Thursday, June 03, 2010

Anxious for Change

I almost cleared up one of the two census binders I have left last night, so of course I was handed someone else's half-finished (meaning all the easy work is done) binder because they were taking off on a cruise or something. I really wanted this week to be my last, but that won't be happening now. At least there will be one more check than I expected, but I just really want to be done so I can go off and do something else for the last few weeks/months before we blow this popsicle stand.

Speaking of which, we still don't know what the exact timing will be. We know we will be in Michigan the first part of August, but we don't know if that will be the month we move and damn the lease or if we wait or if we extend the August vacation to give us time to buzz down to Florida for an exploratory trip or if I will be doing that on my own in July or maybe September. Yep. We have this all planned out.

Almost everything that caught my attention today is in some way related to oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico. The first was just an update to say that so far, every attempt to find a quick solution, even a partial solution, has completely failed. It looks like we have to wait for the relief well to be completed, which will take until sometime in August if everything goes perfectly. If things go less than perfectly (and BP's track record so far makes this the safer bet), it will take until the end of 2010.

The second shiny thing that grabbed my ADD eye is a refutation of the comparison between Deepwater Horizon and Apollo 13 written by Harrison Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and a hero to geeks everywhere. He nails it in one:

“Failure was not an option” for Gene Kranz and his Apollo 13 flight controllers and engineers. In contrast, failure clearly has been an option for President Obama and those claiming to have been on top of this situation “from day one” in his White House and in the Departments of Interior, Energy and Homeland Security. With no single, competent, courageous and knowledgeable leader in charge of a comparably competent, courageous and knowledgeable team as we had with Apollo 13, the Administration has been doomed to failure from the start. The President, without any experience in real-world management of anything, much less a crisis, has no idea how to deal with a situation as technically complex as the Gulf oil spill.

Emphasis is mine. This is what happens when you elect a token to do a serious job. Failure. Failure at war. Failure at diplomacy. Failure at economics. Failure at crisis management. Failure as a president. Failure as a nation.

Next stop is the Archdruid Report where John Michael Greer has a great essay on how the oil spill demonstrates that in spite of our alleged rationality, we still think that magic wands and incantations can fix complex, real-world problems. Maybe we should send Daniel Radcliffe to the Gulf. It couldn't be any more useless of a gesture than James Cameron throwing in his two cents.

And finally, a tangentially related article on how the rest of the world wants to be like us just as we are figuring out that we, not alone them, can't. I want to be a fly on the wall at the UN meeting where the heads of the Western World with Obama front and center explain to the rest of the world that we already used everything up. Why do I think we won't look too good in the history books?

Enough of this internet stuff. Think I'll read for a bit, then off to bed.

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