If BP is a Corporation, and Corporations are People, BP Should be Arrested

Note: I will use a certain word that in it’s infinitive form starts with ‘f’ and ends with a ‘k.’ As a person I have the right to freedom of expression. Likewise, as a person, you have the right to get mad, refuse to read, or say how that makes you feel. We’re all people here, which means we are responsible for our actions. As you probably know, a corporation is a person. This is specified in 1 U.S.C. §1 which states: In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, unless the context indicates otherwise– the words “person” and “whoever” include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals; This all began with Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad (118 U.S. 395) in which Chief Justice Morrison R Waite said: The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether […]

Oil Rig Archipelagos: Planning for Catastrophe

As you’re probably aware, the explosion and sinking of the offshore oil platform Deepwater Horizon let loose a stream of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, not too far off from vital waters for fishing and biodiversity.  While the leak spurts out 5,000 barrels of oil a day, attempts to curb the flow of crude have been unsuccessful thus far.  Wells drilled on land can be blown out with explosives or capped with machinery but operating at the frozen, high-pressure depths changes the game significantly. What I found most distressing was that the blowout preventer failed. These offshore wells are required to have such an emergency shutoff valve as a fail-safe. By all accounts, it appears this valve got blown out with the same surge that wrecked the rest of the rig.  Not much of a fail-safe. Suddenly, it’s hard to hear the enthusiastic chanting of “Drill, baby, drill!” […]

What Haiti Looks Like From Far Away

Now, finally, the world looks at Haiti.  The typical disaster storylines are served up, readymade from the bin previously marked “Hurricane Katrina” or “Kashmir Earthquake” or ‘Tsunami ’04”.  There’s the first wave of shock and speculation, an awe of the tragedy’s magnitude and not a little voyeuristic jolt of seeing such a terror from a safe remove.  The actuaries run the numbers and give ranges of deaths and tallies of expense while satellite photos are shot for before and afters.  Then, come the survivor stories and amateur footage from the apocalypse’s dress rehearsal, bookended by grimacing news anchors and wrapped in the networks’ scrolling ribbons of text. As I write this, we’re wading into the judgment stage where the horrors are put into context and the axes that have been grinding all along are revealed.  Survivors become ‘looters’, the victims are ‘impatient’ and the powers who gather with gifts begin […]