Last Week’s News from Bizarro World.
May 3, 2010


Bizarro WorldYou know “Bizarro World”… that fictional alternate universe where everybody dresses like Superman and has super powers. But in their world, “Bad” is “Good” and right is wrong? Living among so many Republicans here in Texas, it can feel like that sometimes.

A LOT of things happened last week, each of which could fill a column of their own. The Arizona Hispanic oppression anti-immigration law passed. I have yet to figure out how alienating yet anotherethnic group hasn’t pushed the GOP into permanent obscurity from now until the next millennium. This latest act of thinly veiled “us vs. them” politicking SHOULD be another nail in the GOP’s coffin lid. Yet, like some B-grade monster movie, they keep rising from the dead with the help of a media that continues to tell us how Republicans are currently polling better than Democrats. You’ve seen the ‘bagger screaming matches, the hateful signs, the brandishing of guns and the violent rhetoric claiming anyone that does not believe as they do seek to “destroy America” and/or “are going to Hell.” And just like in those monster movies, they survive because they learned long ago how to harness the power of hate.

Then we saw the Goldman/Sachs circus on TV, with executives of one of the largest investment firms in the world unwilling to even say the company should put the interests of its customers ahead of its own.

Sen. Collins (R-ME) asks “Do you have a duty to put your clients interests ahead of your own?”
[flv:/4blog/goldman_sachs-client_priorities-536.flv /4blog/goldman_sachs-client_priorities.jpg 536 400]

That SHOULD have cost them every single customer overnight, but amazingly, didn’t (although their stock did plunge). Who in their right mind would invest money using a brokerage that refuses to say it will won’t put its own interests ahead of yours?

And in a personal exchange last week on Facebook, I foolishly challenged a Conservative race-baiter to back up his claim that “protesters against the Arizona law want to give Constitutional rights to illegal aliens.” I said, “No. Protesters are concerned with the law infringing on the rights of CITIZENS and LEGAL residents.” I then challenged him to produce a single example (actually, I asked for “video”) of protesters demanding “Constitutional rights for illegal aliens”, upon which I would post a full retraction here on my blog. His snarky response was to point to “Citizenship Now”, an amnesty group who would, in effect, give illegal aliens Constitutional rights by making them citizens. Though I momentarily thought I had been bested, upon further consideration, I refused, and here’s why: first, “Citizenship Now” has its OWN agenda. They aren’t protesting “the Arizona law” (he did cite “protesters against the AZ law” specifically). They were around before the law, and will still be around once it has been ruled unconstitutional. Is that nit-picking? He thought so and dismissed me. But what if the roles were reversed? What if I said, “Tea baggers want to see President Obama lynched from the nearest tree!” He’d call me out and demand I prove it. I then cite “The Klan showing up at teabag rallies” as “proof” (I beg forgiveness from “Citizenship Now” for the metaphor). Is that any different? Is cherry-picking a select special interest group that “hijacks” a larger movement to push its own agenda, an unfair comparison? I don’t think so. So I’m not conceding anything.

And lastly, there is the “ginormous” (Webster made that an official word in 2007 btw) oil “spill” in the gulf (technically, this isn’t a “spill”, it’s an underwater “gusher”. With a spill, we know exactly how much oil we’ll have to clean up) that is already “five times bigger than that of the Exxon Valdez” in 1989, which up until now was the worst oil spill in U.S. history. If this underwater breach is not contained in the next week or two, this spill could finally do to New Orleans what Katrina and George Bush failed to do the first time around: kill it once and for all. Bye-bye tourism.

So, I’m watching all this news about the mechanics of what is going on nearly a mile below the oceans’ surface, and the images keep changing.

First, the BBC showed it looking like this. Three separate breaches:

BBC depicts breach

Then the network news depicted it like this, with a single point of failure:

Single leak


As it turns out, the first graphic is closer to the mark, with three separate breaches in a pipeline running across the ocean floor:

Ocean floor pipeline
Ocean floor pipe - closeup


Suddenly, I paused. Do you remember this (idiotic) commercial from the “American Petroleum Institute”?

“Energy Tomorrow Commercial – Advanced Sub-Sea Technology”


It promoted a new technology that allowed one rig to do the work of many:

Multiple rigs

By retrieving oil from multiple wells at once:

Seafloor pipeline


“More of the oil and natural gas we need from less than meets the eye” the ad states… because, as we all know, the “visual pollution” of all those oil platforms 50-100 miles out to sea is a serious problem. I’m sorry, but is/was there any serious protest out there by people who wanted to “Drill baby, drill”, but just couldn’t bear the sight of all those drilling platforms when they sailed past on their yachts???

Suddenly, we’re not seeing these commercials on TV anymore. You think maybe it’s because the current catastrophe is the result of multiple breaches across the ocean floor?

And this is just ONE pipeline from a single well. Imagine what might of happened if this platform had breached multiple wells at once? Suddenly, the idea of routing multiple wells through a single point of failure doesn’t seem like such a good idea anymore.

On an unrelated side note, like many of you, I watched the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. The Official Sponsor every year is the “Yum Foods” conglomerate, who put their logo everywhere. I don’t know about you, but there is something very disconcerting about the owners of “Taco Bellplastering “Yum!” on the side of every horse. But maybe that’s just me.

(Postscript: In the spirit of the Arizona immigration debate, I recommend watching the movie, “A Day Without a Mexican”… online for FREE via the link on the left. DWM is a 2004 “mockumentary” about Californians waking up one day to discover that every single Hispanic person has inexplicably disappeared, leaving all the “white people” behind to fend for themselves for several days. Throughout the film, “factoids” are scribbled across the screen, such as “30% of California’s school teachers are Hispanic”. Rated-R for language, it is definitely not “Citizen Kane”, but is an otherwise timely movie that most Arizonians should probably see. Hey, if nothing else, it’s a FREE MOVIE! Enjoy!)

(ANOTHER MOVIE UPDATE: Hindsight and Foresight: 20 Years After the Exxon Valdez Spill – watch full 2009 movie online for FREE!)


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May 3, 2010 · Admin Mugsy · One Comment - Add
Posted in: Energy Independence, Environment, Politics

One Response

  1. fastfeat - May 3, 2010

    Good stuff.

    RE: corporate logos on horses. Well, there’s not as much room to put them on the jockeys…

    It is probably a pretty good idea (from a marketing standpoint anyway). You only get, what, your logo shown for a couple of minutes, intensely. Probably more effective than plastering it on a NASCAR racer for three hours a week where people become numb to it.

    Imagine if Fedex (or even better, the US Postal service!) sponsored the winning horse ;)…

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