Saturday, May 22, 2010

"The good news is, the spill should be diluted by the Melting Icecaps."

That's a quote from David Letterman. And if the oil spill disaster in the Gulf wasn't such a major disaster, this would be funny.

I try to keep things fairly light on here, but I'm getting pissed. So I'm going to take a minute to rant and link to a few things for posterity.

We all know the story of Hurricane Katrina. I have to admit. This does NOT look dangerous to me....

August 29, 2005, the Sixth largest Hurricane in history made landfall near New Orleans. It was the largest natural disaster to ever strike the United States. 80% of the city of New Orleans was flooded when the levee system gave way. Citizens of the United States came Un-Fucking-glued when the government didn't respond quickly enough.

Let me vent on that. We didn't respond quickly enough to help people who decided to ignore warnings to evacuate a city when the (at the time) strongest hurricane EVER RECORDED IN THE HISTORY OF THE GULF OF MEXICO was bearing down on their city, and they lived basically in a ditch between the Atlantic Ocean and a gigantic fucking lake. I'm not a fucking rocket scientist, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, and one time I played a rocket scientist on TV. These people IGNORED WARNINGS and stayed in the face of the impending doom. Then bitched that George Bush and the US government wasn't responding fast enough.

On September 3, 2005, MENSA candidate Kanye West declared that George Bush "doesn't care about black people." 4 days later!

4 days? Honestly? That means the President of the United States doesn't like an entire race of people? He's mad that the President didn't send the Army in to search for thousands of people who CHOSE to stay across hundreds of square miles of devastation. In college, we left Papa Johns pizza boxes sitting 2 feet from the couch piled up in the corner of the apartment (until furry mold grew from them) for months at a time, because it was too much effort to pick it up and carry it 4 feet to a trash can.

Do you get my point here?

Now zip forward to today, May 22, 2010. Over a month ago, an oil rig owned by a British company exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, spilling tens or even hundreds of thousands of gallons a day of oil. A month later, and essentially nothing has changed. NOTHING HAS CHANGED AFTER A MONTH! We are talking about something 5,000 feet away from the surface of the ocean. I can walk to a Wawa in 5,000 feet. The leak is 5,000 feet away, not on the damned moon!!!

Let me put this in perspective. The Exxon Valdez disaster spilled 11 million barrels of oil. This disaster has already spilled 6 million, with no end in sight. The most LIBERAL of news sources, MSNBC, (home to Olberman and Maddow....aka Team Kanye) says that this will be worse than the Valdez. My commentary is simple. Where is the outrage that the government is not doing enough? Why does Barack Obama not get skewered for the response to this disaster? Especially when his party is the party that is supposed to be the one caring for the environment.

I guess I understand it. First, it's just not cool to rip him because of the color of his skin. It's racist to say he's not responding fast enough. Second, George Bush was an easy target. (And he was, believe me, he did enough dumb shit that Republicans may never get elected again.) Third, I think everyone still feels like offshore drilling is a Republican issue. I believe, and maybe I'm a conspiracy theorist, that the Dems are letting this thing leak intentionally, to create an environmental catastrophe. Then they can look up and say "hey, we told you offshore drilling was bad. Let's stop letting anyone drill." People like Obama. Shit, I'd like to attend a beer summit with the guy. He's charismatic and a great speaker. It still doesn't absolve him of responsibility.

Bottom line here is this.

Barack Obama took over the auto industry. He's helped guide congress into taking control of the health industry. He took control of some major insurance and financial institutions. He was quick to act in all of those areas. Why not now? Why let a FOREIGN company continue oversight of this disaster. I simply don't get it.

Jay Leno had a great line a week or two ago.

"I love this. On the news today, the CEO of British Petroleum says he believes the overall environmental impact of this oil spill will be very modest. Yeah. If you live in ENGLAND!"

Let's get real. We have the ability to fix this problem, and we can fix it today. They had a concrete cap to seal the well that was stymied because ice crystals formed inside. Have you ever heard of heat? Fuck, I've been hearing about global warming incessantly for 20 years. We can't figure out how to just put a heater inside that cap and keep the ice from forming. Come on. Me and my kids can fix this shit with a few AA batteries, for crying out loud.

In the end, I want 2 things to stop.

The spill. It's a damned catastrophe. Let's fix it today. Barack Obama, please get control of this thing, put every resource of our government on the problem, and try something every day to solve the crisis.

The free pass that we give the President. I'm OK with the bashing George Bush took. There was some truth behind it. But let's not give the new guy a free pass. It's time to speak up, and demand that something be done.

My final thought is this. I can't help but wonder. Did we have the wrong presidents in place at the wrong times? I mean, a black president during Katrina would certainly have reacted quicker. And if he hadn't, at least we would not have had the divisive arguments that race played a part in the response. And I can't help but think that with his knowledge and connections in the Oil industry, George Bush would certainly have had a better response to this disaster.

If we could only swap their places in history.