Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hall of Shame: BP and NYS Legislature Edition

I haven't updated this in a while, so now is as good a time as any to carry forth with a new installment of the Hall of Shame. These are always pretty easy to write, as there are a lot of fucking assbags out there fucking everything up for the world (or at least for me). I had planned on starting my 100 greatest albums of all time blog, but my brother is not prepared for the massive joint undertaking. I do have some other things coming down the pipeline, but for now you will all have to settle for this. Speaking of pipeline, let's go to our first (and most obvious) inductee:

BP: Holy Mother of God, BP has fucked up big time. They have managed to ruin millions of lives and a significant portion of the world's environment. Then, they follow it up by doing nothing about it for weeks and when they finally start to get a plan to implement, they execute it poorly. There are 60,000 barrels of oil a day (!!) streaming into the Gulf of Mexico every day thanks to these guys. To make it even better, they have no idea how or why this happened. There was some serious criminal negligence in the creation and maintenance of this oil well, as well as a serious lack of oversight on the part of BP. What really gets me is that it has been nearly two months and they are just now starting to stem the flow of oil. Shouldn't there have been a plan in place before the well was even built that would cover this possibility? It is a rhetorical question, since the answer is "Yes!" Now, some of you might be saying, "Now Jimmy, no one could expect something like this would happen. How could they be prepared?" I would then tell you to read the article I linked to above. When the plans for the well were being put forth, the engineers warned that something like this could happen. On top of being criminal douchebags who have ruined the Gulf Coast for decades, their leaders are also inconsiderate pricks. Hayward, the dude who testified before the House (more on that later) today, as quoted the other day as saying "I want my life back" and that the spill wasn't a big deal because the gulf was "a very big ocean." Their other main executive, whose name I can't find right now, said, after having to put $20 billion into an account to cover claims, that "Obama cares about the small people. Oil companie s care about the small people." What an asshat. It isn't a matter of rich and poor, or important and small. BP has just made the Gulf Coast, an area still devastated from Katrina, an even bigger wasteland. On top of that, they are fucking up Canada too by throwing out indigenous people to drill in the tar sands. You can read a bit about it here. BP is ecologically and morally reckless and reprehensible and should have to pay the penalties for all the bad shit they've done. Of course, not all people feel that way, which brings me to the next inductee:

Rep. Joe Barton (Republican-Texas): This rotten piece of shit is on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where BP's Hayward testified today. Barton had the unmitigated audacity to say to Hayward, and I quote directly: I'm ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown, in this case, a $20 billion shakedown. What kind of an insensitive, out of touch goofball would say something so ridiculous about forcing a corporation to be responsible for the shit it's wrought on everyone, an action that the majority of Americans support? The kind of person that is the number one recipient in the House of funds from gas and oil companies, that's who. Yes indeed, good ole Joe Barton has received $100,470 in donations from big oil since 2009 and $1.4 million since 1990. That is the kind of person that would be more ashamed by an oil company being punished by the government than by an oil company ruining the Gulf Coast. And on top of that, it's fucking insane that he is on the Energy Committee. Actually, five of the top ten recipients of big oil money serve on this committee. Talk about a conflict of interest. No wonder renewable energy is going nowhere in this country, but I digress. Barton's comments were so out of line that even Republican nutbags Eric Cantor and John Boehner spoke out against him and reiterated the fact that BP is in the wrong and not the White House. Of course, just when I want to only single out one Republican and point out that the majority of them actually don't have their heads up their asses on this one, I read this quote by Georgia Republican Tom Price that the $20 billion fund "suggests that the Obama administration is hard at work exerting its brand of Chicago-style shakedown politics." Sigh.

At least, the US Congress isn't the only legislative body fucking up. I introduce you to our last inductee:

New York State Senate: Oddly enough, this has nothing to do with the fact that the budget is ten weeks past due and that they are the laughingstock of the political world every year. No no, this one has to do with their boneheaded treatment of mixed martial arts (MMA), or "ultimate fighting" as the less informed call it. It finally passed a bill that would make New York the 45th state to legalize MMA. Of course, it didn't pass without a fight with the vote going 32-26 without any rationalization across party or gender lines. First of all, "ultimate fighting" is not the name of the sport and calling it as such shows how out of touch the Senate is with the subject that they voted on. Democratic Senator Diane Savino "compared MMA to the days of the gladiators, when Christians and Jews were fed to the lions." Give me a fucking break! MMA is a legally sanctioned sport that does not allow low blows, eye gouging, knees and kicks to the head of a downed opponent, and unlike boxing does not have a standing eight count. That means that when a fighter is dazed or down on his back, the fight is over. He is not given eight seconds to regain his wits from the head trauma and expected to get back into it. Also, there is no lion feeding and no death to the loser. It is essentially a combination of wrestling and kickboxing. Whenever an event is run, it is sanctioned by the state athletic commission. It is not a no holds barred, barbaric sport. The people who compete in it are highly trained and highly disciplined and are no more bloodthirsty than a football player or boxer. On the other side of the aisle, Republican Bill Larkin made sure to point out that he will "be able to look at [his] grandchildren and say, 'I won't let you watch it on TV, and I didn't vote for it in Albany." He also made sure to state that the sport would become nothing more than a hoodlum training program. Good for you Bill, that you won't let your grandkids watch it. That's the beauty of freedom of choice. Don't watch it if you don't want. Just because you think it is barbaric doesn't mean that it is. Also, what kind of hoodlums are training MMA? Training kickboxing or wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu is expensive and someone who practices it is most likely not going to be using it to act like a "hoodlum." For that matter, it is proven that kids or people who enroll in a martial art or some kind of extracurricular activity are LESS likely to become hoodlums. Not to mention, MMA training is already going on and there has been no change in crime because of it. This bill just means that it can be sanctioned and done safely, as opposed to bootleg amateur bouts that lead to injuries to people. Sanctioning it means that the UFC can come to NYC or Albany and run a show and bring in a shitton of revenue to the areas where a fight card occurs. At least Democrat Craig Johnson, who voted in favor of allowing MMA, pointed out that a lot of these people against it because of a fear of leading to a Reefer Madness like fall of humankind in New York also voted against microstamping semiautomatic weapons in order to cut down on gun crime. I could go on about this all day, but I feel as if I've gone on a bit too long.

That does it for this entry. I hope to update it again soon. Leave a comment on my facebook page or on this blog if you would like.

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