Warm Southern Breeze

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Posts Tagged ‘Louisiana’

Man finds GOD in Eggplant

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, July 10, 2014

Apparently, for some, the kitchen is their church.

From our “See? God IS real – this eggplant proves it!” files comes this item:

Workers at a Baton Rouge restaurant say they saw the word ‘GOD’ in their eggplant.

http://wapo.st/1mK5355

Baton Rouge restaurant employee finds ‘GOD’ in sliced eggplant

Posted: Jul 08, 2014 12:06 PM CDT Updated: Jul 08, 2014 4:19 PM CDT

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) – When an employee at Gino’s Restaurant in Baton Rouge cut into an eggplant Monday, he found “GOD.”

Chef Jermarcus Brady couldn’t believe what he was seeing. “I saw a miraculous image formed by the seeds,” said Jermarcus Brady. “It spelled out the word God!” Chef Brady has many responsibilities, one being cutting, salting and sauteing eggplants.

Jemarcus Brady holding the "GOD" eggplant (Source: Jemarcus Brady)

Jemarcus Brady holding the “GOD” eggplant (Source: Jemarcus Brady)

“When you sliced into it, the pattern showed from the seeds that were forming in the inside the letters G-O-D as God,” said Brady. “I couldn’t think of anything. I just had to tell somebody to come look at it.”

Brady showed the eggplant to the owner of the restaurant and fellow coworkers and took photos, but he believed it was meant to be shared with everyone.

Brady says he is Read the rest of this entry »

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Inequality in Government: Is there Racism in Mississippi? In 2014? Say it ain’t so!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, April 4, 2014

It occurred to me recently in a couple conversations I had with friends in various parts of our United States, that equal representation is a matter with which we still struggle.

While on occasion I’ve opined about injustice through inequality – the United States’ Constitution guarantees Equal Protection and Equal Rights under law via the 14th Amendment – it occurred to me recently that there are some who “just don’t get it.”

More to the point, I was spurred by a photograph sent to me by a friend in one of our Northern sister states – the Land of the Frozen Chosen, sometimes also referred to as “The Great White North.”

In gentleness, I refer, of course, to Minnesota.

It was a photograph of my friend’s co-worker which sparked my interest, and subsequent curiosity.

The co-worker was Afro-American, aka “Black.”

I was somewhat surprised to see a Black person in Minnesota, so I queried the Census Bureau for some Quick Statistics about our United States.

Here’s what I found:
Only 5.5% of Minnesota’s population is Black.

In comparison to the United States at large, 13.1% of our American population in general is Black. And in Alabama, 26.5% are Black, while in neighboring Mississippi, 37.4% of that state’s residents are Black. Alabama’s Eastern neighbor Georgia has a closely similar percentage with a 31.2% Black population, while Tennessee is nearly half, with a 17% Black population.

Examining some other states, I found that Alabama’s Southern neighbor, Florida has a very closely similar Black population with 16.6%, while Louisiana’s Black population is just about double with 32.4%. The “Natural State” of Arkansas has a 15.6% Black population, while North and South Carolina are almost evenly tied with 22 & 28% respectively.

On the other hand, Texas has a lower Black population than either Tennessee or Arkansas with only 12.3%.

Kentucky? Only 8.1% of Kentuckians are Black.

Interestingly, of the 16 players on the Kentucky Wildcats Basketball team, only 6 are not Black. In other words, 62.5% of the team is Black – a clear majority. And yet, the state’s general population is completely and disproportionately unrepresentative of the team.

What about Virginia? With a 19.7% Black population, Virginia stands in distinct contrast to West Virginia, which only has a 3.5% Black population – a very stark contrast, indeed.

But what about some of the other Midwestern states?

Missouri has an 11.7% Black population, while only 3.2% of corn-fed Iowans are Black.

From Minnesota moving West, South Dakota has a mere 1.7% Black population, while Montana…

Well.. there just about no Black folks in that state, at all. Only a mere 0.6% – 6/10ths on one percent – of that state’s residents are Black.

A casual observation would be that it’s mighty White up North.

But let’s bring it back on home to Mississippi…

In a recent post shared by someone else on Read the rest of this entry »

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President Barack Obama to visit Chattanooga, Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 28, 2013

Chattanooga is an old, old, old, old city.

It’s older than Civil War old.

Throughout the city there are narrow streets, many (if not most) of which need widening and repaving. Interstate 24, which leads into the city, is in sore need of widening. Because of the twisting, winding route it takes as it leads into, through and around the city and it’s numerous mountains and hills, it can be treacherous. When any slowdown for any reason occurs, traffic can be backed up for 15-20 miles, or more. When wrecks occur on that route, they’re often fatal, and create even longer delays. The only other major route into the city is US Highway 72. There is no bypass. If there are problems on either of those two routes, significant delays can take hours. (See a Google Map of the area.)

It has a university – University of Tennessee, Chattanooga – with other smaller colleges & universities nearby (Lee University, in Cleveland & Southern Adventist University, in Collegedale). One of three hospitals in the area (each which has numerous campuses) Erlanger, is a Level One Trauma Center, and teaching hospital for the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Memorial Hospital, is part of the Catholic Health Initiatives system, and is a teaching hospital, while Parkridge Hospital is operated by TriStar Health.

Because of industrial waste released by area manufacturing, in 1969, Chattanooga had the filthiest air in the nation. The Tennessee River which serves as a boundary for the area was equally polluted. For many years, troubles GALORE plagued the city, including economic inequality, poor race relations, deteriorating economic infrastructure, rapid population decline, and departure of industry.

Recognizing that the city and area residents were suffering a slow suicide, officials and interested citizens embarked upon a plan to revitalize the area, including cleaning up industrial waste, reinvigorating the economy with employment opportunity, and looking forward, rather than backward.

EPB (Electric Power Board), one of the public utilities in the area, came upon an idea to infuse their power grid with Fiber Optic cable to enable better response times, to pinpoint areas of concern, and to re-route electricity during power outages when lines were downed by trees or severe weather. They faced stiff opposition in the form of legal fights by Comcast (principally), yet were successful in overcoming. In turn, they sold High Speed fiber optic Internet Connectivity to area residents at a significantly reduced cost in comparison to the Wall-Street-traded Comcast. They also provide better service.

While the area’s renaissance is by no means complete, it has advanced with enormously significant strides.


 

Obama to visit uneven Chattanooga area recovery


published Saturday, July 27th, 2013

Mike Pare, deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Mike Pare MPare@TimesFreepress.com phone: 423-757-6318

Mike Pare, Deputy Business Editor, Chattanooga Times Free Press; MPare@ TimesFreePress.com phone: (423) 757-6318

by Mike Pare
view bio

When President Barack Obama flies into Chattanooga on Tuesday to tout new economic initiatives, he’ll see a city recognized in a national study as a metro area emerging from the recession as an “economic frontrunner.”

Area Development, a national business magazine covering site selection and relocation, ranked metro Chattanooga at No. 86 — in the top quarter — among 380 metro areas examined for the study titled “Leading Locations for 2013.”

While in Chattanooga Obama is expected to unveil new ways to spur the nation’s sluggish economic recovery.

At the Amazon distribution center at Enterprise South industrial park, the president will see a growing, state-of-the-art distribution facility with 1,800 full-time jobs created since 2011. The Chattanooga facility, along with Read the rest of this entry »

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GOP Governors Deny Healthcare to their Poor Citizens

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, December 28, 2012

GOP Governors Deny The Poor Health Care In Opposing Obamacare‘s Medicaid Expansion

December 28, 2012

Posted: 12/28/2012 8:44 am EST | Updated: 12/28/2012 12:18 pm EST

Gop Obamacare

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, right, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in De Witt, Iowa, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011. Both Republican governors — along with those in Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, South Dakota and Maine — have rejected an expansion of Medicaid in their states. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

RUSTON, La. — With no health insurance and not enough money for a doctor, Laura Johnson is long accustomed to treating her ailments with a self-written prescription: home remedies, prayer and denial.

Over decades, she made her living assisting elderly people in nursing homes in jobs that paid just above minimum wage and included no health benefits. So even as her feet swelled to such an extent that she could no longer stuff them into her shoes, and even as nausea, headaches and dizziness plagued her, she reached for the aspirin bottle or made do with a teaspoon of vinegar. She propped her feet up on pillows and hoped for relief.

“Before I got sick,” she said, “I hadn’t been to the doctor in 20 years.”

After she collapsed last year and landed in in a local emergency room, doctors diagnosed her with congestive heart failure, high blood pressure and hypothyroid. They ordered her not to work. She arranged a Social Security disability benefit, and she enrolled in Medicaid, the government-furnished insurance program for the poor. She used her Medicaid card to secure needed prescription medications. Her ailments stabilized.

But this year, the state determined that the $819 a month she draws in disability payments exceed the allowable limit. By the federal government’s reckoning, her $9,800 annual income made her officially poor. But under the standards set by Louisiana, she was too well off to receive Medicaid.

This is how Johnson, 57, finds herself back amid the roughly 49 million Americans who lack health insurance. This is why she must again reach into her pocket to secure her prescription drugs, a supply that runs about $200 a month. That sum is beyond her, so she has gone more than four months without taking her pills on a regular basis. Once again, her feet are swelling and her chest is filling with fluid. Once again, she is confronted with the realization that a lifetime of labor does not entitle her to see a doctor any more than it enables her to gain crucial medications.

“It just doesn’t seem right to me,” she said. “It just doesn’t seem fair.”

Johnson is precisely the sort of person who is supposed to Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s not a joke. Republican voting states have lower education & income.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, November 18, 2012

Like it, love it, or hate it… there must be something to 1.) Richard Nixon’sSouthern Strategy,” and; 2.) The line made famous (or infamous, depending upon one’s perspective) by then-Washington Post reporter Michael Weisskopf in 1993 about being “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command.“ And, for the readers’ benefit, in context, he wrote, “Corporations pay public relations firms millions of dollars to contrive the kind of grass-roots response that Falwell or Pat Robertson can galvanize in a televised sermon. Their followers are largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command.”
— Washington Post reporter Michael Weisskopf in a February 1, 1993 news story.

America’s Best (and Worst) Educated States

Published October 15, 2012

24/7 Wall St., Michael B. Sauter and Alexander E.M. Hess

The number of Americans with college degrees has increased steadily in the last decade. According to the latest government data, 28.5% of U.S. residents 25 or older had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2011, up only slightly from 27.2% in 2005. While the number is relatively unchanged, there are substantial differences across the country. In West Virginia, the state with the lowest graduation rate, 18.5% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree. In Massachusetts, the state with the highest graduation rate, the figure is 39.1%.

Best & Worst educated states & voting record

Best & Worst educated states & Presidential voting record

This article was originally published by 24/7 Wall St. 

Based on education data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s’ American Community Survey, 24/7 Wall St. identified the U.S. states with the largest and smallest percentages of residents 25 or older with a college degree or more.

The difference in median income between those with only a high school diploma and a college degree is dramatic. The median pay for U.S. adults with just a high school diploma was $26,699 in 2011. For those 25 or older with a bachelor’s degree, median annual earnings came to $48,309. Residents with a graduate or professional degree did even better; median annual earnings was $64,322.

Differences in poverty rates related to education are just as dramatic. For U.S. adults with at least bachelor’s degrees, the percentage living in poverty in 2011 was just 4.4%. For adults with only a high school diploma, 14.2% were living below the poverty line.

The effects of wage gap by education becomes clear when comparing the states by graduation rate. Of the 10 states with the largest percentage of college-educated residents, eight are in the top 10 for median income. Among the worst-educated states, eight are among the 10 with the lowest median income.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the percentage of U.S. residents 25 or older with at least a bachelor’s degree for 2011 from the annual American Community Survey. From that survey, we obtained Read the rest of this entry »

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Digital divide? What digital divide? We don’t need no stinking “digital divide”!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 8, 2012

“Digital divide?”

What “digital divide”?

We don’t need no steenking “digital divide”!

Funny, ironic, and true.

Haves, meet Have-Nots.

How the digital divide developed in New Orleans & what that means for the future of news there

by Tracie Powell Published July 5, 2012 4:00 pm Updated July 5, 2012 7:03 pm

Come September when changes at The Times-Picayune take effect, not only will New Orleans become the largest city without a daily newspaper, its residents will likely become some of the most disconnected in the country.

New Orleans lags behind the rest of the U.S. when it comes to broadband Internet service connections, according to an investigative report produced by the nonprofit journalism organization The Lens in conjunction with the Center for Public Integrity and the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University. About half of Louisianans subscribe to broadband services while the national average is 60 percent. Those who do subscribe to broadband Internet service tend to be white and in higher income brackets, the report shows.

Only 43 percent of Americans who make less than $25,000 a year have home Internet access, according to a U.S. Department of Commerce study. “It’s clear that, in the midst of moving toward digital news, many people still need access to information that doesn’t require a computer,” Jesse Hardman writes in the Columbia Journalism Review.

This is especially true in New Orleans, where half the residents make less than $35,000 a year and The Times-Picayune will emphasize digital products, Hardman states. The concern should not be about a business decision, “but on how the citizens of New Orleans are going to get important information if they are not online,” he writes.

Poorer, more African American areas of New Orleans, such as the Lower 9th Ward, have broadband subscription rates between 0 and 40 percent while those living in more rural parts of the area account for subscription rates between 0 and 20 percent, Matt Davis writes in The Lens.

It’s harder to profit from the investment in broadband infrastructure in rural areas where fewer residents live further apart. Among poorer residents, broadband – and even newspaper subscriptions – tend to be luxuries for job seekers or people who are still trying to rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina nearly seven years ago. The Picayune’s decision to print only three days a week means fewer newspapers will get passed around local barber shops, beauty salons, cafes and convenience stores — places where many people who don’t have broadband access at home often go to exchange information about what’s happening in their neighborhoods.

At the same time, private business executives and public officials seem to be in denial. They aren’t planning for a diminished newspaper presence and are holding out hope that a hero will swoop in and buy The Times-Picayune, even though the paper isn’t for sale. They also continue to support policies that favor the telecom industry rather than working to make broadband more affordable.

The other primary sources of information for poorer residents, television and radio, will have to step up their game to fill in the gap once the Picayune ceases daily publication, media observers say.

Why the Digital Divide

New Orleans is one of the most digitally divided cities in the country. The Lens’ report contains Read the rest of this entry »

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Louisiana Monks challenge state law making their work a crime… making & selling caskets

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 24, 2012

It’d be funny if it weren’t sad.

Or, would it be sad if it weren’t funny?

Either way, it’s sad and funny.

Or, should that be ironic?

Whatever it is, it’s weird… and unjust.

It’s Illegal for Monks to Sell Caskets In Louisiana

By on June 01, 2012

The monks just want to sell caskets. That’s the simple plea of a relatively simple case, in which a Louisiana monastery—St. Joseph Abbey, about an hour outside New Orleans—is suing the Louisiana State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors for the right to sell their handmade wooden caskets. Only licensed funeral establishments can sell caskets in Louisiana, which means that St. Joseph’s monks would have to hire a funeral director, install embalming equipment, and construct a funeral parlor even though they have no plans to embalm the deceased or perform actual funerals. “They would have to take an exam about the whole panoply of funeral directing,” says Scott Bullock, an attorney with Institute for Justice, which is representing the monks. “It’s like telling someone who sells shoes that they have to first become a podiatrist.”

casket 0531_Monks_630x420

Photograph by David Moore/Gallery Stock

St. Joseph Abbey, founded in 1889 as part of the Order of Saint Benedict, has been producing caskets for as long as its monks can remember, but until recently, they were only used for the private burials of their own members. In the 1990s they built a few coffins for the funerals of local bishops and the Catholic community began to take notice. “People would come to our funerals and see them and ask Read the rest of this entry »

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Atlanta Federal Reserve: Southeast employment up in May

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 18, 2012

Slowly, but surely, the signs that our nation’s economy is improving are emerging.

They’re not rapid, they’re not massive, but they’re there.

And like a trickle that becomes a raging river, it’s beginning to rain.

District employment increases modestly in May

06/18/2012
Payroll employment 6th district 1/11-5/11

Payroll employment 6th district 1/11-5/11

The Sixth District as a whole added 9,000 jobs in May, following 9,600 new payrolls in April, and 18,900 in March, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Alabama, Florida, and Georgia recorded payrolls increases while Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee reported payroll decreases. Georgia was primarily responsible for the net positive District increase.

Payroll employment 6th district states 1_11-5_11

Payroll employment 6th district states 1/11-5/11

The District unemployment rate was Read the rest of this entry »

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Satchmo! New vinyl of previously unreleased recordings to be pressed & sold.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fans everywhere of the “Ambassador of Goodwill” should rejoice!

Now, years after his death, his performance at the National Press Club will be released, AND on vinyl!

But… there’s a caveat.

It’s limited.

VERY limited.

How limited?

Only 300 pressings will be made.

But, if you’re into digital, you won’t be left out.

It’ll be available on CD & iTunes.

Louis Armstrong’s memorable National Press Club performance to be rereleased

By , Tuesday, April 24, 7:53 PM

Beginning in the 1920s, Louis Armstrong was the undisputed fountainhead of American jazz. With his bright, clear trumpet and his ebullient, gravelly voice, he more or less defined how jazz is meant to be played and sung.

Everything he did is of interest to musicians and scholars, and few American lives have been better documented. But until this week, little was known about a performance he recorded in Washington five months before he died in 1971.

On Friday, at a news conference at the site of Armstrong’s original recording at the National Press Club, the music he Read the rest of this entry »

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Congressional Budget Office: Food Assistance Rate to Grow

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, April 19, 2012

While not totally bright, the CBO report is not totally grim, either.

Here’s why.

The method by which unemployment figures are calculated does NOT take into account people whom have STOPPED looking for work. Many – if not most – of those people would accept work, were suitable work offered to them. They have stopped looking for work for many reasons, not the least of which is that they have become despondent from their unfruitful job search.

Now, when the unemployment rate begins to rise again, we will actually see an INCREASE in the rate.

Why?

Because many of the people whom had previously stopped looking for work, will again resume their job search. Thus, they will be counted among the unemployed, whereas previously, they were not counted among the unemployed.

How does the methodology of counting the unemployed relate to this report about rising participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program?

In many cases, the rates of unemployment, in conjunction with the expiration of unemployment compensation benefits, correlates strongly with want and poverty.

Thus, if the CBO says the rates will grow, we can make a reasonable estimate that the strength of economic recovery will have taken hold, and be in full swing.

As an observation aside, examine the larger infographic, and look at the states with the highest rates of SNAP utilization. Most of them are in the Southeast: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia. Those states were formerly Democratic strongholds, and have now swung strongly toward Republican politics. Three other states – Maine, Michigan, and Oregon – also have SNAP utilization rates above 18% of their population.

What would happen politically if Republicans were allowed to eliminate the SNAP program?

Food Stamp Rolls to Grow Through 2014, CBO Says

  • April 19, 2012, 1:58 PM ET

The Congressional Budget Office said Thursday that 45 million people in 2011 received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, a 70% increase from 2007. It  said the number of people receiving the benefits, commonly known as food stamps, would continue growing until 2014.

Click for larger CBO infographic.

SNAP infographic - Click for much LARGER image.

Spending for the program, not including administrative costs, rose to Read the rest of this entry »

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Mississippi River Flooding, Diaster Response & Economic Theory

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 16, 2011

The opening lyric to Hank Williams, Jr.‘s – aka “Bocephus” – 1982 song “A County Boy Can Survive,” is “And the Mississippi River she’s a goin’ dry.”

At this juncture, that certainly doesn’t seem to be the case.

The Mississippi River has flooded to such an extent that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has decided to open floodgates and allow excess water from the river to flow toward the Gulf of Mexico through alternate routes.

Weeks of heavy rains and runoff from the melting of an extremely snowy winter have raised Mississippi River levels to historic proportions. Over 3 million acres (1.2 million hectares) of farmland in Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas along the river have been flooded, evoking memories of floods in 1927 & ’37.

On Saturday, the Corps opened two of 125 floodgates at the Morganza Spillway, and opened two more today (Sunday, 15 May 2011). The spillway is 45 miles northwest of Louisiana’s capitol, Baton Rouge. The Corps hopes that by opening them, it will Read the rest of this entry »

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Up your nose with a rubber hose: Officials fear bath salts are growing drug problem

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, January 22, 2011

I think it’d be funny… only if it weren’t too weird. Or should it be serious? Heck, it’s weird and funny… and sad. I mean, come on! What’s next? Injecting powdered milk? Doctor, I feel real funny. You see, I took a bath, and next thing you know…

Officials fear bath salts are growing drug problem

Neil Brown - In this Jan. 18, 2011 photo, Itawamba County inmate Neil Brown describes at the jail in Fulton, Miss., self-induced injuries he incurred while having hallucinations after ingesting a bath salt powder that is being sold at convenience stores and over the Internet. The product, which can be legally purchased, contains stimulants which authorities claim can cause hallucinations, paranoia and suicidal thoughts and are now among the newest substances law enforcement agents are having to deal with in the streets. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) AP – In this Jan. 18, 2011 photo, Itawamba County inmate Neil Brown describes at the jail in Fulton, Miss., self-inflicted injuries he incurred while having hallucinations after ingesting a bath salt powder that is being sold at convenience stores and over the Internet. The product, which can be legally purchased, contains stimulants which authorities claim can cause hallucinations, paranoia and suicidal thoughts and are now among the newest substances law enforcement agents are having to deal with in the streets. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
By SHELIA BYRD, Associated Press Shelia Byrd, Associated Press – 

FULTON, Miss. – When Neil Brown got high on bath salts, he took his skinning knife and slit his face and stomach repeatedly. Brown survived, but authorities say others haven’t been so lucky after snorting, injecting or smoking powders with such innocuous-sounding names as Ivory Snow, Red Dove and Vanilla Sky.

Some say the effects of the powders are as powerful as Read the rest of this entry »

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Gulf Of Mexico Oil Disaster Governors Refuse to Activate National Guard

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, June 25, 2010

GOMOD – Gulf Of Mexico Oil Disaster

UPDATE: …Continue for some devastating figures…

Posted in - Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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