Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Widening Gulf

I grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It's a place I remember fondly and still have a special place in my heart for. Now, I get to see what government incompetence is doing to it, (not that I had the least bit of faith that they'd actually do anything), in the wake of the Deep Horizon disaster. Unlike other countries that have crafted contingency plans and put equipment in place for the inevitable accidents that are going to occur with oil, the US has managed to thrash about and get virtually nothing done, despite being offered aid from other countries who have experience in these matters. One of the many aspects of the current regimes failure stems from their love of labour unions. The Dutch have offered immediate aid to the US with advanced machinery and trained personnel and the US has declined. Oh, they're willing to take the equipment, but they want US union people to be trained to do the task, rather than let the Dutch just get right to work.

This type of nonsense is par for the course where the Obama regime is concerned. They are putting the interests of labour unions ahead of the people and environment of the Gulf Coast. What else could we expect, tho? Unions put the man in the White House and he's paying them back in spades, no matter the cost to the coast. And, as usual, the American press are choosing to ignore and purposefully overlook his administrations monumental failings. Thankfully, the foreign press is not so enamoured of him.

Some are attuned to the possibility of looming catastrophe and know how to head it off. Others are unprepared for risk and even unable to get their priorities straight when risk turns to reality.

The Dutch fall into the first group. Three days after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico began on April 20, the Netherlands offered the U.S. government ships equipped to handle a major spill, one much larger than the BP spill that then appeared to be underway. "Our system can handle 400 cubic metres per hour," Weird Koops, the chairman of Spill Response Group Holland, told Radio Netherlands Worldwide, giving each Dutch ship more cleanup capacity than all the ships that the U.S. was then employing in the Gulf to combat the spill.

To protect against the possibility that its equipment wouldn't capture all the oil gushing from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, the Dutch also offered to prepare for the U.S. a contingency plan to protect Louisiana's marshlands with sand barriers. One Dutch research institute specializing in deltas, coastal areas and rivers, in fact, developed a strategy to begin building 60-mile-long sand dikes within three weeks.

The Dutch know how to handle maritime emergencies. In the event of an oil spill, The Netherlands government, which owns its own ships and high-tech skimmers, gives an oil company 12 hours to demonstrate it has the spill in hand. If the company shows signs of unpreparedness, the government dispatches its own ships at the oil company's expense. "If there's a country that's experienced with building dikes and managing water, it's the Netherlands," says Geert Visser, the Dutch consul general in Houston.

In sharp contrast to Dutch preparedness before the fact and the Dutch instinct to dive into action once an emergency becomes apparent, witness the American reaction to the Dutch offer of help. The U.S. government responded with "Thanks but no thanks," remarked Visser, despite BP's desire to bring in the Dutch equipment and despite the no-lose nature of the Dutch offer --the Dutch government offered the use of its equipment at no charge.
More at the source.

Thank goodness there are people like the Dutch, who are competent. Here's hoping that Obama and his regime finally get out of the way and let the grownups handle things. We can't stand much more of his Hope and Change. Maybe his worshipers in the environmental movement will remember this debacle when the elections roll around.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Coming Attractions

When I go to the theatre I look forward to coming attractions that air before you get to the main feature. It gives you a sense of hope in the future and something to look forward to. I like having my wife lean in and tell me, "That looks good" or "I'd like to see that". It's like making a date for a far off future point. It leaves me feeling good, even when the main feature may suck, (which is seldom in our case, as we are really picky about theatre movies).
Well, I got to see a new coming attraction today. I wasn't at the theatre and my better half wasn't with me, but I'm sure it would have elicited a comment or two from her. The new trailer for the next Harry Potter movie is out and it looks like it's going to be a great movie. It's going to be in two parts, since there was no way anyone could have made the final book into a single 3 hour movie. This one looks like a winner to me and I can hardly wait to get the family together to go see it. Here, why don't you have a look for yourself? Sorry about the embedded ad, nothing I can do about that one. Click through to YouTube if you want a larger version of it.

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