Please, let us stop using the word “spill,” a PR term. It’s not a spill. Ironically, we continue to fund wars of choice propping up big oil, such as BP, in far away lands (and maybe, almost incidentally, round up a few terrorists here and there), when big oil has committed what could be called a terrorist-like assault on our country.
I do not suggest that BP did this on purpose, though its behavior was purposeful negligence. Apparently, BP also allegedly engaged in purposeful lying to regulators. And BP was purposefully reckless and cavalier in the aftermath. Where the administration is concerned, I do not suggest that extensive person hours haven’t been spent by this administration. They have, from the beginning. Nor do I suggest that the administration doesn’t care about what is happening. I think the president has gotten a bad (and very unfair) rap on that. However, the president has more on his plate than finding the right “ass to kick.” (I must confess, I hope he does that, through the DoJ.)
What is needed is a massive re-organization of our national priorities. Given the extensiveness and seriousness of what we face in the Gulf, and potentially up the Atlantic Coast, we must consider some outside-the-box thoughts:
In his journal, David Swanson points out the various things Charlottesville Virginia could fund with the money that small city provides in taxes for the wars.
69,579 People Receiving Low-Income Healthcare for One Year OR
5,871 Police or Sheriff’s Patrol Officers for One Year OR
6,435 Firefighters for One Year OR
36,411 Scholarships for University Students for One Year OR
64,764 Students receiving Pell Grants of $5550 OR
125,637 Children Receiving Low-Income Healthcare for One Year OR
47,424 Head Start Slots for Children for One Year OR
63,840 Households with Renewable Electricity – Solar Photovoltaic for One Year OR
5,055 Elementary School Teachers for One Year OR
170,241 Households with Renewable Electricity-Wind Power for One Year
OR we could defend against the incompetent, negligent contemptuous company, which is essentially “terrorizing” nearly half of this nation even as I write this.
The very same folks (notably John Boehner and the increasingly radical cons he represents), who want the taxpayers to pick up the tab, will squak the loudest if we should re-assess, re-think, and re-prioritize what our nation does. Yet, what is the point of defending “freedom” (as if that is what we are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan–in fact the so-called war on terrorism strips us of such)* in far-away lands, when we are fast facing a degraded homeland? If the gusher continues, the distribution of this massive assault via Atlantic currents jeopardizes much more than the eastern US. (Glibly, BP suggests it’ll all be a wash in the Atlantic.)
If environmental degradation were “all that would result,” that would be bad enough. When all is done, unfortunately, the massive assault on our country is likely to cost more lives than the eleven already lost. If the massive assault on America reaches up the eastern seaboard, an even larger portion of our food supply (the Gulf provides 19% of our fish and seafood) is and will be contaminated. The massive assault on America will cost billions. And there is no end in sight.
in the Gulf, there has been only one tanker sucking up the oil. BP has called for a second! Recall that decades ago when a large gusher threatened waters near Saudi Arabia, every available ship was dispatched to help remove the oil. Meanwhile, we allowed BP to widely disperse the oil making it more difficult to actually remove the massive assault from the environment and rendering the substance even more toxic than it already was. The dispersant also had the “benefit” of sending the oil deeper beneath the surface, so the massive assault looks less threatening from the air. Of course, enter the airspace to cover the massive assault at your own risk. BP doesn’t allow it. As the video of Orange Beach, AL, shows, the threat is real. When will our government, and the pols in both parties enabling it, shift our priorities where they should be: Real homeland defense?
* Note: When the radical cons use this term, they really mean the “freedom” to submit to their so-called leadership (which is really about power); the “freedom” to follow their notion of Jesus as explicated by right-wing pastors; and the “freedom” to be conservatives just like them (and nothing else). Of course freedom has nothing to do with any of the above. Demanding submission gives them away.
**As always, My Two Cents reflects only the opinion of the writer and not anyone else associated with BV.