Monday, May 24, 2010

Stupid Is As Stupid Does


Sometimes I just have to watch the morning news. It's like peeling a sunburn or listening to ABBA or working a hang nail. You know it's something you just shouldn't do, but the weird pleasure in the pain is irresistible.

As usual, this morning's leading Today Show story is the oil leak in the Gulf. Today, they're covering Louisiana state officials who are "demanding" that the government step in and "come up with a plan." Then the story switches over to Matt Lauer as he once again deer-in-the-headlights BP COO Doug Suttles (talk about a masochist) and asks him:

Should the Government Take Over Control of the Oil Spill From BP?

I don't even bother to listen to Suttles' droning.

But I would like someone to answer, because my question in response is simply this:

And do WHAT, exactly?

I would seem to me that if there were anything anyone, anywhere who who knew how to stop this thing, they would do it. Is this a tragedy of mega-FUBAR proportions? Yes. Is its continuation deliberate? No. Is there anything a panel of gub'mint officials can do that BP, oil industry experts, and environmental specialists aren't doing? No.

If there's anything more tragic than hundreds of thousands of oil spilling into the ocean, it's the reportage linked to it and the utter stupidity of people who think that the solution to any problem is government involvement. I ask you: when has THAT ever made anything better?

16 comments:

Milk River Madman said...

I agree that the government is not the cure all. Well done. I like Abba. If they had their own channel on XM I'd listen to it a lot.

Buzz Kill said...

"Then the story switches over to Matt Lauer as he once again deer-in-the-headlights BP COO Doug Suttles" Bwahahahaha

You're absolutely right about government involvement. Just look at the FDA approved oil disbursent that is now suppose to be killing everything it touches.

On the other hand, I want some kind of oversight (government?, I don't know) to ensure that BP is in fact trying to stop this leak by all means possible. Or are they trying to stop the leak but still be able to reuse the piping and the well. If the latter is the case (and I think it is) this leak will go on for weeks more until BP can put in a 2nd pipe to relieve well pressure and collect the oil. I believe the money to be made by continuing operations on this well far outweigh the PR and environmental clean-up money. BP is a business and if the enviroment has to suffer to maintain that business - oh well.

K9 said...

the time for government has passed on this problem. what should have been required was more worst case scenario plan b. c and d's in place. The problem is in the regulatory body who *so typical* many of which sit on petro boards, and/or are big shareholders. add to that the relationship to the company (BP) that made the equally egregious dispersant chemical used in the cleanup.

the problem is this: we have a government / corporate ruling class that makes all decisions based on profit and personal finance advancement. meanwhile, they plan to fee, tax, permit, inflate and shake us down to make up for the times they bet large and lost. everybody talks about who is gonna pay for this. who? not BP! guess who.

same thing with cap and trade. you'll pay for your carbon footprint; corporate will "buy" your offsets to continue to pollute, and then sell you the service where you buy back your own credits. pretty cool ,huh? multiply that by 6 billion you get an inkling of what and how they think of us.

note how often we are referred to as consumers. not citizens.

until americans wake TFU then we can just bend over and ask for another, sir.

the fact that phillipe calderone can give a speech on US soil telling obama and congress to ban rifles or "we" might challenge the government, and trash talk Arizonas ILLEGAL immigration policy and to be met with cheers an applause tells me that we are finished as a sovereign nation.

GRRRRRRRRR

moi said...

Milk River: I like ABBA, too. But, it's a guilty pleasure.

Buzz: As K9 points out below, the time for regulation is long past. Our Constitution gives our gub'mint the right to regulate interstate commerce, so why has Congress not required over the years the simplest of safety measures to prevent something like this from happening? As for BP wanting to milk this for all its worth, sure. But I have a hard time believing they really want to shit where they eat.

K9: I find it very, very strange that our Greenie President has not stood up and spoken about what he and his minions are NOW going to require of anyone drilling off our shores. He remains oddly silent in this regard. No rallying cries, no impassioned speeches. I suppose that is because he's too busy buying his wife beautiful outfits for state dinners where ass kissing dictators is the soup du jour. You know, to pick up pointers for the future.

Boxer said...

Yup, it's too late. Clearly, Big Oil doesn't need to follow any regulations that other countries require of their off shore drilling I'm sure some lobbyist was paid a ton of cash to make sure BP spent as little as possible on safety.

But not that they've effed up and its' not going away, SURE, why doesn't the US Government just take over Big Oil and then raid their profits rather than pile more taxes/crap onto the back on my small bidness?

(p.s. I stopped watching The Today show when crap news crept into the first hour and you just reminded me of why I won't be turning it back on anytime soon.)

Heff said...

I saw that this morning and thought the same thing.

Karl said...

Good afternoon Moi,

Best equipment in the world world deal with this issue, is on site. It's the best it's the strongest and the folks from Oceaneering, that are operating those ROV's are the best in the business. The U.S. gov't is neither equipped with or has the training deal with this problem. They may be able to work at the spill response. But anything that goes on at the wellhead, should be done by the folks that are doing it.

This is a black eye to the entire offshore industry and they are collectively trying to come up the best solution. Unfortunately unless the hail Mary (junk shot) works, the relief well will likely be the solution.

If you look at the government's response so far. A delay in releasing stockpiles of booms, not having in stockpile some of the booms that are required by their own spill reaction plan. (a result of the Exxon Valdez) all the while saying how they're doing as much as they can, no I don't want them taking over.

Regarding the difference between European and American wellhead equipment (a blowout preventer) the only real difference is the European equipment has a sonic control device for use in case the drill rig becomes detached from the wellhead. In this case it would not have helped, because of the damage done to the blowout preventer at the wellhead.

Okay, I'm done now. If you get a minute stop by, I posted something regarding the Mexican Presdents visit.

Marko said...

Moi:

How can you possibly condemn out beneficit government? Look at how well the "Windfall Profits Tax" worked. Uh..never mind.

Ok, how about the swine flu vaccines? Uh..never mind.

How about the responsiveness after Katrina? Uh..never mind.

How about the effectiveness of the bailouts in saving our financial system? Uh...never mind.

How about in delivering the mail?
Uh...never mind.

Hmm..guess you got a point there.

Never mind.

Marko

moi said...

Boxer: Crap News is the perfect title. Exactly.

Heff: I'm waiting for Butlik to write a song about it . . .

Karl: I know you know what you're talking about, so thanks for the overview. What has also shocked me is that in none of the reporting, have I heard an explanation of exactly what happened and what the industry is going to do to prevent it from happening in the future.

Marko: (Sung to the tune of "We Didn't Start the Fire"): Cash For Clunkers; Medicare; Social Security; Fannie Mae; Freddie Mac; Prohibition; The War On Drugs; No Child Left Behind; and . . . the Delorean.

Karl said...

Good morning Moi,

The short answer is they don't know why the blowout preventer failed to operate. You may want to go here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepwater_Horizon_oil_spill
Read the investigation section. This gives a fairly accurate description of what they believe went wrong with the blowout preventer.

As for what they're doing to make sure it doesn't happen again. Well, there are operation manuals and system check procedures having rewrites worldwide. The government's will start implementing regulation after regulation and one can only hope, that they base those regulations on solid engineering. Not pay offs, vacations and campaign donations.

Steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gnomeself Be True said...

I loves me a clear thinking woman...and my wife too.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

it's soap opera with a little truth mixed in. They just pick out the sexy bits, the parts that make you steam (teen porn gooberment sex scandal - news at eleven!) or just make shit up wholesale (Nobody Does Anything, News at eleven) so that you'll watch it.

step away from the teevee news, missy...just...step...away.

moi said...

Karl: Or booze, drugs, and hookers. I put nothing past the bastids.

Gnome: Hey, look at Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, James Carville and Mary Matalin—proof positive that Demobrat/Republitard matches are not just urban myths.

Pirate: Yes. Housewives of New York City has more depth. And better outfits.

Pam said...

I can't even bear to think about this issue. Seriously. On all levels. The spill, the explosion, the lack of effective response ... I just can't bear it. And I NEVER turn on the tv in the morning unless it is to a muzik/cable jazz station. All those voices saying nothing ... I can't take it!

fishy said...

I am allergic to morning news.

I definitely breakout in a rash thinking about sending government to "fix" anything.

Eleven families are devastated by the BP tragedy.

A Nation is devastated by the BP tragedy.

The Chief PooBah of the Coast Guard has said there is no entity on the planet capable of stopping the gush except the industry engineers already on it. He even went on to say it would be a greater magnitude disaster to pull the pros off the fix and put ANY government entity in their place.

There are multiple theories on the cause of the blowout as well as theories on why the fail-safes were a no show. ALL of them stem from not adhering to already in place maintenance-safety-inspection protocols.

As is true in most man generated disasters the answers are greed, graft and the beancounters.

Once upon a time there was a National psyche to
"do the right thing". That is now history. Maybe even fiction, Sadly, we are now a nation driven by the bean counters where math trumps morality.

The O- Team proclivity for providing American enemies and critics a platform to spew their toxic matter is a tragic disaster of a magnitude beyond measure.