Too Many Regs, Not Enough Regs, Let’s Just Cap the Thing

Beyond Petroleum?

TO STUPIDITY AND BEYOND! - Untold environmental damage, thousands out of work, and no one knows what the hell to do. As usual, there's plenty of blame to go around.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with conservatism or liberalism. A healthy democracy needs both to survive. Perhaps the biggest political disagreements today are over the need for, or lack of, regulation. Generally speaking, conservatives want almost no regulation and liberals want a regulation for every possible contingency – the more punitive the better. Spring-loading the nation’s governance to one or the other is a recipe for disaster.

Speaking of disasters, how about that spew pit at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico? It’s the perfect example – and distressingly easy to find.

Before the hole leaked much more than Jiffy Lube uses on the average oil change, conservatives were chanting “DRILL MORE BABY, DRILL MORE!” They called for BeePee to take care of things themselves because, after all, they were honorable people who’d never bait and switch a fly. Top conservatives cited causes for the problem – from a plot by the O-Man to blow up the well as a way of skipping out on his positive position on offshore drilling to overbearing regulations that choked those poor oilmen like dust belching from a dry well.

Regulate the Thieving British Bastards!
On the other hand, liberals saw the BeePers as a latter day evil empire with a fork-tongued Dick Cheney at the helm of the Death Star. They cried ‘DRILL NO MORE, DRILL NO MORE! – ANYWHERE” and advocated regulating the thieving British bastards within an inch of their multi-national lives.

Guess what? They were both right…and wrong.

The failure in this case isn’t the number or kind of regulations, it’s the failure of BeePee to willingly follow the existing regulations and government regulators too busy watching porn, sleeping with lobbyists, and generally operating like crack heads with an inexhaustible supply of rocks to get any regulatin’ done.

As more becomes known about the events leading up to the disaster, it is becoming clear that allowing BeepPeep to regulate itself was like asking the fox to guard the hen house. They blew through dozens of safety procedures and regulations and lobbied hard to weaken existing precautions. They claimed to have plans for disastrous spills, but it turned out the “plan” consisted mostly of PowerPoint slides containing the BP logo and a “We’re BP, GO GREEN!” slogan in the header. That was followed by the same content on every slide – “TBD”.

Profit of Doom

PROFIT OF DOOM - At BP, profit is sacred.

Now, people are clamoring for the government to step in and clean up BP’s mess. James Carville is apoplectic that The Messiah™ take over lest we have another Katrina PR moment. The problem is one of those “TBD” PowerPoint slides currently represents the “fix”. No one knows what the hell to do because no one has been here before and BP didn’t come up with a plan because the aforementioned fornicating crack heads didn’t make them.

If, and when, the oil stops, hearings are warranted. However, instead of each politician spewing windy soliloquies on the dangers of Big Oil – or how swell those poor, beleaguered folks are – how about they just ask simple, tough questions? If they evade or simply don’t answer, compel the oily suits to. In addition, those miscreants in MMS have some ‘splainin’ to do too. Ask similarly tough questions and get similarly truthful and complete answers from them. If not, slap meaningful fines and make heads roll as appropriate. When all the talking is done and we’re deciding what to do, don’t ask “can we regulate more” ask, “should we regulate more”.

A Fat Man in a Room With Krispy-Kremes
If both parties are truthful to themselves, liberals will find most of the regulations we need are already there. Conservatives should look past that seductress Ayn Rand and her talk of free markets, greed being good, and the perfect order of capitalism and think of corporate behavior from their own perspective. Self regulation is like locking a fat man in a room with 20 dozen Krispy-Kremes.

If you could make millions of dollars a minute by skipping the odd safety check or not issuing safety gear to the clean up people, would you do it? My guess is that if you’re an unrepentant capitalist, you’d convince yourself that is exactly what the market calls for and you’d be doing the world a favor by being so generous as to take the big money and put it to work investin’ and yacht shoppin’, and whatnot.

After that, we need regulators who enforce regulations instead of acting like hormone-crazed freshmen at a frat party. They check and double check to enforce the idea that corporations are part of the market and need to act sensibly, not like Daddy Warbucks on a Red Bull high.

Congress and the President need to ensure both sides are behaving and not spare the rod to spoil the petulant government and corporate children. And we the people must do the same thing with the Congress and President.

Psht! Yeah, like that’ll happen.

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Warning: Objects in 3D Are Closer Than They Appear

Kama Sutra in 3DIf there’s a buck to be made on bumpin’ bellies, the porn industry will make it. Since the early days of enabling one-handed typists to live sadly and vicariously through virtual T&A, they’ve pushed the boundaries of technology.

Despite HD causing a bit of a hiccup Not Safe For Work – it’s surprising just how hard-on killing larger than life pimples on shapely asses can be – they’ve been on the leading edge of the technological vanguard. Now apparently, the next brave new leap comes from converting conventional 38DDD boobs to 3D 38DDD boobs threatening to put your eye out.

James Cameron, see what you and your blue-skinned Avatar sexpots hath wrought?

I’ve not seen a 3D film since Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein. Frank’s big blockbuster moment came when he was pierced through the heart by a long pike and his still-beating heart soared out of the screen to offer itself for an up close and personal bloody mess just a few virtual inches from your face.

To see the big moment you sat through half of a truly terrible movie wearing cheap glasses made from Frosted Flakes cereal boxes and red and green Saran Wrap Not Safe For Work.  Wearing them over glasses produced the most uncomfortable movie-going experience of my young life and taking them off garnered a headache. You couldn’t win, but the heart was intriguing in a 12-year old gross-out sort of way.

But porn being porn, the sex moguls will find some way to refine current technology. After all, keeping your head stock-still so you can get the proper effect is tough when furiously whacking your willy.

In a few years, the glasses will surely disappear in favor of some digital trickery. Those pimples will stand out like topographical features on a Google Earth map, creating some odd new zit fetish. There’ll be no more headaches. No more fancy, specialized projection techniques. Just pure, unadulterated smut. We’ll be able to trade Magnificent Monster Muffs 8 for Hot 3D Cheerleaders, Return of the Pimpled Asses 6.

However, it does make you wonder if the world is really ready for beating hearts to give way to the sweet sight of lip upon nip.

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We Sold Our Souls to the Digital Store

Smug Little Shit

LITTLE BOY GONE MAD - He may be a 'smug little sh*t', but he's a rich and powerful 'smug little sh*t'. How much control should you have over you?

The intertubes have been all a’twitter – get it, that’s a techie joke – over Facebook’s 347th revision of it’s privacy policies. On the one hand, the outrage is completely understandable. The digital essence of most Americans went to the highest bidder around the time Windows 3.0 showed its first blue screen of death. No one asked if it was OK or offered a cut of the action for selling, well, you.

On the other, this is hardly a new development and the hubbub is a little strident since the time to have caterwauled about it was circa Commodore 64. Today it doesn’t matter if you object or not, the cat is out of the bag and there are too many things in normal every day life that require you to surrender personal information over which you will have no control – credit reports for example.

Where the hell is the Tea Party on this? It’s not OK for the government to know about you, but it is OK for Experian? WTF?!

The web was once a place where egalitarianism prevailed. Everything would be free. Code would be available to all. It would link humanity to solve global problems like war and famine. There was untapped potential. Hell, we might even find aliens by donating unused time on our machines to SETI.

Then, reality came to the hippy coding commune. In Sillycon Valley, there was a Silicon Rush. However, it was less like typical, garden variety entrepreneurship – you know, fellas working their own claims by the sweat of their own brows – than naked capitalism based on the movie catchphrase of the era, “greed is good”.

e-Ridiculous
Every kid with an empty garage and a half-semester at Stanford hungered to be an instant millionaire. For awhile there, you could get actual adults (who should’ve known better) with real money to put up a few million by attaching a lowercase “e” to the front of any stupid noun you could make up – simply e-larious!

But if derivatives traders and loan sharks at Goldman Sachs were “irrationally exuberant”, venture capitalists were like Merril Lynch’s CEO, John Thain, hopped up on too much Red Bull and an inexhaustible supply of steroids.

Lot’s of the wunderkinds turned out not to be so wunderful. Idiotic sites crashed and burned in a big way. It’s true some of the garage code set sold their SmokeMirrors 2.0 apps and escaped with the loot before it all came crashing down.

Others? Not so much.

But the ones who’ve survived the odds and reached a certain point of power – like Google’s Sergey Brinn and Larry Page or Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg – have turned into greedy, sh*t-diapered little asses who are no longer entrepreneurs, but thuggish digital pirates like Oracle‘s Larry Ellison – who uses the management principles of ancient Chinese warrior and ruthless military tactician Sun Tzu to run his empire.

Corporate Takeover

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH - How much ownership of your digital self is too much?

Zuckerberg is the latest Sillycon Valley mogul to play L’Enfant terrible with the panache only a clueless, 26-year old with more money than God can muster.

Lil’ Mark thumbs his nose at complaints of selling peoples digital souls without permission, at one point even claiming that, “people don’t want complete privacy online“. Maybe a partial grain of truth there, although a little control over someone knowing how many hemorrhoids you have would be nice. Also note that Mark’s personal page is devoid of any actual personal detail.

The Perfect Pander Bear?
Mark obviously has a career in politics if this whole Facebook thing fades, except he can’t afford the pay cut. He’s imminently qualified. He’s proficient in being unable to keep his dick in his pants. His supporters are jumping ship like former Bushinistas leaping over the rail in 2007. And, he panders to more people than John McThusela.

Privacy controls are good. Privacy controls are bad. But perhaps his position that is closest to the truth, “users who share information with [me are] dumb f–ks.” Oh, what the hell, just give me all your personal data and throw in a kidney because that’s just the way I roll.

We love you too Mark.

He’s even in the hunt for the penultimate political pass card, a real trial on allegations of securities fraud.

Good luck with help on that one Mark, you been defriended by a whole lotta people lately.

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