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New Orleans Five Years After Katrina

It will be five years since Katrina on August 29. The impact of Katrina is quite painful for regular people in the area. This article looks at what has happened since Katrina not from the perspective of the higher ups looking down from their offices but from the street level view of the people – a view which looks at the impact on the elderly, the renter, people of color, the disabled, the working and non-working poor. So, while one commentator may happily say that the median income in New Orleans has risen since Katrina, a street level perspective recognizes that is because large numbers of the poorest people have not been able to return. read more

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The Curse of the Black Gold in the Niger Delta

Source: Indypendent

One of the largest oil producers in the world, Nigeria exports 1.1 million barrels of petroleum a day to the United States. The continuing BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has refocused attention on the vast Niger Delta, home to thousands of oil and gas installations and an array of militant groups waging armed struggle against Western oil companies, a kleptocratic state and ruthless military forces. More than 5,000 miles from U.S. shores, the equivalent of an Exxon Valdez’s worth of oil has reportedly poured into the lush delta every year for the last 50 years. read more

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The Gulf at the Gas Station Can We Calculate the True Cost of Our Dependence on Oil?

Source: Tom Dispatch

This might be an opportune time to make a disclosure: I am a BP shareholder. Admittedly, I’ve never attended the company’s annual meeting, and if I did, I would have very little weight to throw around.

I own two shares of BP stock. I received my stake in the company as a Christmas gift in 1989, when I was 14 years old. The previous June, I had taken a “summer enrichment” course in the Des Moines public schools, designed as an introduction to the world of business. The teacher gave each of us in the class a modest hypothetical budget to invest in the stock market. read more