Skin In The Game


In democratic countries, the most important private organizations are economic. Unlike secret societies, they are able to exercise their terrorism without illegality, since they do not threaten to kill their enemies, but only to starve them.  

Bertrand Russell; Power, a new social analysis  

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The other Marty Feldman, the talented one

I read in several places that the Judge who lifted the 6 month oil drilling moratorium owned Exxon oil stock until the day he made a his  judgment to lift the oil drilling moratorium.  He says he didn’t know he owned it, and as unlikely as that actually is, I’ll accept it.  People are idiots and sometimes make mistakes.  

But when you look a little deeper you see that the Judge, a man named Marty Feldman, also owned, in the last publicly available financial disclosure forms, at least $1,000 in stock in the following stocks;  

3 different mutual funds run by Blackrock, as well as stock in OceanEnergy, NGP capital resources, Quicksilver resources, Hercules offshore, KBR and 13 other companies.  

For those not in the know, every single one of these companies has skin in the game as far as drilling is concerned, they are all involved in offshore gas and oil production.   

This is the judge who said that the government misled the public in the wake of the oil spill in the gulf and said the oil drilling moratorium is “rather overbearing”.  I can’t entirely disagree that it was overbearing, but one must use power and strength in the face of the power that the oil industry can and does bring to bear in it’s own defense.  I don’t have a problem with the President being “overbearing” here.   The public has been misled by BP, pretty much from day one, and after seeing what the judge who overturned the drilling ban, it has also been misled by the judge here.   

Misled to think that a judge can be impartial and fair.  That a judge in an important case can recuse himself from a case that he has a financial interest in.   It would be nice if that was how things were, but it isn’t like that.  

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Friday’s top links:  

Judge who lifted moratorium tied to offshore drilling companies  

Judge lifts deep water oil drilling moratorium  

Judge who ruled against offshore drilling moratorium invest in oil industry  

Many federal gulf judges have oil links  

Bush administration documents on Secrecy policy  

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Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate.  

Bertrand Russell, Skeptical Essays  

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Viddy of the day:  Keeping with today’s theme, this one is about Judge Feldman and his investments.  

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The judge isn’t the only one who has gotten money from BP.  The President has as well, as I recall the number is slightly over $77,000.  BP has given millions to a great many people in both parties over the years.  If nothing else, this case is a shining example of why it is wrong for large corporations to give money, any money, to politicians, to judges, to anyone with any political power.  Money corrupts, as does power, and when both are in the same place, and are moving in the same direction, there isn’t anything they cannot do.   

Like corrupt everyone it touches and damages the reputation of anyone and anything it comes into contact with.  

I’d say God bless America, but if there is a blessing anywhere in this, I’d hate to see what a curse would do to us.  

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G’night America

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