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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

America's Shame

I just wanted to go record with this: I am so ashamed of my country. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is such a worldwide catastrophic event that it puts Japanese whaling, poaching Africans, rainforest destruction, European wolf depopulation, yada yada, etc. etc. to shame. Its hard to imagine a more offensive affront to man, god or nature.

Obama, Bush II, Clinton, Bush I, Republicans, Democrats, Government Regulators, I blame you.

Oddly, I don't blame the oil companies. They're businesses, they're supposed to enlarge profits, and drop costs. They were doing what they were supposed to doing. It was government that dropped the ball. And the people, for letting themselves get hoodwinked into thinking that industry could or would self-regulate. Why do I blame the regulators? Well, that should be pretty obvious, but just to enlarge. Political purges of beaurocracy are pretty common, and the Bushies were particularly efficient at this, but the hypocrisy and degredation of those who call themselves regulators and allow these things to happen ought to be punishable by life in prison. I'm sure there are many principled regulators out there, and I don't blame them, exactly. But at a certain level, willful ignorance is acceptable only in certain areas. I don't blame financial regulators for looking the other way--not as much--because a failed financial system really only hurts humanity, and really only hurts humanity temporarily. But environmental and industrial regulators are really stewards of the entire earth, in perpetuity. When they fail, it not only hurts humanity, but it hurts humanity for the rest of its existence. When they fail, they not only hurt the environment, but the alter it indelibly for generations.

I'm so disgusted I can barely breathe.

as a caveat, I would like to add that I would never will any violence or physical unpleasantness for these people. But I absolutely hold that they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And if the law isn't severe enough, it ought to be rewritten.

as a further caveat, I admit my own guilt. I've protested politics before, but I've never personally done anything, except for occasional donations to the WWF, to help the environment.


Anonymous said...

You should absolutely blame British Petroleum - particularly since it is now clear that they were deliberately bypassing basic safety procedures and have since been trying to distract from the argument that happened on that rig before the explosion. Since the Obama administration, oversight of these rigs has been more rigourous - but this company has deliberately attempted to obfuscate what actually happened leading up to the explosion and every single failure to control the leakage. They describe their failures as "planned interruptions" rather than the panicked and absolutely poorly thought out attempts to control a problem that is the outcome of multiple, deliberate failures to maintain equipment. They had no back up plan for this sort of leak. The current dome on the top of this thing is an idea that they took from a 21 year old student. Your taxpayer money necessarily has to backstop their irresponsibility. You should be incredibly angry that this company thought they could manage this operation without any care for your nation's economy.

See you at home.

HammClov said...

Well, that's a very good point. But I think it only strengthens my overall thesis--that is, private enterprise is greedy and cost cutting by nature. Government regulation is the only way to assess, maintain, scaleback and penalize private or publicly owned industry.

One would hope that criminal precedings are already on their way. I've heard rumblings of it--and yet, no hard fact yet. The Justice department has announced, as of June 1, an investigation. But if the laws aren't in place, are allow for these types of flagrant regulation jumping then the DOJ can only do so much. You can't ask for life-in-prison if the sentencing guidelines only asks for a monetary penalty that's completely out of date. All in all I agree with you Anonymous. I do. Perhaps a better way to phrase it would have been, I expect no less from BP. I saw on John Stewart, sad that I saw it first on John Stewart, that BP had amassed some 761 violations. It's closet rival in violations? Exxon, who had only amassed 9 or ten.

There is no home, only Zul.

Anonymous said...

Well if it makes you feel better they are amassing 2 billion in fines daily apparently.

There will be criminal proceedings. There certainly were for Exon-Valdez. The government needs to be seen to be concerned with clean up right now. More and more evidence against BP is developing as we type - so have patience. It will never be what you want to be, but they will be punished. The administration has to take a hard stand before the election - but right now we are in crisis management. One thing at a time.