Melting Down

The bulletins were rather frightening coming out of Japan. First there was the enormous earthquake – Japan seems to have them with regularity; but a 9.0? – who heard of an earthquake that big since Krakatoa? Then, the ensuing tsunami that engulfed whole coastal communities, whole bullet trains… indeed that rippled across the biggest ocean we have, killing nosey looky loos 10,000 miles away in northern California. And of course, these two events alone killed an estimated 20,000, left tens of thousands more homeless.

This wrath of God twofer might’ve ended there, except leave it to the mind of man’s most heinous invention ridiculously close to the epicenter: nuclear power. In a deadly irony, this same nation of Japan, the only nation (that we know of) to suffer the devastation of deliberate nuclear explosions had brought upon itself, 66 years later, another radiation catastrophe. And in a sort of Hiroshima / Nagasaki revenge scenario, there remains danger, at this writing, that by sea or by air, this radioactive contamination could reach the west coast of the United States. “Biblical proportions” now seem an inadequate description.

But God can hardly be entirely blamed for the last third of the Japanese disaster. A scant 11 months after British Petroleum’s deep water drilling gambit exploded, and kept profusely bleeding black blood into the Gulf of Mexico for weeks, the work of greedy, short-sighted men helped out immeasurably. They bet their profits against an earthquake in Japan. They seem to have lost the bet. Similarly, some years ago, the Army Corps of Engineers took short cuts building the famous breached levees protecting New Orleans, figuring the odds were enormous against a category 5 hurricane – we now know it was Katrina – hitting the area and uncovering their incompetence. “Who knew the levees could be topped?” declared Pres. Bush. Nuff said.

bob illesAnd, similarly, Halliburton allegedly cut some corners on their concrete pour at the BP Gulf of Mexico oil drilling site. They were just doing what they do, taking money and not putting it into their work. What were the odds their handiwork would give way when there was a precious mother lode of Texas Tea to be had? 11 men instantly paid the price for that lost gamble.

Robert Illes

Valley Dems United, Margie Murry, Editor

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