It Ain’t Gonna Work!

Ball ValveThe job to be done in the Gulf has been discussed by every plumber in every Ace Hardware and every other hardware store in America. Let us start with Ace Hardware.

All of us who have suffered through a broken pipe or busted valve know that no amount of junk going down the valve is going to work. Think about putting a straw in a fire hydrant. Got the picture? We also knew the big box over the top would not work. How many of you have held a can over a sprinkler?

Now what are they up to. They are going to cut the pipe (this is a good idea), so they can cap it and begin pumping the oil to the top (bad idea).

You can’t cap a pipe like that. Every apprentice plumber in the world knows what you have to do. Are you ready for answer? Go to Ace!

It is the place of the helpful hardware man. I have gotten more answers from them than anywhere else in all the years I have been fixing stuff.

So you ready for the fix? You cut the pipe (this is good–a lot of oil will come gushing out). When the flow steadies, you get a new ball valve the same size as the pipe with a one-foot piece coming off the top end and drop it over the gushing pipe. Then you clamp the ball valve over the pipe.

You will see a lot of oil gushing out of the pipe. When the valve is secure, you slowly close the ball valve. You keep it from freezing up with methane. When you are done, if you did it, right the pipe is now secure.

Every plumber in the world who has fixed a sprinkler system knows this one! I did it myself. Well, actually, I watched Mike Moran in American Samoa do it one day when a two-inch plastic pipe broke and Mike over several Rainmaker beers put on the valve let the glue dry and then shut off the valve.

If I can figure this out, why can’t BP?

You see at that depth trying to put anything over a spewing liquid to shut it off simply won’t work.

It is kind of like immigration. Putting 100,000 troops on the border won’t solve that spew either. The problem is that America is addicted to cheap (slave) labor.

They can’t shut off the border no more than they will stop drilling in the Gulf. They must have clean sheets, fresh fruit, and new mown lawns. They cry about no more American made products but are too lazy to get their hands dirty to do the work necessary. Every kid has to be millionaire coming out of college!

Well, I got a news flash – those days are gone for the near future.

American industry doesn’t exist because Republicants don’t want to invest in solar, wind, and white roofs. They must have Halliburton oil to grease the wheels of political power. They are the party of El No. They say NO to everything America needs to be great.

Here is the question of the day: Will Democrats have the guts to call out the Republicants and tell America it is time to say yes? Yes to education, yes to job creation, yes to bringing our troops home, yes to cutting military spending, yes to new energy policy, yes to ending hatred.

If the Democrats will just go to the Ace Hardware, they will find the answers waiting for them.

Ask the obvious questions, get the obvious answers.

I tell you this if it was my beach where the oil was sitting my friends and I would be there with shovels cleaning it all up and we wouldn’t be wasting time waiting for Booby Jindal.

Steven J. Ybarra

©Steven J. Ybarra JD is a retired civil rights attorney who operates a consultant company in California. He is a member of the California Democratic State Party and is Chair of the Chicano Latino Caucus Voting Rights Committee and a long time political activist. Contact Steven at: This article is copyright by Steven J. Ybarra JD, originally published in but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media if this entire credit paragraph is attached.

Published by the LA Progressive on June 5, 2010
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