latest threat to them:

- Waterfowl management in this nation, as led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is chaotic, at best, with competition among states for “their share” of the resource more often the case than cooperation.

- The Fish and Wildlife Service’s duck harvest scheme is steeped in mystery and technical mumbo jumbo that few understand but that somehow always favors the highest possible limits and the most days afield. This despite near universal acknowledgement of a still-declining North American habitat base and countless reports from hunters (as above) that ducks are scarce, if not (in many regions, such as Minnesota) altogether gone missi ng.

- In the management of U.S. ducks and duck hunting, politics traditionally have played as big a role as science.

Given these realities and the potential they imply for institutional inaction, obfuscation or both, concerned waterfowlers and their state and congressional representatives should demand immediately that the Fish and Wildlife Service and its Mississippi Flyway Council begin without further delay a series of meetings to explore all contingencies for the fall migration that is only a short time distant.

Waterfowlers and others should demand as well that all options (including hunting and not hunting) should be on the table, meaning that no choice that might benefit waterfowl should be precluded from consideration.

Especially important to all concerned should be an awareness that nonhunters as well as hunters will be watching how duck managers respond, especially given that they have the advantage in this foul-up (that marine life managers did not) of acting before any actual crisis occurs to their species of concern.

Finally, DU and other waterfowl groups should - if necessary, and if potentially effective - consider amassing thousands upon thousands of volunteers from throughout the nation along the Gulf Coast to help clean birds, vegetation and water, if it comes to that.

Such an effort would be the right thing to do.

Not incidentally, it likely also would gain the groups many new members among a skeptical American public that increasingly disbelieves that any institution - government, especially - actually does what it claims to do.

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Under Other Conerns “Waterfowl management as led by US Fish and Wildlife is chaotic” I would put our own
DNR in the same boat for many management and projects (not All). They tend to always go w/ the most optimistic limits and quotas. I think they are under the assumption more is always better. As soon as good yr is projected - lets raise the limits eventho we had 3 bad yrs in a row.  IL doesn’t need
a 60 day, 3 zone & 6 duck limit. (Does one duck blind w/ 4 hunters really need to bag 24 ducks).
I think the deer hunters may find this same senerio
out in the future, ie. once the DNR makes more gun
seasons, longer seasons & more limits, they have a hard time cutting them back when they should.
With the Gulf situation, I fear all the states will
sit back and take no action w/ respect to this hunting season.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/09 at 09:27 AM

Funny, I don’t anyone saying “Drill baby drill” any more?

Posted by Marc Anthony on 06/09 at 12:06 PM

Bigpond makes a good point. Most waterfowl hunters over-harvest and do not eat their game as much as other type hunters, i.e. turkey, deer, rabbit. We always used to joke what the guys in blind number 1 at Woodford did with all their mallards after the blind limited out every day for an entire season. Another consideration is the exploding snow goose population could use a good ass kicking….....

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/09 at 12:34 PM

how bout a bigfoot season

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/09 at 10:20 PM

I was afraid this was going to happen.  After the lean years of the 70’s and 80’s, after duck seasons just getting “good” again, this.  By the way, “drill, baby, drill”.  Maybe this disaster either wouldn’t have happened or would more easily have been handled if idiot government regulations hadn’t pushed drilling into such deep water.  Another argument for less government…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/09 at 11:05 PM

or if bp didnt half ass it

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/10 at 07:10 AM

“Maybe this disaster either wouldn’t have happened or would more easily have been handled if idiot government regulations hadn’t pushed drilling into such deep water.”
Or maybe it wouldn’t had happened if the government regulators that have been sitting in their offices doing ecstasy and watching porn for the last 7 years were actually fired years ago for not doing their jobs. It a shame this stuff surfaces now in the wake of the worst oil spill in U,S. history. You can kiss the wildlife goodbye, including the fish and shrimp industry, for years to come!

Posted by Marc Anthony on 06/10 at 07:23 AM

Yeah less regulation is what we need. /sarcasm

Posted by illin on 06/10 at 07:49 AM

Never said “less regulation”...only less idiot regulation.  Americans want to drive their cars and trucks and be free of middle eastern oil but we don’t want to expand our oil drilling opportunities, ie. off-shore, ANWR, CONUS.  Sorry, you can’t have it both ways.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/10 at 08:29 AM

The regulators of big oil are also sleeping with them—and this is what happens.

It amazes me that a company who made 20 billion dollars in profits last year does not a proven tested method in case of a disaster.  They best thing they could come up with is taking a plan out the Simpson’s movie and place a giant dome over the spill.  Brilliant.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/10 at 12:53 PM

Here’s my green solution to our oil dependency (joking):

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/10 at 01:36 PM

buckbull is right on!  I was amazed that there was no plan in place in case of disaster - neither from the Coast Guard nor from BP.  I have contingincy plans for problems at home but they don’t for operations that affect the whole world?  Amazing.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/10 at 05:27 PM

Not sticking up for them but it was something that was not expected to happen. Shotgun71 do you have contingency plans for things you dont really expect say like an alien invasion or a flood, or tornado, or nuclear winter, or volcano or earthquake? With that being said the issue is that these oil platforms need to be inspected better and if any thing is found at fault then the companys should have to shut down while its being repaired and not just fined and let them keep operating faulty equipment. As for the offshore drilling i saw posted above, well thats a 2 fold issue there, if they were drilling in shallower water closer to shore then it might have been easier to stop the leak but also the oil would have been closer to shore to start with when they did have a spill. Hindsight is 20/20, yelling about decisions made years ago is not gonna fix the problem. What will fix the problem is making sure our elected officials set such a harsh example to the oil companies that they will make sure something like this wont happen again and if our elected officials want to keep on playing bedmates with the oil industry then kick there sorry behinds out of office.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/10 at 06:08 PM

What a mess. I do think that the biggest hinderance to getting the leak stopped has been the Administration. Attorney General Holder imediately launched a criminal investigation into the process, the accident AND THE RESPONSE. President Obama has repeatly made threats and then this past week came the “kick some ass”. There is a time and place for everything, and a criminal investigation is warranted after the job is done, not before. All they have done is require everyone who wants to turn a wrench to have their attorney with them supervising. Every idea has to be run by teams of lawyers first to make sure the dude with the idea is not going to get drug into the criminal investigation into the response. I would not want to work under those types of conditions, it sure would not be a creative or daring environment to work in. Also the way the adminstration selected “the best and brightest” for their oversight committee….......... and then kicked you off the committee when they found out you had a political view they did not like (the physics professor/expert from St Louis who was put on the committee for his expertise in physics and then kicked off because several years ago he made some anti-gay statements that are unrealted to physics). What a circus. Team Obama- shut up, hold the investigation until they get the well plugged, put the best on the federal response side possible regardless who they are or what their politics are, fix what we can and then investigate.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/11 at 09:22 AM

The first week of the oil spill I volunteered to go to the coast and help.  To date I have been “offered” the chance to help distribute food on “A” Saturday from 8-3. I realize this would be helping the people in need but I can not justify driving 1000 miles for 7 hours of help.  So when DU amasses 1000’s of volunteers to help with the wildlife , put my name at the top of the list.  Oh yeah, BP, the governor of Louisianna and even our President have limited these volunteer jobs to the residents of the coast. This is because it is a PAID job. One last point, if you do volunteer, the housing to expect has been discounted to $89 a nite.  So much for trying to help.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/11 at 09:37 AM

Personally, I think the administration that OK’d this drilling and who hired the clowns to oversee the operation should be hanged for not requiring a safety net to be in place. The people who cried for no more drilling, until safety measures were in place, were accused of being tree huggers (and some of them were but not all) and anti U.S. This “Drill baby drill” mentality from genius people who have no background in this field should take note. Yes, Americans are dependent on foreign oil but the extra 5% available to us here in the U.S. won’t make that much of a difference. We need ALTERNATIVE fuel sources to pull away from these type of disasters and to stop making the Middle East oil execs billionaires! It only takes one disaster like this to ruin our wildlife and it just happened! Big oil and the friends that are in bed with them, need to pay every penny, with no breaks, to every soul who is effected by this.

Posted by Marc Anthony on 06/11 at 09:38 AM

Well unfortunately Bush is no longer in office and actually no new rigs had been started since the drill baby drill comment so this one also has to fall on the previous administration. The response and whats going on now since it happened is on the present administration. I give this administration a little better grade just because they are making BP pay for it unlike they made Exxon pay for valdez without 500 court dates.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/11 at 04:25 PM

Come on Wild Bill…alien invasion?  A spill, a valve problem, a break in a line, all are something an oil company can EXPECT to happen at some point.  These people make billions of dollars.  They have scientists working full time.  There should be a section that is always “gaming” the what ifs.  The military does it all the time with regards to how they would respond to a particular threat.  The private sector should be no different.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/11 at 07:32 PM

Why should this one “fall on the previous administration”?  The Obama administration authorized business as usual despite safety hits and irregularities on the part of the oil companies.  Curious.  I wonder if it has anything to do with the LARGE campaign contributions Obama has received from BP and other oil companies?  People, Bush has been gone 18 months…it’s time for this administration to start taking responsibility for it’s own asinine moves.  Look, I don’t give a damn who is in office, they all have getting reelected and the quest for power as their number one priorities.  Taxpayers and voters probably don’t even make their peripherals.  Each time they make a decision, we suffer (or, in this case, the ducks and the marshes suffer).

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/11 at 07:40 PM

im currently having my logic class research this issue and write a paper over ” who is responsible”.  Listening to the general public is comical generally on political issues.  Like how bush ruined the economy and how bush was an idiot for going to was smile Murdy you must be talking about me in your comment smile If clinton didnt force through a bill for subprime loans the subprime loans wouldnt have started defaulting. Bush shares some blame for not repealing the stupidity of clinton… yes Personally, I see this issue being extremely complex.  Who is responsible. Bush for open drilling?  Activist for not opening up areas of alaska for safer drilling?  Obama for partying while the gulf fills with oil?  society for being EXTREMELY dependent on oil?  BP’s for having an accident that was certain to happen at some point?  I guess its better to let other counties come over and drill just off our coast then to have us do it?  Its a complex situation and way too complex to though any one party under the bus.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/12 at 01:45 AM

WELL the faulty parts were installed in 2001 under the bush administrations lax regulations, its so funny how no matter what you folks want to blame obama, do you think that in 18 months they had time to inspect every oil well? Be for real now there is thousands and thousands of wells and these irregularities and oversites, falsified paper work and defective safety parts happened while bush was in office and continued happening for 8 years while he was there and remained hidden untill this disaster happened.Yes an assinine administration that is making big oil pay for its mistake unlike they did in valdez. Yes this administration is very assinine since it has started to bring back an economy that bush nearly whiped out. Yep very assinine for being the first administration EVER to send troops even so it was only 1200 to the border instead of building an invisible fence like bush. Yep a regime that had the balls to open up other areas for drilling so we could have more jobs and stop paying Achmed billions for something we can get ourselves. Yep an assinine administration that is trying to get us out of one war that was started cause someones daddy didnt finish the job the first time and putting the main agenda on where it should of been to begin with in Afghanistan. So what obama was on vacation when this happened, he had coast guard ships at the site as soon as it happened not 5 days later like bush did in new orleans. Yep an assinine administration that has been pushing alternative fuel and energy sources further in 18 months then any administration has done EVER in spite of the cries of big oil.
As for the spill itself, yes they do have contingincies for most types of breaks but since FAULTY PARTS WERE INSTALLED DURING A LAX BUSH REGIME, they were not able to stop it like it was supposed to. If THE BUST REGIME DIDNT OVERLOOK this when it was built then there would be no issue with it at the moment and the contingincies they had in effect would of worked.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/12 at 07:33 AM

My last comment…be careful what you wish for, Wild Bill, you just might get it.  While Obama is “bringing back our economy” (I see no evidence of him doing anything but further destroying it) with the one hand, he’s forcing Americans to be more dependent on government with the other hand.  As for myself, I will continue to be a “gun-owning, right-wing extremist, veteran” who is happiest with the least amount of government help.  I would prefer to succeed or fail on my own, thank you very much.  Yes, this is way off topic…but is it really?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/12 at 08:22 PM

same here im also a gun owning veteran and i remember all the hooplah from the right wing that all our guns were gonna be taken from us so i tend to take anything from the right with a grain of salt.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/13 at 12:29 AM

Obama has already taken responsibility, I seen his lips moving on one of the Obama TV networks so I’m not sure what your trying to defend with the “W” rant other than your own conscience.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/13 at 10:14 AM

We’re all at least partly responsible (unless you’re Amish or something).

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/13 at 10:33 AM

There isn’t an extra 5% of crude oil here in the U.S., there is easily 10 times that! Huge reserves of it under north dakota, wyoming, and montana, and even more in Alaska. We have the ticket to oil independance under our own soil. The alternative energy sources have proven to be incredibly expensive and unreliable, especially wind.  Oil, coal, and nuclear is the real answer. And if govt would help expand land oil drilling in alaska and wyoming, we would all be in better shape.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/13 at 10:52 AM

For the kids, I agree with you that there is more than 5% of crude oil here in the U.S. but estimates show that only 5% is available to drill. The amount over the 5% is considered too expensive to get. I firmly believe we can have alternate fuels sources and I wish we would explore those options! I would love, as you put it “...the ticket to oil independence under our own soil”  but scientists don’t believe we have enough.
You know, I really don’t want to get into a political debate because I’m one of those guys everybody hates LOL. I thought G. Bush was the worst U.S. president in history but my values seem to fall in line with what the Republicans say they are for. Having said that, I’ve been mostly disturbed by the Republican’s actions during the Bush administration, so I don’t trust them. The Democrats have their own issues also, so I don’t trust them either. So in essence, I’m a man without a party. One thing for sure, I call it like I see it and favor no one unless they walk the walk, instead of just talking the talk.
I’ve been around long enough to see the garbage come and go. I remember 17 years that they said we were going to lose all of are guns if we didn’t vote one way. They tried it again and the only thing it does is drive the ammo prices up. Do we need to fight for our gun rights? Absolutely!!! Don’t get me wrong, I’m just sick of the scare tactics.
I Also agree with what Wild Bill said because I was around to see it. Last month, they found out the government regulators that have been in office since the Bush administration, were watching porn all day and even taking ecstasy! These were the guys that were supposed to look after the oil industry. Bush was from big oil, so I think he turned his head from being tough on the oil execs. Either way, this is just my opinion and I’ll never really know the truth. I can tell you this, I do remember when we, as a country used to respect the president of the U.S. even if we didn’t vote for him and I think we still should. Rush Limbaugh, Jon Stewart and the rest of them that make millions of dollars by spewing garbage out of their mouth against our presidents, should be boycotted (in my opinion) because they just pump crap out all day long and people believe what they say as gospel just because they want to. Patriotism is standing up for your country, your values and protecting our land. It’s not about seeing who can out-slam the other guy.
My father was a decorated vet from WWII, my brother served overseas during Viet Nam and I was a flight instructor for the Air Force ROTC, so I come from patriotic values. I have learned not to be snowed by either political party. I do my own research and follow what I believe is true. I don’t get my facts from the radio or forwarded emails. With all due respect, I would love to see counter arguments regarding fuel alternatives that don’t come from politically motivated sources. Having said that, I do respect your opinion!

Posted by Marc Anthony on 06/13 at 01:02 PM

shelby county hunter i hope my students think that far outside the box because its true.  SO should we use tax money in some assistance?  If so how far should be go to help a company of earned 21 billion dollars last year in profit? 
Mark, Its mostly american culture thats dependend on fossil fuels. There is technology that can compete with it out there but our culture isnt set up for it.  Check out the deer show for example.  What do you see in the parking lot?  HUGE dodge trucks that get 12 mile to the gallon everywhere.  We have a infrastructure that is only set up for bare bones railways.  India just produced a car that will go 60 miles per hour for 3 hours on compressed air being burned in a similar fashion as gas.  Show up at the deer classic next year driving that and see what people say about you smile America is not capable of changing this addiction to driving everywhere So it wont change.  Kinda like complaining about the wind when your fishing… it isnt going to channge….I would also like to know what bush did that was extremely wrong… he went to war with congress approval, and american support of the war near 80 percent at the time.  He nor any other economist recognized a highly unstable economy that was at an all time high in his early presidency (there were signs for this ie over valued housing market with tons of sub prime loans, grossly to high stock values due to .com surge, housing supply and demand reaching a tipping point and so on.  Was he good?  No… was he bad… no.  Did bad things happen during his presidency… yes.  Just like america is currently fooled that the economy is getting better because the dow is rising some and retirements are coming back because of faith and a fraudulant reports on unemployment ( 80 percent of the new jobs reported are census jobs smile)

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/13 at 11:00 PM

Clint, sadly, what you say is true regarding America’s hunger for oil. One thing for sure, you won’t see me driving to the deer classic on a Moped! grin I also know back in the 80’s, when we were having issues with Iran, we started to investigate alternate fuel sources. Sadly, many of the bigger oil companies bought up those new start-up companies only to shut them down. They didn’t want any competition with their oil. They acted like they were concerned about the future but it was only a publicity stunt. Not one of them continued research with alternative fuel sources. If anyone had the financial resources to make it work, it was them!
To answer your question regarding Bush, does the statement “Mission accomplished” come to mind? How could a president be so out of the loop with regard to a war situation to have made that statement? He had no idea what he was getting into. For the record, he was warned, even by his own father not to go to war with Iraq! He father knew what he was talking about and had a great deal more experience than George did. Here we are 6 years later and there is no end in site. He was also warned, by his own aids, that if he started this war, it would last a decade. It appears that statement was correct. We lost more soldiers in Iraq then we did in 9/11 and that was caused by our own president! There never were any WMD’s. He was given authority to go to war by congress if needed but only if needed. He was urged to wait until we could get inspectors into Iraq to look for WMD’s but if you recall, he said “Sadam, you’ve got 48 hours”. If congress knew he was going to jump the gun, I highly doubt they would have authorized it. There are many other reasons like depleting the surplus of money and spending it all. G. Bush spent more money and drove the Americans into debt more than any 2 presidents in American history and that’s a fact.
The last thing that bothered me was how he and Cheney deceived everyone to think that they were “tough on crime and offered the most security” to Americans. That’s a funny one with me because he and Cheney never saw war and in fact avoided Viet Nam. Daddy took care of George and made sure he stayed home and Cheney dodged it altogether. Then the had the nerve to ridicule Kerry and to label him as weak on security. I was not a Kerry fan and I know he was just another politician but he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and walked away from that to fight in Viet Nam. He certainly could have pulled strings to have avoided that but he didn’t. Anyway, these are some of the reasons I think Bush was a lousy President.
On another note, I’m really concerned about our current President and don’t see any solutions coming soon. Unfortunately, I think Obama reacts more than conquers. In all fairness, he inherited a huge mess but I don’t think he has the experience to pull us out of this. This is the worst economy I’ve seen, including the economy of the 1980’s. I think we’re in this for the long run.

Posted by Marc Anthony on 06/14 at 08:39 AM

Not to mention the “re-interpretation” of the Geneva Conventions and resulting alleged war crimes at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere. Not all of it was directly Bush’s fault but it happened under his watch. He was either clueless or misinformed during a lot of it. Still, I agree with you Marc.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/14 at 02:07 PM

Marc, Saddam wanted everyone to feel he had those weapons because in later interviews saddam said that he felt IRAN was the bigger threat than USA because we would just blow hot air.  And at some time… he would have needed to be delt with.  Modern warfare will ALWAYS be a mess currently and basically if your against this war, you should be against going to war at any time and starting a only national defense military for attacks on our soil.  ALL modern wars will last ten years because we are forced to play a political game currently.  Rebuild and make every significant group on the globe happy with the result is the only way to have a successful end to a war any war.  We couldnt go to war with nigeria without it taking ten years. EVERY single soldier i have seen in my classes have supported the war and Bush which i think its very admirable. Yes bush made some goofs in his goal…. The mission accomplished speech though we must remember was addressing troops and was a way to inspire them and thank them for a good job not to declare an end of a war which too many people took it as.  American people were not his “audience” for this speech but somehow they felt they were since it was on the news.  I am neutral on the need for this war but with 80 percent public support… its difficult to argue his choice. 
I do agree we are in for a long run but IMO No man has ever been born capable of leading america in modern times.  The world is too complex now with presidents needing to not be well versed but EXPERTS in diplomacy, economics, politics.  It is too complex for any one man to ever get much accomplished.  IMO all we can do as voters is vote for the party canidate with principals that we believe in.  And my principals and Obamas are complete opposites.  The healthcare plan and his ideas to expand unemployment seem frankly retarded to me. How one man can use his vote to take money from another mans pocket completely shocks me but as a psychologist i understand its human nature. And that is why we currently have the least qualified president in american history elected to get us out of the biggest and most complex hole in american history….

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/14 at 02:32 PM

Clint, Pew research did a poll on the Iraq war and the percentage of Americans who favored this war is no where near 80%. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. In addition to that, you can go back to any war in American history and find that nearly all vets support the president’s decision to go to war because they are loyal and felt honored to fight. This year even Obama visited our troops overseas and got an overwhelming show of support, so I think you’ll always find that. I do know many vets, who saw action, state that the Iraq war was our only mistake. But either way, my point isn’t to discredit what you mentioned, just to add to it!.
Your comment regarding taking money from one man’s pocket hits home with me. We spent millions and millions and millions of tax payers money to build schools and hospitals in Iraq that have now been abandoned before Bush got out of office. These buildings sit unfinished and now have to be torn down. If that wasn’t bad enough, guess who got the majority of the contracts? Halliburton..Cheney’s old company! When Katrina hit, I spent 9 weeks going through certification and mounds of paper work to get a contract for my construction business to do some work there. After several months of waiting, I got an email stating that they hired a new person to over see the project. Guess who? Yep..Halliburton’s boys. In fact, they got over 90% of all of the work! Bush didn’t care one bit about this country and neither did Cheney. They ripped us off, took our tax dollars and kept their friends happy.
Anyway, you have my opinion and I definitely respect yours, even though they’re not the same. I’m not one of those guys who gets all upset at someone who doesn’t share my views, so I certainly am not upset with your views. I think these type of opinions are going to continue from here on out, no matter who’s in office. This is what the world has come to because of distrust. Unfortunately, I believe there will never be a person in office again we will EVER have faith in.

Posted by Marc Anthony on 06/14 at 03:54 PM

“At the outset of the war, the U.S. Congress and public opinion supported the notion that the Iraq War was part of the global war on terror. The 2002 Congressional resolution authorising military force against Iraq cited the U.S. determination to “prosecute the war on terrorism”, and in April 2003, one month after the invasion, a poll found that 77% of Americans agreed that the Iraq War was part of the War on Terror.[9] Much of the organized violence encountered by the U.S. military was framed by the metaphor of a crusade, or total conflict, that was taken up by the terrorists.”  I guess it depends which poll you look at but there are TONS of these out there.

Murdy, agreed that their taxes should be higher than most.  38 percent is PLENTY.  If they took 38 percent of a common persons income they would all move to canada. I honestly feel that is perfectly fair.  But these rediculous views that healthcare is a right is REDICULOUS.  The view of giving money to help the economy buy fixing the roads… is retarded.  Our schools are suffering and we us enough money on one country bridge to totally fix our education for the county.  Government pays 100,000 to remove concrete from a parking lot.  For that money ill remove it with a pick ax and my S10.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/15 at 12:19 AM

Wild Bill- I am not sure where you got the idea that “faulty parts were in stalled in 2001”. The Deepwater Horizon rig was built in 2001. This is not the first well it has drilled. BP bought the lease from MMS in March 2008. BP submitted to MMS the initial exploration plan to MMS in March of 2009 and was approved. Drilling started in Feb 2010.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/15 at 10:44 AM

BP and Transocean are the responsible parties here and must fix their mess. That said, I am not going to jump ahead of the investigation and agree that this part or that part would have prevented this. If you look at the High Resolution videos that they released last week- it is pretty clear that not only is oil coming out of the pipe and valve, but it is also coming out of the Gulf floor in two other locations nearby. There is even different colors to the oil gas mix depending on the location. I would think that would be an indication that regardless of what happened at the valve and pipe, the acoustic valve addition to the project may have not prevented this tragedy. There will be hearings and lawsuits out the ying yang- all of the details (and the fix for the future) should come out.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/15 at 11:07 AM

This is my first post and it was prompted by the political views expressed by some in these posts. I love my country and respect the “office” of the president. I’m a serious student of our country’s history and can’t believe people don’t see the progressive, socialist course Obama is leading us on. No, I’m not wearing tin foil on my head while I’m writing this.

Bush spent more than any 2 presidents combined? Obama has spent more than all the Presidents combined halfway thru his presidency and that’s a fact!

I hope we can use alternative fuel sources in the future but right now it’s not feasible to stop using fossil fuels. We have to keep exploring new sources of energy while safely drilling for oil, using coal and nuclear energy.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/15 at 07:55 PM

Glow, you’re incorrect. Bush spent more money than Obama. Research it (and not from college drop-out Rush Limbaugh) and you will find the truth. If you are referring to the bailouts, most of those were loans that did get paid back with interest. On another point, Obama was left no other alternative but to spend because Bush left the economy so distraught and raped, there was nothing left else to do to get the economy stimulated (and even that is a risk). The word “socialist” is another template remark that was recently re-created for the sake of political hype. Most people who use that term today don’t really have a clue what it means. In fact, many are the same that also use the term “Nazi”, “terrorist” ,etc. referring to the president. I don’t get my facts from emails that were sent and forwarded from my political favorites over an over, or from my favorite news source…I don’t have one. I do my own research and make my own decisions and will not follow any political party. My votes are independent for each individual whom I see fit. Do I think Obama is the best solution for our country? Not at all. Nevertheless, he is our president of only 18 months..that’s right 18, not 8 years like Bush. Bush and Cheney were the masters of snow jobs and destruction and left their wake of disaster throughout the world.

Posted by Marc Anthony on 06/15 at 09:46 PM

Don’t worry about it fellas just got back from Gulf Coast vacation yesterday. There’s no oil to be found anywhere it’s all just a big media scare.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/15 at 10:12 PM

Marc, socialism in modern american politics is a relative term.  Some are more “socialist” than others.  And there is seriously 0 argument to be made that obama is the most socialist president we had had in the last 50 years.  Honestly never thought i would see anyone argue that point. The farther left, the most socialist beliefs a person has… Obama is so far left that many of his socialist programs that he supports he has to pull political favors to get his own party members to support.  Murdy, I find it interesting that in modern politics on your statement of “one will take your money while the other takes your rights” Not that i agree that republicans will take your money away but i would like to note that americans will vote for money over rights ALL DAY LONG.  As a whole ofcourse…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/16 at 07:18 AM

Uh…D, you are sorely mistaken. It depends on where you go. Most of the coastline between Louisiana and Panama City has seen oil/tar balls wash ashore. There are even reports of tar balls washing ashore between Texas and the Florida Keys. With that said, there are still some pockets in between there that remain relatively pristine - Gulfport, MS for example. NOAA does a pretty good job of tracking and forecasting the extent of the spill:

I also had to add this somewhat humorous photo (talk about a dream vacation):

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/16 at 07:19 AM

I may actually print this out and use some of it with no names given or class tomorrow smile any objections to that?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/16 at 07:21 AM

Its been a good discussion, rarely do you see political debates that stay this calm and organized when so many people disagree.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/16 at 07:49 AM

This certainly is a hot topic and has been an interesting read especially the comments on both sides. Clint I have a question for you on one of your generalizations. You state “i would like to note that americans will vote for money over rights ALL DAY” and I agree to an extent, however I am not so sure on say the subject of the second amendment would that hold true? I am not a hunter (just pure fisherman) and some may view some of my opinions as more left leaning (though I’d like to think I am somewhere in the middle) however I am all for the second amendment and firmly believe in the right to bear arms. If you believe that would still hold true (money over rights) that should probably be kept quiet because I’m sure some yo-yo anti-gun groups would love to use that to their advantage.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/16 at 07:59 AM

Clint, for the record, I am a capitalist. I own 4 businesses and I started with nothing in life. I inherited nothing from no one and was given nothing to start with. In fact, I was a high school drop out at 16. At age 20, I earned my GED, then went off to college to earn my B.S, Masters and ultimately my Doctorate. If anyone opposes hand-outs, it’s me, unless someone is unfortunate enough to need assistance, then I’m usually the first in line to help. It’s a shame I have to spew my guts here to prove a point. Lets get this straight for the record: I do not think Obama is the man for the job, I don’t agree with 50% of his policies and I favor what the Republicans USED to call their values. Because of the ugly machine the Republicans have created in the last 5 years, I can’t stand to even turn on the TV. The Democrats, on the other hand, make me so sick because they had a chance to clean up some of the mess left behind and they didn’t. They just sit on their butts and try to be kind to every type of human on the planet. So my original statement (if you can find it in all of this mess) is the fact that we have a mess left over from the last administration, not the right guy for the job now, too many people who repeat catchy phrases (but really don’t have a clue what they mean) and too many people who aren’t doing their research but rather voting straight tickets year after year.
These are the reasons I feel the way I do. These are the ways I vote the way I vote. I am owned by no one or no political party. I enjoy educated arguments, like we are having here but loath stupid repeated, templated catchy phrases from individuals who have no idea what they mean.
Please feel free to use these comments for your classroom! Now when hunting season comes around, we’re going to have to switch the subject back to big bucks..ya know! grin

Posted by Marc Anthony on 06/16 at 08:48 AM

The class ill be using this in is logic…. how to form well constructed arguments on solid information and not those “catch phrases” and honestly its rare to see this type of discussion online or in any area of society.  And yes we will be back to big bucks soon! its killing me that they only have half their racks at this point.  I am seeing some prospects but my big boy has yet to show himself end of this month and ill be looking for him!
I personally have 0 money.  At this point in my life i have been totally consumed with academia (260 college credits) which leaves little time for money making and currently writing a 100 page document so handouts and healthcare plans would help me and frankly are made for people in my income bracket.  I do not deserve them nor do i want them or purse any of them.  Its not fair for someone to take a risk… start a business have it grow in a few years where they make 6 figures and have to pay 60 to 100 k in taxes…. Not Fair…Where is the encouragement to take these types of risks?
Jakeb, That statement is clearly an opinion statement. And if you surveyed or polled it in research, it wouldnt show.  Its an example in my opinion of cognitive dissonance, where actions dont match opinions. If the left wing could tie gun rights to economics… they would be gone…IMO its just the correlation cant be made.  These dont have to be rights labeled in the constitution, One of the main rights that we have as a group of americans are that We as americans are suppose to have elected officals working on what WE want…. Do you feel thats happening now?  60 percent of america hated the health care bill yet they forced it down our throats. And this bill is a step towards socialism… first time i can think of where someone is required to purchase something simply because they are american…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/16 at 09:44 AM

Marc, IM so against public assistance it that i even consider myself a radical.  I find VERY few reasons to ever use tax payer money to give to individuals.  I feel if a student receives aid he should be required to produce a 3.0 GPA or lose it.  I feel that the government shouldnt provide public aid for poor life choices. Working in a field of mental health, i seen so many clients that simply wanted disability.  I am not against helping disabled people at all… but with all government programs… abuse occurs…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/16 at 09:50 AM

Clint, I totally agree with our remarks towards financial aid in schools. Produce results or get out! Also in agreement towards poor life choices! As far as the health care (man I even hate saying this because it will appear that I’m all for it), we have auto insurance forced on us and is anyone crying socialist? Yes, auto insurance helps cover the other guy but the strongest argument towards health ins. is the fact that it MAY force people to pay their premiums instead of the government to pick up the tab on the hospital bill. If it ends up working that way, I’m all for it. My problem with it is we just went into it too fast before knowing more about it…which is the same way I feel about the Iraq war. It just doesn’t hurt to wait, research and investigate!
Wow, I’m totally amazed we came out of this without posters calling us everything but normal! Maybe there is hope for PSO grin

Posted by Marc Anthony on 06/16 at 10:02 AM

Clint I completely agree that one of our rights is supposed to be elected officials working FOR their constituents but they certainly are not anymore. Frankly I am not so sure they have for the last 50+ years. Also I really like your opinion of losing the hand out money for schools if they can’t produce some decent grades. It should be like scholarships where if you can’t maintain a certain gpa you are not allowed the money. Currently I am receiving a partial scholarship for school and must maintain a 3.0 to keep it. I see no reason those who get free money from the government shouldn’t be help to the same standard and the fact they are not absolutely sucks! I do think Marc is onto something with the public health care because sadly enough one way or the other we are going to pay for the medical help the uninsured get. Though I am not sure the way it is being “worked out” is going to improve things something needs to be done. And this goes for other areas besides health care but maybe we need to make it a little more difficult for people to sue. If a doctor amputates the wrong leg or leaves a piece of medical equipment inside a patient yes by all means something should be done. However if a doctor treats a patient and it doesn’t work then no put some restrictions in. I think people suing people/companies has become similar to welfare in that they are just looking for free money and it’s too easy to do.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/16 at 10:52 AM

Clint- don’t forget that a part of the system is geared toward disability. One of the scams that makes me the maddest is what the welfare culture refers to as getting “dummy dough”. If you are on welfare, you don’t want smart kids, you want “dummies”. Smart kids do not bring in extra government (taxpayer) money, “dummies” do however. If you can get your kids classified as “special needs” or “disabled” your government check goes up. You can find plenty of coaches (fellow scammers) who will help you with what you need to say, the kids need to do to get this classification. Then you get the extra money- but the rape of the taxpayer does not stop here, noooooooo. Now your local public school has all kinds of mandates it has to follow to deal with the “special needs” kid. Now instead of your local school spending $7500-$9000 per year for a regular student, the costs can be $30,000 or more per special needs student per year. The scammer special needs also gets to qualify for “after school” and “summer school” run by organizations funded by the taxpayers. An example being Urban League- $10,000 more per kid of taxpayer money to provide welfare momma with free daycare/babysitter and after school entertainment programs for these kids. Total costs for the whole scam to the taxpayer exceeds $50K per kid per year. How much of it is going on? Our local school district reports that 26% of the students are classified as “special needs”. But can it be stopped or cleaned up? I doubt it, all honest discussion seems to stop the minute “But it is for the children is used”.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/16 at 12:02 PM

Marc, Auto insurance isnt the same… But that does assist me in the arguement for fossil fuel addiction… Its not a requirement to be american to drive a car. smile
No murdy they wont be bad examples of logic, except for maybe the comment you made “i voted for obama” smile lol

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/16 at 04:02 PM

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