Thursday, May 27, 2010

Nothing New

One of the big stories making the rounds today is that the director of the US Minerals Management Service (the agency that oversees oil rigs in places like...the Gulf of Mexico) has been fired or resigned. In their typical fashion, the mainstream media is treating the ousting as a big deal. More importantly, the media is acting as if the discovery of the agency's "lax oversight" both is shocking and an anomaly.

If we will remember just a few weeks ago, there was a deadly mine accident. One of the "revelations" that came out of this incident is that the federal agency charged with insuring the safety of mines hadn't been doing much insuring lately. There were charges of...lax oversight and agency officials being a bit too cozy with the industries they are supposed to regulate.

Everywhere we look in government -- both in the US AND abroad -- this manner of operation is commonplace. Here in the US, who has been overseeing all these financial bailouts to Wall Street? Many of our government leaders in this area are the very same people who caused the problem in the first place -- they were bigwigs in the various corporations they now supposedly regulate and, once they leave government service, most of them will return to the same industries.

So, what we're seeing played out today re the fallout from this historic ecological disaster, is not surprising at all. It represents the general pattern, not the exception.

As much as we common folk may wish to criticize, we tend to behave the same way in our routine lives. We give the benefit of the doubt (wink, wink) to ourselves as well as our friends, family and allies, while we may come down much harder on folks who are not members of our "tribe".

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