"A Copse. Evening"

"A Copse. Evening"
A. Y. Jackson, 1918
"I don't make hell for nobody. I'm only the instrument of a laughing providence. Sometimes I don't like it myself, but I couldn't help it if I was born smart."

1st Sgt. Milton Anthony Warden.
"From here to Eternity"

Paul Valery

"You are in love with intelligence, until it frightens you. For your ideas are terrifying and your hearts are faint. Your acts of pity and cruelty are absurd, committed with no calm, as if they were irresistible. Finally, you fear blood more and more. Blood and time."

The Wisdom of the Ages

"When a young man, I read somewhere the following: God the Almighty said, 'All that is too complex is unnecessary, and it is simple that is needed',"

Mikhail Kalashnikov
"Here lies the bravest soldier I've seen since my mirror got grease on it."

Zapp Brannigan

Thursday, August 14, 2008

God! It's hot...


You ever wonder how much sensitivity/balls it took for poor old Dan Qualye to correct that kid's spelling of "potato"?
Even though the VP was proved wrong, it's still difficult to step out and correct someone of youth and immaturity, especially if they're trying hard.

"Let the oil companies drill where the oil is, where we can get it, and where they can get it in a cost effective manner. The more we can get, the less foreign oil we have to import. The more oil there is in the market, the lower the cost is, the lower our gas prices are, and the better for our economy. We've seen the price of EVERYTHING go up because of the price of oil. Like it or not. Oil is our Life's Blood. This is why Russia is attacking Georgia. Not because they care about Georgia's civil war... but because they want to control the oil pipeline. Strict oversight? These oil companies are not the evil merchants of pollution that Sanfransicko would have you believe. They police themselves very carefully. In fact, you can't find a well head location only one year later after the well has been moved. I've been to these sites personally. I've seen wells in action, and I've seen where they had been in action. They don't need strict oversight. You can't do it any Greener than they are doing it. And I know that these same companies take just as much care if not more so when they drill off shore. Let's not forget one small thing. Oil is a Natural Resource. It seeps out of the ground all on its own. It just does it less these days... so we don't think about it. But it's there. Under your feet. You just got to drill it. Prices on oil is high because the Democrats have limited our own production to such a degree that it's easier to just import it. This is why we are in the pickle we are in. If Paris Hilton can see that – What does that say about Democrats?"



You can find it here (8/10 entry. Scroll down).
I grabbed most of it because I wanted the quotation in full; lest I be accused of playing fast and loose with context.
I'm going to withhold comment on the author of the above, one of the fellows at the Utah thinktank, "The Center for Energy Policy and Asian Understanding".
This isn't personal. People just need to start paying attention.
Krugman's column of a few days ago, "Know-Nothing Politics". Starting point.
In the quotation above, I'm struck by the childlike trust expressed regarding corporations and the virtual certainty that they'll "do the right thing" if left on a long leash.
Such faith is remarkable - and admirable.
I'd like to be so trusted - especially after such a track-record as those in charge of "corporate responsibility" have shown.
"Corporate Responsibility" is. of course, an oxymoron. The purpose of incorporating is to limit liability ie: dodge responsibility.
I'm not saying all captains of industry are shit.
That guy - and I wish I remembered his name - who owned the textile mill that burned in New Jersey about 15 years ago.
R. G. LeToureau is another.
Corporate magnates who are decent people. But, they're the exception, not the rule.
To the left, and at the top, Butte, Montana, "The Richest Hole on Earth".
I mean "Hill" of course.
Large body o' water: The scenic Berkeley Pit. A 900 feet deep sink of water so acidic (ph 2.5) that any and all metals in the surrounding rock are dissolved into it.
The water now contains enough copper to make "mining" the water feasible.
Good news that.
However, Butte (Now let's be fair, 100 miles or so of the Clark Fork River, downstream - as well) is the single largest Superfund site in the country.
I guess that means that it's good that maybe there's money in that there Tidy Bowl water ("water" that killed 350 migrating geese. They made the mistake of landing there. Now they have noise cannons or something).
Maybe it'll offset the clean-up costs
Read the Wiki entry for the pit and see how Anaconda and later, ARCO (Hey, an oil company. Who'd a thunks it?) stepped-up to the plate and took on the mantle of "CLEANING UP AFTER YOURSELF".
Hmmm, I guess they didn't.
No, it's YOU, Mrs. and Mrs. Taxpayer-Patriot that have been/are footing the bill for this one... and all the rest as well.
Hell, you people pay for everything.
And, thanks. On behalf of our corporate overlords,
"Thanks".
Thanks for just sitting by while financial entities larger than the economies of some countries make all the rules, take a dump in the places we live and then, take a hike.
BTW, I'm fifth-generation "flyover country".
So, George, if you find the wild west to be so tough, just head on back east. You've seen the elephant.
Next photo: This is actually a place I lived.
That's not true of Butte although I did go to the pit once when it was operating. It was around '69 and, as I recall I was mesmerized by the endless parade, about one every 10 to 15 seconds of these huge (for the time - 60 ton Lectra-Haul) dump-trucks.
Anyway...
Welcome to Sunburst, Montana.
Directions: Find Great Falls.
Get on I- 15, head north.
At Canadian border, turn around and drive back ten miles.
You're there!
This gorgeous little hamlet used to be home of an oil refinery. I think it was Texaco but I'm not sure.
It was one on the "Leaders" of the industry though... not "Earl's "We'll Catalytically Crack Yer Crude for Ye".
The population in the 1960 census was 1100, I think.
Now it's less than half that.
I lived near the middle of the city, proper.
The red arrow points to the church I attended, Grace Gospel Church (in a metal building. I love these folks).
The rectangle below encompasses what I recall of the refinery itself.
Just to the north is the house where my pastor lived.
He bought the house, the old refinery manager's house, and the refinery for cheap.
Of course the refinery, which closed sometime in the '60's had been been high-graded by the previous owners until it was not much more than lots of bricks. Lots of bricks, bricks with which I, myself (as opposed to someone else masquerading as "I") built a woodstove pad.
To the East, just across the road, you'll see a large rectangular structure.
As I recall (circa 1982 memories) it was a large flat pool with some sort of wick structure in one corner.
What I was told was that something was burned-off in it.
Anyway, it's still there.
Along with that fascinating collection of tank footprints.
Just to the West.
You haven't been looking - I know.
It's because it's not polite to stare...
And these look like serious acne pockmarks.
Obviously, whoever "liquidated the assets" of this joint took care of all the scrap steel that would result in such a massive dismantling.
All that was left was the mess.
Google Maps has a nice little scale that helps orient things size/wise.
I cropped it of course out because it didn't fit my aesthetic sensibilities.
Anyway, using said scale, these rings - the inner ones, the outer are just containment berms - are around 100 feet in diameter.
During my tenure as "Multi-stage Flash-Evaporator Operator" at the seawater-desalination plant, at Mcmurdo Sta. Antartica, two of the tanks I had to babysit were twin, 30,000 gallon units.
These guys stood around twelve feet tall and were about 75 feet in diameter.
So, these Eisenhower era tanks were some considerable items.
I don't know... 50,000 gallons
Now anyone who's ever changed their oil - or participated in any kind of routine fluid-transfer process - knows that ...you spill some shit.
So, how much was spilled here in Sunburst, you reckon?
Buttloads and you know it.
This is the pattern for corporate America from the start and continues to this day (see Bhopal, Union Carbide).
Make the bucks, placate the stockholders. Then clear out when it quits working-out on paper.
Further, Required reading for any addled neo-natal-cons who may want to respond:
The Triangle Shirtwaist factory Fire.
The Ludlow Massacre. (Hey, machine guns in use by "our boys". I think they were Colt Potato Diggers but I'm not sure).
In closing, George, when you get a moment, I'd like to see a photo of these "ex-wellheads".
Then we'll haggle over your pics of Bigfoot.

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