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A confidential survey of workers on the Deepwater Horizon in the weeks before the oil rig exploded showed that many of them were concerned about safety practices and feared reprisals if they reported mistakes or other problems.
In the survey, commissioned by the rig’s owner, Transocean, workers said that company plans were not carried out properly and that they “often saw unsafe behaviors on the rig.” Some workers also voiced concerns about poor equipment reliability, “which they believed was as a result of drilling priorities taking precedence over planned maintenance,” according to the survey, one of two Transocean reports obtained by The New York Times.
“At nine years old, Deepwater Horizon has never been in dry dock,” one worker told investigators. “We can only work around so much.”
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”