Oily affairs

I keep having this bad daydream, where BP finally puts a cap on the ruptured spew spot at the bottom of the ocean, a cap that corrals the oil and sends it to the surface under some kind of control. And then, the next day, the flow stops. It just stops. Because there’s no more oil left. It’s all been drained.

Deep in some caves in some Pakistani badlands, you have to figure that Dr. Zawahiri and his staff are taking notice of this little drama. They’re taking notice, they’re undoubtedly enjoying a whopping amount of schadenfreude, and … what? What else might they be thinking? I’m sure they’re totally impressed with our system of emergency safeguards.

This whole thing is a raging scandal, from top to bottom. This is what happens when the government is in bed with the industries it supposedly polices. This is what happens when the industries being policed get to write the regulations that do the policing. This is what happens when people who are inspecting the industry have been planted in their positions by the industry being inspected. And this is no doubt the way it is in the food industry, the auto industry, the medical/pharmaceutical industry, the timber industry, the mining industry, etc., etc.

It didn’t have to be this way. If we had the sense to have regulations similar to those on rigs in Brazil or Norway, a more reliable system of blowout preventers would have been required and installed. A system that would have automatically engaged, not subject to the faltering and slow decisions such as those made on the Deepwater Horizon in the critical early minutes of its meltdown. But, of course, such regulations would displease our corporate masters. Reality check—do we have a democracy here, a government of the people, by the people, blah blah blah … or do we have a corporate puppetocracy? The answer is depressingly obvious. I think my reality check just bounced.

I’m waiting for someone in the House of Representatives to finally come forth with a bill to give the country back to the natives. Screw it. Us white Europeans ain’t cuttin’ it. Think of how this land was, of how incredibly rich and abundant North America was in 1700. Under the guidance and influence of “the savages,” this place was nothing less than a paradise of unimaginably fabulous bounty. Ever since us gold-crazy Catholics got here, we’ve been acting like looters running down Main Street after an earthquake, breaking all the windows and stealing all the toasters and radios we can get our hands on. And now this. The worst toxic event ever, unstoppable, and unrelenting. I can just imagine Chief Seattle, Sitting Bull and Geronimo, hanging out in some heavenly tipi, smoking a pipeload, shaking their heads, and muttering about those crazy baldheads.