Monday, 21 June 2010

Barack vs BP (Part 2: Jingoism and Bullshit)

This post from Timmy really focused me on another aspect of how government is the problem, and nothing to do with the solution:

Take, for example, the shortage of oil skimming ships in the Gulf. There’s a whole flotilla of them on offer from a variety of European sources. They cannot, however, be used.

For there is this thing called the Jones Act. It started out, in the 20s (think that’s right) as a way to support the US Merchant Marine. It is now simply a support for the US Seamen’s unions.

What it says is that only US owned and crewed ships may operate in US coastal waters.

Thus those European owned and crewed ones may not: however much they might be needed, however much good they might do.

This is clear evidence of how jingoism is a load of shit. Because of a law passed to to support US business, people's lives are being destroyed. There is no real difference between this fatuity on the one hand and the MOD "buying British" or "British jobs for British workers" or "British energy independence" or anything the BNP proposes on the other.

Of course, it is possible for the US Government to provide a waiver. Bush’s lot managed it within two days of Katrina for example. Obama’s lot has not: indeed, for political reasons probably cannot, given the way in which the Democratic Party relies upon union support.

Happily, this just goes to highlight another veracity of the effectiveness of government: perception is everything. Bush was coruscated for his ineffective handling of Katrina, yet he behaved according to the law by holding back until he was asked for assistance by the State Governor. And when he was asked for help, he was (in this one particular case at least) quick to do so.

Yet Barack has merely played to the gallery on this one and is putting party donations ahead of the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands or millions of Americans. But because he controls the media narrative, he's seen as "doing something", even though all he's doing is posturing like a motherfucker.

The fucking cunt. And the media happily playing along with this shit are fucking cunts too.


Uncle Marvo said...

You're a cunt too, but a good sort of cunt.

I thought O'Bama was going to be different. He isn't.

Onan the Rotarian said...

Coruscated? Surely excoriated Obo, not flashed.

Captain Ranty said...

As stated, a swift signature on an Executive Order and the flotilla can depart within hours.

Those EO's should not be abused though. They can be used to order US citizens to be executed and for certain birth certificates to suddenly become part of the Official Secrets Act, but not for important stuff. God forbid.


Anonymous said...

A more balanced view of the Gulf accident than you will find in most places:

Obsidian said...

According to the wiki article on the Act, BP and others have claimed the Jones Act doesn't cover this?

Now Obama waiving it would clear it, but it may be that he's no the only one in the wrong on this.

Either way, the law is a piece of protectionist tagnuttery.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Yup, the more we pick at this, the more we realise that the Yanks are the authors of their own misfortune.

On a day to day practical level, why doesn't iDave grow a pair and tell Obama that unless he agrees to cap BP liabilties at (say) £1 billion, we'll be getting our troops out of Afgh by the end of next week?

Generalfeldmarschall said...

You're right, of course.

I particularly agree with your last sentence or so.

sixtypoundsaweekcleaner said...

Mark Wadsworth...


But does CallmeDave have the brains to think of it or the balls to execute it?

Mark Wadsworth said...

Sixty, thanks and no.

hicip said...

Our troops should be brought home anyway Mark.

Filled up at BP at 118.9 a litre today. 2 pence a litre higher than it was in a JET station. Consoled myself by seeing the extra as a personal contribution towards the suffering of all the dumfuck yank twats who have been cluttering up the radio for weeks crying. What a bunch of mongs.

Onan the Rotarian said...

@Mark Wadsworth
"why doesn't iDave grow a pair and tell Obama that unless he agrees to cap BP liabilties at (say) £1 billion, we'll be getting our troops out of Afgh by the end of next week?"

Forgive me, but why the flying fuck would this matter to the Americans in any practical sense? And in political terms it would be just another reason to slag off and show contempt for Britain. Not exactly a vote-loser at the moment.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Onan, of course the Americans wouldn't care, but if they have made up their minds to rape and pillage BP then they will do so anyway.

It just gives us a fine pretext to get out of Afgh.