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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mr. President, Perhaps...
Your Kicking Foot Should Go Full Circle.

For several years, the Emerald Coast of the Panhandle has been our school's Senior Trip destination. Two weeks ago, we were there enjoying the white beaches of Destin, Florida.

No matter the size of the group we take each year, there are always two or three for whom it is the first time they have flown or the first time they have seen the ocean (we let them call the gulf the ocean in this case). It stands to reason that it is also the first time some of the seniors have seen dolphins and pelicans in the wild. (This picture is not from Destin. The oil booms were not yet in place when we were there.)

The day before we flew back to Michigan, one of our young ladies was trying to take a picture of a pelican in flight along the beach.  I can't remember if she succeeded or not, but I know it would make her sick to see these pictures.

We live in that area of the gulf for just one week each year, I can only imagine how the people who for generations have lived there are feeling right now. Already their tourism has been decimated, their charter fishing boats docked by either mandate or lack of customers, and now their pelicans (which is the state bird of Louisiana) are being grounded by crude sludge and boxed up in crates for attempted rescue.

How could this happen? Look under any one of the sinks in your house, and you'll see a shut-off valve on both the hot and the cold water supply lines. Those valves are required by building codes for convenience and safety in the event that a leak occurs or a pipe breaks above that valve. If a leak occurs below that valve, there is a main shut-off valve in the basement of your house. If a leak occurs in the supply line to the house, there is an underground shut-off valve somewhere between your home and the street, and your area waterworks engineers know exactly where it is. Millions of homes across this country have at least three shut off valves between the street and the sink.

My point? If "code" requires so many shut-off valves for clean water, how in the world have we allowed an industry to have not one shut off valve in the thousands of giant man-made verticle pipelines capable of spewing millions of gallons per day into one of our treasured resources? Don't get me wrong. I'm not against oil or off-shore drilling any more than I'm against city water running to my house from the supply line near the street. I'm just flabbergasted that companies like BP are allowed to drill and install miles and miles of "plumbing" without a viable shut-off system, and I'm equally flabbergasted that President Obama has been so inept at helping SOLVE the problem BEFORE making enemies and criminals of those he's left in charge to fix it.

This underwater oil gusher is nearly 60 days old. For the first 50 days, our president was in damage control--unfortunately it had nothing to do with the gulf; he was controling the damage to himself. For weeks we heard nothing but blame and litigation and most recently threats for some a** kickin'.

I try to avoid politics here at Patterns of Ink, but can you imagine the different treatment this news story would be getting if it had occurred under the previous administration's watch. Listen to this report on British television. The leak is dumping 40,000 barrels (not gallons) per day into the gulf. This may be BP's liability but its OUR PROBLEM.  It's not the white cliffs of Dover, England, that are being ruined; it's our own shoreline. How could we as a nation be so ill prepared for this containment and clean-up process?  This is a disaster that requires not a politician, not a lawyer, but a true leader. (Thank heavens we are learning this now and not during "World War".)

I think its time for the President's kicking foot to go full circle and find his own rear end.

In the meantime, it would be good for us to remember that we are allies with Britain. The U.S. will play the Brits in the World Cup Soccer match today. I have a feeling this British Petroleum mess will add some tension to that match. But I also sense that Obama has not liked the Brits for some time. Did you know that one of the first acts Obama performed upon moving into the White House was sending a bust of Winston Churchill back to England ? (It had been a gift from Tony Blair to our country.)  I hope that the spirit of this old WWII song, will remind us of a far more desperate time when the Yanks and Brits banded together. The U.S. and English relationship continues to serve a much greater purpose. This is a time for team work not a reenactment of the Revolutionary War.

Here is an update found in the New York Times two days after this post. It develops this latter point.


Blogger Nancy said...

I thought about Destin and your seniors when I heard about the oil spill. I thought of the past and the future and how this would impact them and you! I'm sorry it took me so long to get over here to check things out. This is so sad and it doesn't look like it is getting any better or that things will change any time soon. I'm praying that a solution is found soon!

I hope life is good and that you are enjoying your summer. I do want to get back to blogging soon because I do miss it. Take care and enjoy every minute of your summer.

23/6/10 7:47 PM  

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