Hurricane Ike Oil Spills? Rain Gauges to be Filled? Women Strip-Searched for Thrills? Cuban Joan of Arc Release Fulfilled?

HPC Rain Forecast For Wed Oct 8, 2008

HPC Rain Forecast For Wed Oct 8, 2008

If you can’t have the rain you need, you may as well have a great weekend and we certainly had that. Now, its down to business and we’ll see if we can’t get some rain in here. A large, complex storm system is plodding across the nation and will bring some much needed relief by midweek. Look for some high clouds early Monday with the passage of a warm front then just some friendly white puffies in the afternoon with mid 80’s. Tuesday will be similar except we become mostly cloudy late. A few showers may develop Tuesday night and then more general rainfall can be expected with a few t’storms possible on Wednesday. Most of the showers should be out of the area by midday Thursday but the clouds will hang around. I suspect that most people will get a half to 3/4 inches of rain out of this event. Temperatures for those two days will be held down due to the clouds but the mercury will move back above seasonal levels for the latter part of the week into next weekend as the air behind the front is more pacific in nature rather than Canadian. The rain we get won’t require the building of an ark, but should bring some relief to everyone.

Gulf Production Platform After Hurricane Ike

Gulf Production Platform After Hurricane Ike

Hurricane Ike Environmental Concerns: Now, Hurricane Ike went over much of the nation’s offshore oil producing concerns and affected a good chunk of the national refining capacity. One can expect some environmental affects. In relation to the number of facitilites affected adversely by extreme weather, the spills were really remarkably little. However, once again, the media insists on hyping things. Notice in the article below from the Associated Press how they say 500,000 gallons, and not 11,900 barrels. (I’ve commented on this before) On the one hand, everyone knows what a gallon is but not as many know what constitutes a barrel. Yet, the media routinely reports oil usage and production in the industry standard of barrels. In recent years, reporters have gone to gallons when reporting oil spills…its 42 times bigger when you use gallons instead of barrels. Anyway, the article begins with saying over a half millions gallons of oil were spilled. Then you read farther and find that there were nearly 450 instances, which is an average of 1100 gallons. Then you read that in the Gulf of Mexico, of the 50 platforms damaged, there was one leakage of oil…One…and it was of 8400 gallons. Kinda gets your attention, until you do the math and find its 200 barrels. 200 is not as sexy as 8400. They try to put in perspective and scare you even more when they say the amount is enough to fill an olympic sized swimming pool. But, considering the amount of oil production and refining facilities affected…that seems like a pretty good track record to me. Read the article HERE and you decide for yourself. In some instances it’s significant, but not as much as they want you to believe.

The Phony Strip Search DrawingOn This Date In History: In the late 19th Century, newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst was in a pitched battle for circulation with the Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World. Hearst knew that a war would increase his circulation but the trouble was there was no war. So, when rebels in Cuba started making noise against the Spanish, who were in control of Cuba at the time, Hearst’s New York Journal sent illustrator Frederic Remington to cover the revolution. But Remington no sooner had arrived than he asked to come home because there was no war. Hearst reportedly fired off a message that read, “Please Remain. You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.”

A Hearst biographer described the tiny rebel faction as an “unkempt mob of brave but disorganized bushwhackers” who had no chance unless they got American help. So, Hearst lent a hand by printing any rebel propaganda that he could find. Remington sent back a graphic drawing of a naked woman being searched and leered at by 3 Spaniards. The Journal’s headline read, “DOES OUR FLAG PROTECT WOMEN?” The Spanish authorities had boarded an American ship and searched 3 Cuban women who were suspected of carrying rebel messages. The photo and the story served to rile up Americans. Trouble was, when the ladies got to New York, they told a reporter from the New York World that women had searched the women in privacy….a little fact that the Journal neglected to tell and Remington’s fantasy illustration did not reveal. Perhaps a more honest headline would have been “Does our Flag Protect Women Who Are Alleged Cuban Spies Hiding on American Ships in Cuban Ports?”

Cuban Joan of Arc or Rebel Leader's Daughter?

Cuban Joan of Arc or Rebel Leader

That wasn’t the first time that Hearst had altered reality. Prior to that, On This Date in 1897 Hearst scored another coup when he gained the release of the “Cuban Joan of Arc.” Here name was Evangenlina Cisneros and she had been put in prison for trying to kidnap a Spanish military officer. Cisneros claimed that she was trying to repel the man’s advances. Hearst made a big deal out of it and got the support of leaders of American women’s groups. When the Journal sent a reporter, the Spanish released the woman, perhaps in an attempt to quiet American unrest. How does this add up? As it turns out, Cisneros was the beautiful daughter of a rebel leader who was arrested. Evangelina pleaded with the authorities to have her father, she and her sister banished to the penal institution on the Isle of Pines off Cuba’s Southwest coast. Her beauty helped charm, first the general in charge’s son and then the general himself to comply. The Spanish version of the event is that the woman was luring a colonel into her room for the purpose of assaulting him. The girl’s version is that the colonel was trying to blackmail her into becoming her mistress and the other prisoners jumped him to protect her. Nevertheless, Hearst painted a portrait of an innocent young girl being cruelly imprisoned. Here’s the COMPLETE STORY.

The press has great power and today, as then, the press has the power to sway public opinion and shape elections and the general feeling of the country by what they report…and what they don’t report. I’d encourage you to snoop about for yourself and don’t let the press dictate your thoughts.

Anyway, as we know, Hearst got his way eventually when a few years later the USS Maine exploded in Cuban waters. Hearst was quick to blame a Spanish plot and the Americans bought it. Off to war we went, Teddy Roosevelt led his “Rough Riders” and Admiral Dewey led his fleet and the Spanish American War was over in short order with Spain giving up Cuba and the Philippines. Cuba was independent until Fidel Castro took over in 1959 and the result of the Philippines was a protracted effort by America to put down insurgents…a story that is, by the way, a much better comparison to Iraq than Vietnam ever was…its just that today’s reporters don’t know their history so they try the poor comparison with Vietnam. So far, it appears the efforts in Iraq are going much better than they did in the Philippines…but that’s another story…and HERE IT IS


One Response

  1. Great post, Mr. Symon, as usual. I like your comment about the media in American particularly. I guess it’s safe to say that the media in America has always been biased even back to revolutionary times. However, I think the nature of media today with it’s immediate coverage and graphic images has far more power to influence than it ever has. I’m not sure what to do about it or if anything really should be done about it. If something resembling critical thinking were being taught in our schools today, it would certainly help. It seems that our founding fathers were depending on a grounded, thinking populace as the “check-and-balance” for the Fourth Estate. That is sadly lacking in America today, I’m afraid. It seems that most follow blindly what Oprah, The View and the network news have to say and use these sources to determine just what they need to be concerned about and happy about. Sad. As for me the media has a real credibility problem. I tend to look at what the media is telling me with a wary eye trying to determine what the thinly veiled agenda is behind every story. This is a problem because if there ever was a real issue that I needed to be concerned about it would take a long time for the media to convince me that it had any real validity. By that time, it might be too late!

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