Thursday, June 24, 2010

Falderal's Oil Slicked Waterloo


In 2008, the euphoria of the Obama campaign resembled the excitement one feels while being taken up into a cresting wave. That sucking down towards the ocean bottom and adrenaline inducing vertical pull, as you are uplifted to the precipice is in my mind a great metaphor for those who supported the anointed one from Chicago. Phrases like the title of Obama’s book; The Audacity of Hope, and campaign trifles like Hope and Change had a cross generational effect not seen in many, many years. They got caught up into his wave.


The problem with the excitement of being pulled up into a wave whether it is real or metaphorical, is the inevitable crash down into the sand, rock, and rubble that can leave one beaten and battered and questioning whether becoming one with the wave was really worth it. For those caught up into it accidentally, or out of some sort of desire to be part of the crowd, the fall is not quite as poignant as it is for those who came into it full steam with all faculties working.

I have waited long enough to comment on everything oil slick. But, I really wanted time to see what was happening before espousing on this ludicrous situation.

First of all, let me state I am someone who would love to get off the grid and live a total energy independent lifestyle.  But, let’s face it; that ain’t happening anytime too soon and like everyone else I must look at the energy situation with some common sense. We are going to be dependent on oil for a long time to come, especially if our retarded Government keeps delaying funding research and capital investment in clean energy infrastructure. Or using whatever is already there like nuclear energy for instance. They would rather fund failed and failing social programs instead of investing in the economy of the future.

The BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster pains everyone. The mistakes, PR problems and lack of leadership all over the board could be postulated on and analyzed until the end of time, and probably will be. But, there are some very common sense issues at stake here that go beyond the technological issues of plugging the leak.

As usual, the finger pointing has taken precedence over the actual solving of the problem. I have been waiting for Lord Falderal to blame the Bush Administration, since…well…hell…why not?

We are all to blame.

I drive a car, most likely you, dear reader drive a car or operate machinery that requires crude. We love our electric lights, conveniences, etc. We consume, consume, consume and expect companies like BP to provide the supply for our demand. Rightfully, so. The last time I checked (although it is waning) we are a capitalistic society and operate on the principles of supply and demand.

BP is a company beholden to stockholders looking to make a profit. In so doing they provide not only our insatiable desire for oil, but also a good living for many thousands of people in the Gulf area, just like ExxonMobil, Chevron, or any of the other companies we take our oil business to.

Like any other business, they are going to look for ways to save money and provide larger profits and dividends for their investors. I realize this is a concept the guy posing as President in the White House doesn’t quite grasp, but nonetheless, it is what it is.

BP fucked up hard. They cut the wrong corners. On a moral level it is indefensible, but on a business level it is a decision based on historical precedent. They calculated (incorrectly) the variables associated with the possibility of a huge event and decided their course of action in developing safety measures and the appropriate responses would be designed to save a little money. It ain’t right, but you can see how it could happen.

Now they are the demons. BP’s response has been lackluster, they have tossed out PR screw up after PR screw up and the nation wants their collective heads on a stick.

I believe they are doing what any company would do and this is what we have to deal with. So we deal with it. We do the best we can. We don’t have a choice. But, we need some leadership on our end and that is where we are truly screwed because we don’t have it.

Lord Falderal has behaved far worse than BP has in my opinion. I believe the die has been cast for good ol’ Falderal and this is indeed his Waterloo. There has been no leadership from the very beginning. All he has done is threaten and cajole BP with absolutely no constructive plan whatsoever. If I were Tony Hayward or any other executive at BP, I would have told Falderal to pound sand when they forced BP to set up the $20 billion Escrow account under threat of legal ramifications. I would write off the White House, Congress, and the Senate and say; You know what? Deal with this your own damn selves.

It is Falderal’s job to protect the American people and our environment, not to play sophomoric power games. Given his chance to step up to the plate and show some leadership potential he has failed miserably. On Day 1, there should have been made available the full force of the stateside military, Army Corps of Engineers, Coast Guard and every private contractor we could find regardless of who caused the spill and where the blame fell. I mean, wtf?

There are so many examples of Falderal’s lack of leadership and petty little power plays. Governor Jindal asks for help with sand burms…nothing. Why? Because it is coming from Jindal and we can’t let him overshadow Fadleral and actually come up with a feasible solution. It took him far longer to make a visit to the Gulf than it did Bush to tour the wreckage from Katrina. We won’t accept foreign help because it may violate the Jone’s Act, even though the countries willing to help have more expertise and success in cleaning up oil spills than we do. It goes on and on and on. But, again it doesn’t matter; just fix the goddamn situation already.

As usual, the media is absolutely no help in all of this. Their emotion stirring controversies that may or may not actually be valid only make the overall problem worse. I don’t give a rat’s ass that Tony Hayward was racing yachts while Obama was playing golf during the crisis. I REALLY don’t need to be looking at the oil plume 24/7. This is a tragedy. It’s like watching your Mom get hit by a train over and over again.

Speaking of tragedy. What about the people who died in the disaster? There has been scant coverage of their lives and the families they left behind. They are just as heroic as the victims of 9/11, so how about some respect?

There is no good to come out of this at any level. The only possible glimmer of something shiny and pink may be that people will start thinking about losing the crude addiction more seriously. And, we may finally be able to consider Falderal a pathetic one termer, but even that is hollow in light of this awful situation.

The wave is crashing into shore and it is covered in the death of an ecosystem and the ruining of countless lives.


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