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May 18, 2010
Oil and Bombs

The ubiquitous CNN headlines the story as Federal government extends area of fishing ban in Gulf of Mexico.

Just some "area" (vague) and just a "fishing ban." Not too bad, right? In the first paragraph, their coverage leads with the Feds closing "more Federal waters" (just to vague it up a little more) with a direct segue to lawmakers holding hearings. The juxtaposition makes me wonder if CNN thinks the resulting hot air will fix the situation?

To be fair, they get to numbers after that. 19% of the Gulf.

Overseas, the Guardian tells its readers that the Atlantic coast now under threat as current spreads Gulf oil slick with the sub-headline of "Scale of disaster becoming apparent as tar balls reach Florida and Gulf of Mexico no-fishing zone doubles in size"

"…doubles in size."

Their first paragraph stays on subject. "There was mounting evidence tonight that the scale of the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has grown beyond all the initial worst-case scenarios, as thousands of gallons of oil continued to gush from the sea floor."

Later, we hear, "The Obama administration admitted today it had underestimated the risks of offshore drilling. Had it been the Obama administration that birthed this disaster, they'd have 'tar ball' egg on their faces at the moment but the genesis of this little adventure has Bush/Cheney fingerprints all over it.

The administration was for the first time held to account by Congress for the rigour of the Minerals Management Service (MMS), its regulatory body for offshore drilling. The agency was notorious in the George Bush era for sex-and-cocaine fuelled parties in Colorado.

Just to be fair, it's not really right to hold this administration to account for a previous administration's idiocy. I mean, why doesn't someone suggest dialing up Bonehead or Crookface and telling them to show up and explain themselves?

I can't honestly say I mind the Obama administration taking some heat, though. If this had to happen, at least it happened soon enough to stop their plans to expand the list of environmental catastrophes-in-waiting.

Or, not. Salazar seems pretty determined to keep drilling. Me, I think that the $200M or however much they're going to spend on directly clean-up costs, plus the $300M or however much it turns out to be in long-term economic damage would have bought us a lot of research on renewable energy sources. They could have also invested the $500M or whatever piddly amount British Petroleum is now going to be fined and dump it into the research kitty.

While people are down there, cleaning, could we maybe get them to clean out the bombs?


P. S. Saying I do not approve of war doesn't mean I don't have opinions. If you claim you served and you were lying? Apologize and disappear.

Posted by AnneZook at 03:53 PM | Comments (2)
May 17, 2010
Thought Police

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday the federal government has the power to keep some sex offenders behind bars indefinitely after they have served their sentences if officials determine those inmates may prove "sexually dangerous" in the future.

A singularly appalling decision.

The law has to be the law. The law says that prisoners are released once they have served their sentences. You can't keep people locked up because you suspect they're thinking about committing another crime.

I've never liked that "civil commitment" thing--if you think laws for certain crimes don't call for long enough sentences, then fix those law. Don't just just pass a new one saying you can pick and choose and decide keep some people in prison forever, without additional due process.

If anyone's keeping score, this is another step on the slippery slope from democracy to totalitarianism.

Also--stop for a moment and just imagine how appalled I am to find myself having to argue for letting child molesters go free.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:28 AM | Comments (3)