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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Baseball team renames ‘BP’ to protest oil spill

In a protest over the Gulf oil spill, a minor league baseball team is changing the name of batting practice so the players will no longer have to utter the letters “BP.”

The Brevard County Manatees of the Florida State League say they will now take “hitting rehearsal.”

This a home run idea until you pass it by human resources.

Gamingboy Posted: June 05, 2010 at 08:53 PM | 366 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: minor leagues
Commenting on this topic has been moved to the forums. Please feel free to further discuss this topic at its new location.

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   101. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 08:16 PM (#3551839)
To me Transocean is just as guilty because if the 60 Minutes report is true they knew there was a problem yet still caved to BP.
   102. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 08:17 PM (#3551842)
Yeah, it isn't like something happened a couple of months back that would make people interested in deep sea oil drilling and it isn't like the media has put out a ton of info since then on deep sea oil drilling. where do these people get the nerve?

Oh. I didn't realize that reading a few newspaper stories for a month and looking at pictures of oil-soaked birds could substitute for a degree in engineering. My bad. (I also didn't realize that expertise -- even real expertise, rather than the faux expertise that comes from reading a few media stories -- was a substitute for actually examining the evidence.)


And even a degree in engineering doesn't make one even competent to understand the issues, let alone an "expert" at anything. You need years of practical experience in the field. And you need to be good.
   103. McCoy Posted: June 06, 2010 at 08:26 PM (#3551852)
Odd that David posts on BBTF since he has never played professional baseball or is it that David never posts on baseball since he isn't expert on baseball?
   104. Mattbert Posted: June 06, 2010 at 08:29 PM (#3551859)
So unavoidable human error is a part of the picture, too.

BP's company policy is that all accidents are preventable. No exceptions. There is no such thing as "unavoidable" when working for an oil company. As a consultant who is often contracted by BP and its bretheren, you learn quite quickly to expunge that word from your vocabulary.
   105. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 08:33 PM (#3551866)
So it was your fault? Good going.
   106. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 08:33 PM (#3551867)
Odd that David posts on BBTF since he has never played professional baseball or is it that David never posts on baseball since he isn't expert on baseball?
Are you saying that fans only have as much information about baseball as commenters here have about what happened on Deepwater Horizon?
   107. Rich Rifkin Posted: June 06, 2010 at 08:35 PM (#3551870)
More accurately: BP specifically requested the freedom to act outside the regulations, and the government granted license to ignore them."

Not more accurately as I understand what actually happened. The regulations were not the problem. If BP had just followed its own procedures, regardless of governmental rules, this would not have happened. If the rules were much stricter, that would not have mattered, as BP was run by people who just flouted whatever rules were in place (as in the Texas City case).

"If someone petitions the government (with substantial financial incentive, no less) to drive at 85 mph around a sharp curve, and the government grants an exception even though it clearly is unsafe, is the government really behaving responsibly?"

No. However, that's not what seems to have happened here. If the safe speed was 45 and BP used its influence to raise it to 55, BP then drove 85, AFAICT. And metaphors aside, it seems to have been a push for speed, speed, speed which motivated BP's directions to its contractors that led to the accident.
   108. McCoy Posted: June 06, 2010 at 08:35 PM (#3551871)
I'm saying your line of argument is pretty much the same as some athlete saying fans don't know jack because they are not athletes that have spent years honing their skills.
   109. Mattbert Posted: June 06, 2010 at 08:37 PM (#3551874)
So it was your fault? Good going.

I've said too much!
   110. CrosbyBird Posted: June 06, 2010 at 08:45 PM (#3551880)
If the rules were much stricter, that would not have mattered, as BP was run by people who just flouted whatever rules were in place (as in the Texas City case).

It is a lot harder to prosecute a company for negligence (criminal or civil) if the government explicitly allowed it to break the rules. "If it wasn't a reasonable risk, why did the Department of the Interior give us permission to operate this way?"

However, that's not what seems to have happened here. If the safe speed was 45 and BP used its influence to raise it to 55, BP then drove 85, AFAICT.

Even under these circumstances, if 45 mph is safe, the government has no business allowing someone to influence it into allowing a speed of 55 mph.

Whether BP is wrong, very wrong, or terribly wrong doesn't factor into whether the government acted wrongly itself.
   111. BFFB Posted: June 06, 2010 at 08:48 PM (#3551881)
BP's company policy is that all accidents are preventable. No exceptions. There is no such thing as "unavoidable" when working for an oil company. As a consultant who is often contracted by BP and its bretheren, you learn quite quickly to expunge that word from your vocabulary.


As someone who has spent, at various times, far too many hours in HAZOP and HAZID meetings than is healthy; yep.
   112. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 08:49 PM (#3551883)
One protests the "accidents" of a company that received 760 "willful" safety violations from OSHA. (The oil company with the next largest number of willful violations had eight.)


I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with this information. How many of the 760 violations related to this particular incident? Why are OSHA standards deemed to be a magical line between disaster or no disaster? Why would we think that with no OSHA violations this incident wouldn't have happened? Why is workplace safety particularly relevant to the issue of a well blowout? Why would we assume that 760 violations tells us what occurred here and who was at fault?

One protests the mentality that continues to drill ever-more-dangerous wells in deep water locations rather than transition to a non-oil based energy economy.


Alternative sources of fuel suck compared to oil. If you'd like to put up the capital for BP to engage in further R&D in the way of alternative sources, I'm sure they'll be happy to waste your money instead of theirs. Until then, complaining about their course of action is kind of weak.

Besides, if we'd lift the ban on drilling in ANWR, perhaps BP wouldn't need to be drilling off the coast in the middle of waters that people (fishermen, resort operators) depend on for their livelihoods.
   113. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 08:59 PM (#3551885)
As a side note to this, the only organisation which appears to be making any effort to stop the spill is BP. Everybody else is so concerned with appearance that they are just shouting from the sidelines like a load of armchair GM's proclaiming "you're doing it wrong!!" without actually offering any solutions themselves.


Right; I don't see how BP has anything less than 100% interest to stop the spill.
   114. Mattbert Posted: June 06, 2010 at 08:59 PM (#3551886)
As someone who has spent, at various times, far too many hours in HAZOP and HAZID meetings than is healthy; yep.

Oh jeez, those are excruciating.

Note: For those of you who think a jail term would be too good for those responsible for this disaster...there's your alternative.
   115. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 09:03 PM (#3551889)
That being said, he said he was completely stumped as to why there was no plan for this contingency.

There is no reason a company should EVER, ever, ever never proceed with the kind of drilling that BP was doing without a whole toolbox of potential solutions that they have practiced endlessly to the possible scenario they are now dealing with.


There is no way to "pratice endlessly" for this contingency. There is no way to come up with a "plan" beforehand that is guaranteed to work.

It's like Chesley Sullenberger landing on the Hudson. You can't "practice" that beforehand.
   116. BFFB Posted: June 06, 2010 at 09:07 PM (#3551892)
Oh jeez, those are excruciating.


Last one I was in lasted about eight hours, around hour five I was seriously considering ending it all with a ballpoint pen to the brain
   117. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 09:08 PM (#3551893)
It's like Chesley Sullenberger landing on the Hudson. You can't "practice" that beforehand.


Sure you can, in a simulator.
   118. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 09:09 PM (#3551895)
Or on a computer using MS Flight. Didn't 9/11 teach you anything?
   119. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 09:13 PM (#3551902)
See?Or on a computer using MS Flight. Didn't 9/11 teach you anything?
   120. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 09:13 PM (#3551903)
Dammit
   121. Mattbert Posted: June 06, 2010 at 09:43 PM (#3551913)
Last one I was in lasted about eight hours, around hour five I was seriously considering ending it all with a ballpoint pen to the brain

It's the humane thing to do, really.
   122. Tom T Posted: June 06, 2010 at 10:22 PM (#3551929)
the principle reason why companies do deepwater drilling is because batshit insane environmental policies ban shallow water drilling and oil shale extraction. Both of which is much safer and less likely to lead to accidents


While "shallow water drilling" may be "much safer" (I'd be interested in seeing a comparison of the rates of incidences in which oil is released into the water), let's hope Deepwater Horizon doesn't surpass Ixtoc 1 (160 feet of water) for largest oil spill in Gulf (and North American) history.

Apologies that I can't track down an NOAA report or other source material that confirms the depth of Ixtoc 1...MAYBE David would believe the number if it did...otherwise I'm stuck going to NPR and other disreputable sources. (Sorry, better at searching PubMed than news reports....)
   123. Hombre Brotani Posted: June 07, 2010 at 01:25 AM (#3552018)
It means that if the people who now hold BP responsible turn out to be wrong, they can just do like you and say, "Yeah, I sure showed spectacularly bad judgment on that one. But please take me seriously next time I opine on matters of public interest, OK?"
True, and very funny.

And at least they won't have had a hand in stealing a trillion dollars from the American taxpayer and causing the deaths of thousands of Americans.
True, and not funny at all.
   124. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: June 07, 2010 at 01:58 AM (#3552031)
Alternative sources of fuel suck compared to oil.


Not really. You're just lazy and spoiled. Different.

Besides, if we'd lift the ban on drilling in ANWR, perhaps BP wouldn't need to be drilling off the coast in the middle of waters that people (fishermen, resort operators) depend on for their livelihoods.


I see you've reported to your overlords and gotten your talking point directions. It's all the evil environmentalists' fault for not letting us drill in ANWR! As if a major spill would be a lot easier to cap and contain in ice-encrusted waters with zero sunlight in sub-sub-freezing temperatures. And so what if a million caribou die, right?

Your reaction to the larger energy problem is the same as the right wing reaction to debt and financing. "WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING! BUT NOT SOMETHING THAT WOULD MAKE MY LIFE ONE IOTA LESS SPOILT ROTTEN!!!"

You people are pathetic sometimes.
   125. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: June 07, 2010 at 02:01 AM (#3552033)
While "shallow water drilling" may be "much safer" (I'd be interested in seeing a comparison of the rates of incidences in which oil is released into the water), let's hope Deepwater Horizon doesn't surpass Ixtoc 1 (160 feet of water) for largest oil spill in Gulf (and North American) history.


Shallow water drilling isn't "much safer." They haven't stopped drilling shallow depths because they don't feel a challenge there. They stopped drilling shallow depths because they ran out of oil in shallow depths. If they had a blowout in shallow water it would spew poison into the oceans for months just like Deepwater Horizon. The problem isn't depth. The problem is that they don't know how to seal a blowout underwater. (But of course, that won't stop the right wing nutjobs around here from screaming that this atrocity against nature means we should kill some environmentalists and drill into FROZEN WATER in ANWR.)
   126. Rich Rifkin Posted: June 07, 2010 at 02:08 AM (#3552038)
It's all the evil environmentalists' fault for not letting us drill in ANWR! As if a major spill would be a lot easier to cap and contain in ice-encrusted waters with zero sunlight in sub-sub-freezing temperatures.

Has there ever been a major oil spill in Prudhoe Bay?

I don't know too much about where the oil and gas in ANWR is. But I would guess it's probably along the North Slope, just where it is in the NPRA. As such, the environmental consequences of drilling around Pt. Barrow should be a good guide as to what to expect from drilling in the ANWR.

FWIW, I spent a lot of time working (fishing for salmon and doing cannery work) in Alaska. (I've never been anywhere close to the North Slope.) I have no strong opinions on drilling, there. However, I have never met an Alaska resident who does not favor opening up ANWR. The only people who seem to have a strong view against doing so are environmental activists who live in the lower 49.

EDIT: Looks like more people oppose ANWR drilling than I presumed.

EDIT 2: I think the name of the place, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, probably influences some people's opinions against drilling. It sounds so pristine. If it were called the Alaska-Rock Oil Drain (A-ROD), no one would worry so much about spilling crude on it.
   127. McCoy Posted: June 07, 2010 at 02:13 AM (#3552046)
However, I have never met an Alaska resident who does not favor opening up ANWR.

It helps when you get a nice big fat check from these guys like Alaskans do. How many checks do Alaskans get because somebody wants to take a picture of a moose? How many checks do they get because somebody wants to fill up their gas tank?
   128. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 07, 2010 at 02:26 AM (#3552052)
Apologies that I can't track down an NOAA report or other source material that confirms the depth of Ixtoc 1...MAYBE David would believe the number if it did...otherwise I'm stuck going to NPR and other disreputable sources. (Sorry, better at searching PubMed than news reports....)
Just cite Wikipedia. It may or may not be reliable, but after the deranged rantings of Hutcheson above, you could cite the scribblings on the bathroom wall and you'd look like an expert.
   129. CrosbyBird Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:17 AM (#3552076)
Not really. You're just lazy and spoiled. Different.

A lot of people with money and power go out of their way to make oil cheaper and more convenient than other sources of energy. I wish that it were not so. I'm a huge fan of switching to things like solar power and wind power and geothermal power if they do the job.

If I owned a house, I'd install solar panels, but I'd have to be on the grid as well.
   130. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:39 AM (#3552082)
Alternative sources of fuel suck compared to oil.

Not really. You're just lazy and spoiled. Different.


What does this mean? That I should drive a mo-ped instead of a car? A crappy electric car instead of a gas-powered car? Why should I?

Anyway, it's not just cars that use gas. Oil is what drives progress, is what helps build tall buildings and big cities.

Besides, if we'd lift the ban on drilling in ANWR, perhaps BP wouldn't need to be drilling off the coast in the middle of waters that people (fishermen, resort operators) depend on for their livelihoods.

I see you've reported to your overlords and gotten your talking point directions. It's all the evil environmentalists' fault for not letting us drill in ANWR! As if a major spill would be a lot easier to cap and contain in ice-encrusted waters with zero sunlight in sub-sub-freezing temperatures. And so what if a million caribou die, right?


The point is not that a spill in ANWR would be easier to clean up; it's that it would do less damage to the economy, and affect fewer people.

And, yes, I do hold people in higher regard than animals. That having been said, your caribou comment is silly; we know that a spill would affect wildlife, whether the spill is in the gulf or in ANWR. The point is that it would affect PEOPLE less in ANWR.

But if you're like any good lefty environmentalist, you have contempt for people, since that is what the environmentalist movement is about at its rotten core.
   131. Hombre Brotani Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:58 AM (#3552088)
The point is not that a spill in ANWR would be easier to clean up; it's that it would do less damage to the economy, and affect fewer people.
The flaw here is the idea that if drilling were allowed in ANWR, there wouldn't be deep water drilling in the Gulf. OF COURSE there would still be deep water drilling! It's not an either-or situation; petroleum companies want to drill in BOTH places, and anywhere else where there's a buck to be made.
   132. Rich Rifkin Posted: June 07, 2010 at 07:20 AM (#3552107)
"petroleum companies want to drill in BOTH places, and anywhere else where there's a buck to be made" ... because you and I want to consume petrol in our cars and in other aspects of our lives. BP and Exxon and so on don't drill for oil because it's fun. They drill because there is so much demand for it*.

I personally am in favor of a steep tax on crude oil in order to 1) reduce demand and 2) fund research into better (non-carbon) alternatives and 3) subsidize alternative energy. But you first have to start with the reality that the problems of the oil economy start with the great demand for oil, not the great production of oil to meet that demand.

As a side note, I often think left-wingers -- I am not a right-winger BTW -- are left-wingers in part because they look at the world top-down. They are paternalistic and think everything that ordinary people do is because someone at the top is directing them. So whenever there is a demand for a product, they think the demand was drummed up by some high-up corporation. That is why lefties get so agitated over advertising. They are convinced it creates the demand, that demand does not call out for the supply. It seems like a ridiculously backward approach.

*Obviously, they are seeking profits. I don't mean to suggest they are filling the demand for any other reason.
   133. Lassus Posted: June 07, 2010 at 07:23 AM (#3552108)
For some utterly bizarre reason (well, not bizarre, general obsession) David seems to get on Andy - a small business owner - for being anti-capitalist. Whereas that seems ridiculous to me, allow me to say that in regards to events like this, and all similar industry and similar horror stories, I will gladly out myself as such. Do I like money? Yes. Do I make sure I am paid for my work, and sometimes over-paid if I can manage it? Absolutely. Do I feel like I am owed free crap and am NOT willing to pay for things? Absolutely not. Even with all this, however, I feel like one cannot deny that it is the very nature of capitalism that causes these problems, and these problems are not insignificant.

To institute more fail-safe measures for drilling, for cranes, for chemical waste, for anything and everything, it costs money. It eats into profits. In the case of oil above all industries, who for generations have basically been printing money, to spend some of the extra profits to avoid and prevent things like this is purely the fault of someone who wants $300 million dollars of profit vs. $295 million dollars of profit. Nothing else matters, nothing else is important, no amount of human accident or suffering or future responsibility holds any weight at all. (I give oil as an example due to the profit margin, but this point also extends down to every-last-cent businesses such as food-cart vendors not spending extra money on cleaning supplies.)

I know this is not news for anyone, and neither do I have in my vast experience a newer, greater, better system. That doesn't mean, however, that I'm going to think this one doesn't deserve a far FAR higher level of questioning than it gets.


As a side note, I often think left-wingers... are paternalistic and think everything that ordinary people do is because someone at the top is directing them.

Yeah, I'm sorry, but I think this is a load of utter crap. As far as advertising, oh whatever. Go to people who actually do advertising for a living, professionals in the field, and see how ineffectual they find their work to be in the vast overwhelming power of public demand, as if nothing else has any effect at all.
   134. Hombre Brotani Posted: June 07, 2010 at 07:52 AM (#3552111)
"petroleum companies want to drill in BOTH places, and anywhere else where there's a buck to be made" ... because you and I want to consume petrol in our cars and in other aspects of our lives.

Duh. I was responding to the insinuation that if only we allowed people to drill in ANWR, they wouldn't be drilling in the Gulf.

They are paternalistic and think everything that ordinary people do is because someone at the top is directing them....That is why lefties get so agitated over advertising. They are convinced it creates the demand, that demand does not call out for the supply. It seems like a ridiculously backward approach.
It IS a ridiculously backward approach, and one that has nothing to do with left-wing thinking. I'm actually awed by how not correct you are, and I say this both as (1) someone left-of-center, and (2) work in advertising.
   135. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: June 07, 2010 at 12:38 PM (#3552137)
That is why lefties get so agitated over advertising. They are convinced it creates the demand, that demand does not call out for the supply. It seems like a ridiculously backward approach.


Yeah, it's not like Demand Creation is a multi-million/billion dollar industry or anything. Oh wait. Yes it is. Every major corporation on the planet invests millions and millions into their marketing departments, most of it in some sort of demand creation process. But I guess they're just "left wing" fools who get confused about how the markets work.
   136. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 07, 2010 at 12:44 PM (#3552139)
Lassus, I fail to see why Andy having been a business owner means that his anti-capitalist rantings should not classify him as anti-capitalist. If it quacks like a duck...
   137. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: June 07, 2010 at 12:46 PM (#3552140)
It IS a ridiculously backward approach, and one that has nothing to do with left-wing thinking. I'm actually awed by how not correct you are, and I say this both as (1) someone left-of-center, and (2) work in advertising.


I'd be interested to see a quick poll on how many people actually think this way. It would be interesting to see if the abject failure to understand 1) the human brain and how it functions and 2) the way modern marketing and advertising interacts with that brain splits on political ideology. Needless to say, you are spot-on when you say you're "awed by how not correct" Rich is here. It's just jaw-dropping wrong.
   138. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 07, 2010 at 12:58 PM (#3552141)
Just because someone is against the ugly evil side of capitalism doesn't make them anti-capitalist.

I guess to the libertarian anyone who believes that corporations should not be allowed to do whatever the #### they want is anti-capitalist. Seems pretty simplistic to me.
   139. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: June 07, 2010 at 01:06 PM (#3552144)
For some utterly bizarre reason (well, not bizarre, general obsession) David seems to get on Andy - a small business owner - for being anti-capitalist. Whereas that seems ridiculous to me, allow me to say that in regards to events like this, and all similar industry and similar horror stories, I will gladly out myself as such. Do I like money? Yes. Do I make sure I am paid for my work, and sometimes over-paid if I can manage it? Absolutely. Do I feel like I am owed free crap and am NOT willing to pay for things? Absolutely not. Even with all this, however, I feel like one cannot deny that it is the very nature of capitalism that causes these problems, and these problems are not insignificant.


Of course. This simply means that you're not insane. Absolutely unregulated capitalism is utterly untenable. Unregulated capitalism leads to extreme inequality and the social breakdown that comes with those, whether we're talking about Gilded Age robber barons or modern day financial "mechanisms." And rational observers recognize that. There's a reason Adam Smith argued that capitalism could never function without an the over-arching moral brake of Christian charity and goodwill.

And of course, every sane government in the world acts exactly within the wisdom of this knowledge. There's a reason why the entire civilized west operates within a very small band of "mixed economy" structures. The process of balancing over-burdensome central oversight (the government) with short term selfish interest of individuals (raw, unfettered capitalism) is pretty much the entire history of western economics. Only folks damaged by the Randian psychopathy could get confused about this very simple, very obvious fact.
   140. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 07, 2010 at 01:10 PM (#3552145)
Sam, you are anti-capitalist. Hippie pig.
   141. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: June 07, 2010 at 01:22 PM (#3552148)
Sam, you are anti-capitalist. Hippie pig.


Pig-DOG! Hippie pig-DOG.

Jeez.
   142. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: June 07, 2010 at 01:23 PM (#3552150)
Oil is what drives progress, is what helps build tall buildings and big cities.


And it won't be around forever, so perhaps sooner is a good time to start planning for alternatives than later. I fully expect to be alive to see the point where daily oil supply is well under 50% of what it is now, and if the lights are still on, it'll be in part because of the work done by people now into those sucky alternatives.
   143. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 07, 2010 at 01:23 PM (#3552151)
A pig-dog is a guy that treats women like ####. Being a liberal hippie scum you have obviously become totally subservient to womyn.
   144. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: June 07, 2010 at 01:32 PM (#3552152)
And it won't be around forever, so perhaps sooner is a good time to start planning for alternatives than later. I fully expect to be alive to see the point where daily oil supply is well under 50% of what it is now, and if the lights are still on, it'll be in part because of the work done by people now into those sucky alternatives.


This is just leftist propaganda! No right thinking, God-fearing American would ever say something like this. American Capitalism isn't about ingenuity, creative thinking and finding better ways to do things. American Capitalism is about violently protecting the status quo, and the profit-making schemes of the status quo power brokers, at the expense of creative thinking and ingenuity.

Also, it would be communist to suggest that gax taxes should go up to fund research for non-oil based energy options. COMMUNIST!
   145. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: June 07, 2010 at 01:33 PM (#3552153)
A pig-dog is a guy that treats women like ####. Being a liberal hippie scum you have obviously become totally subservient to womyn.


Oh. I apologize for my mistake, mistress Bernal.
   146. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 07, 2010 at 01:50 PM (#3552160)
For some utterly bizarre reason (well, not bizarre, general obsession) David seems to get on Andy - a small business owner - for being anti-capitalist.


Lassus, I fail to see why Andy having been a business owner means that his anti-capitalist rantings should not classify him as anti-capitalist. If it quacks like a duck...

All this silliness about who is and who isn't "anti-capitalist" is little more than a rhetorical device to try to cast some sort of vaguely un-American taint upon anyone who doesn't buy into the program of the Institute For The Worship Of Ayn Rand's Clitoris. It's an attempt to define the "mainstream" back to a point where 90% of the country would lie outside it.

Think about the absurdity of a position that labels almost anything and anyone to the left of Ronald Reagan as "socialist" or "anti-capitalist." That takes in not only pretty much the entire national Democratic Party, but just about anyone else who backs measures such as the recent health care law, New York's anti-smoking law, and even such measures as a federal public accommodation law, AKA the 1964 civil rights act---all of which have been labeled with terms such as "enslavement" and "theft" by their opponents.

I can obviously laugh off the personal "anti-capitalist" cracks, especially coming from a generic corporate shill like Nieporent who's never met a payroll in his life**, but that sort of loony rhetoric is a perfect illustration of the intellectual barrenness of the mentality that employs it.

**As I noted in the other thread, I met a payroll for 23 years in a row, and in fact have worked for myself for a total of 34 of the 43 years since I graduated from college. AFAICT, neither David nor Ray have any personal experiences of being capitalists themselves, though they sure have a lot of experience is playing the Who Is and Who Isn't game.
   147. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 07, 2010 at 02:24 PM (#3552186)
A nice rant, Andy, but neither here nor there. Take your position on cigarette advertising. You don't want to allow tobacco companies to advertise a lawful product. You support dishonest anti-tobacco campaigns by government.
   148. God can’t be all that impressed with Charles S. Posted: June 07, 2010 at 02:28 PM (#3552190)
What I heard is that some number of hours before the explosion Schlumberger informed the BP guy that they had concerns that something was wrong and reccomended shutting down the rig, the BP man decided not to follow this advice because BP HQ staff were due to visit and he didn't want to look bad infront of his bosses or something. The Schlumberger people then called up a helicopter and left because they did not want to be on that rig.

If this is true then that BP man should face criminal prosecution, but it's also not a "BP" organisational problem but a stupid moron in charge problem, or as it's more commonly known "human error".


I'm late to the party here, and I haven't read past this point so I may be repeating things, but a manager afraid to do his job because of what his bosses might think is the very definition of an "organizational problem."
   149. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 07, 2010 at 02:32 PM (#3552193)
But but but, BP cleared it with the government....
   150. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: June 07, 2010 at 02:41 PM (#3552199)
I'm late to the party here, and I haven't read past this point so I may be repeating things, but a manager afraid to do his job because of what his bosses might think is the very definition of an "organizational problem."


Yeah. If you put "stupid morons in charge" then you have created a significant organizational problem.
   151. Lassus Posted: June 07, 2010 at 02:43 PM (#3552201)
A nice rant, Andy, but neither here nor there. Take your position on cigarette advertising. You don't want to allow tobacco companies to advertise a lawful product. You support dishonest anti-tobacco campaigns by government.

Because a stand that you don't like on one particular product is a better indication of someone's core philosophical values than the way they've lived their life for three or four decades.


And to be honest, I should have never started my point with that idiotic pointed toss-off, which moved the insane infinite shoving match you guys have gotten yourselves involved in over here now. I really really screwed that up, but I thought I'd show you weirdos what an actual anti-capitalist looks like. I'd be more interested in your response to the rest of my post, but you are blinded by your Andymania.
   152. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 07, 2010 at 02:49 PM (#3552208)
Because a stand that you don't like on one particular product is a better indication of someone's core philosophical values than the way they've lived their life for three or four decades.


Consider me unmoved by this argument. It's akin to claiming that one who calls people the n-word isn't racist because he's married to a black woman.

If Andy's stated views are anti-capitalist, his stated views are anti-capitalist. Now, maybe his stated views aren't his actual views. I can't get into what's going on deep inside his head; all I can do is tell you how to classify his stated views.
   153. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 07, 2010 at 02:51 PM (#3552211)
Think about the absurdity of a position that labels almost anything and anyone to the left of Ronald Reagan as "socialist" or "anti-capitalist."


Including Reagan, of course. Who did, after all, raise taxes significantly as president.
   154. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 07, 2010 at 02:53 PM (#3552215)
A nice rant, Andy, but neither here nor there. Take your position on cigarette advertising. You don't want to allow tobacco companies to advertise a lawful product. You support dishonest anti-tobacco campaigns by government.

And that response is perfectly illustrative of my point: You take one specific position I have about advertising one specific product, and use that to label me "anti-capitalist," ignoring every other opinion I have that doesn't put me into that category, and ignoring the fact that my own career has been one that fits perfectly into the capitalist model. It's as if I called Barry Goldwater a "racist" along with the White Citizens' Council members, simply because they both opposed the 1964 CRA. Your inability to acknowledge degrees of difference along the spectrum, rather than categorizing everything in soundbite black and white terms, is perhaps your most consistent trait in every thread.

OTOH it's not very difficult to see you as a "doctrinaire libertarian," because whenever it comes to any law that would restrain, regulate, or modify any form of business enterprise in nearly any way, regardless of the social benefits, and regardless of the law's details, you reflexively oppose it on the grounds that "the government shouldn't be interfering with private business." It's a one size fits all mentality that describes your general approach to issues (and even more, David's) far more than it describes that of most of your opponents here.
   155. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 07, 2010 at 02:55 PM (#3552218)
Has there ever been a major oil spill in Prudhoe Bay?


Yes.
   156. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:01 PM (#3552221)
Consider me unmoved by this argument. It's akin to claiming that one who calls people the n-word isn't racist because he's married to a black woman.


No, that would be the proper analogy if Andy were claiming immunity because his wife owned a business. The proper comparison for Andy's actual situation would be claiming that a guy isn't racist for using the n-word because he, himself, is black. Which is true, and fairly uncontroversial (but as such, not particularly useful to you, so I'm not surprised you avoided it).
   157. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:05 PM (#3552225)
As to your other substantive point:

To institute more fail-safe measures for drilling, for cranes, for chemical waste, for anything and everything, it costs money. It eats into profits. In the case of oil above all industries, who for generations have basically been printing money, to spend some of the extra profits to avoid and prevent things like this is purely the fault of someone who wants $300 million dollars of profit vs. $295 million dollars of profit. Nothing else matters, nothing else is important, no amount of human accident or suffering or future responsibility holds any weight at all.


I think this view is seriously deluded. Obviously, corporations seek profits. But to argue that they have no other considerations is an argument that a seventh grader would be embarrassed to make. You might have noticed that death and destruction and suffering is rather bad PR for a corporation. You might have noticed that these things ultimately cut into a corporation's bottom line, that bad PR leads to loss of market share and lawsuits and a drop in stock value and what not. So a corporation has an inherent incentive to avoid these things, rather than to seek profit at all costs.

You might have noticed that BP is hemorrhaging money from this. Do you care to explain how this has all worked out swimmingly for BP, or why BP would have allowed a disaster that was (according to you) so obviously preventable from occurring?
   158. scotto Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:06 PM (#3552226)
I've only scanned the thread, but I haven't seen much in the way of links to articles discussing what happened and how that bears on accountability.

Those raving, tree-hugging socialists at the WSJ published this article a while back. It's an interesting read.

Regarding the bans on tar sands and shallow water drilling, it's my experience that if there's something unduly onerous in the environmental regs or in the policy than those can and will be changed to make them less onerous in the manner most acceptable to the regulated. API and other trade associations have more important fish to fry than that, otherwise they'd be on it. If I had to guess I'd look to the economics and cost/benefits for why it's not happening.
   159. Answer Guy. Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:11 PM (#3552236)
You might have noticed that BP is hemorrhaging money from this. Do you care to explain how this has all worked out swimmingly for BP, or why BP would have allowed a disaster that was (according to you) so obviously preventable from occurring?


Perhaps the risk/reward calculus was not where it should have been.
   160. McCoy Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:13 PM (#3552239)
You might have noticed that these things ultimately cut into a corporation's bottom line, that bad PR leads to loss of market share and lawsuits and a drop in stock value and what not. So a corporation has an inherent incentive to avoid these things, rather than to seek profit at all costs.

And you might have also noticed that human beings can be short sighted. Take for instance smoking. Smoking is bad for your health and everybody knows that yet people choose to smoke and in part they choose to smoke because the consequences of their choices do not register immediately nor for years to come. If one out four people immediately got cancer or emphysema the first time they puffed a cigarette then cigarettes sales would be drastically lower. The same holds true for safety measures. If every time somebody got the budget to safety or postponed implementing safety procedures or equipment a accident happens causing death and destruction then safety would be much more paramount to these corporations' plans. This happens all the time, basically people play Russian roulette. Just one more spin and more trigger pull and they'll make X amount of profits. They basically keep hoping the odds never catch up to them because they really need those profits right now to keep the stockholders/execs/board/bosses happy and keep themselves snugly employed.
   161. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:13 PM (#3552240)
This may sound like a silly question but what is the tax status of the money BP is spending on the cleanup and on claims?
   162. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:18 PM (#3552248)
As a side note, I often think left-wingers... are paternalistic and think everything that ordinary people do is because someone at the top is directing them.

Yeah, I'm sorry, but I think this is a load of utter crap. As far as advertising, oh whatever. Go to people who actually do advertising for a living, professionals in the field, and see how ineffectual they find their work to be in the vast overwhelming power of public demand, as if nothing else has any effect at all.


It's clear to me that the left does indeed see people as pawns being controlled by some Wizard of Oz, incapable of thinking for themselves. That's why the left wants to be in control, using government to do so, creating a nanny state, etc. It's why the left thinks corporations pull the strings for people. It's why Andy is under the bizarre impression that smokers and non-smokers alike can't think for themselves and are at the mercy of cartoon camels and brightly colored packaging.

The mentality reflects a condescension towards people, and a lack of respect for them.
   163. scotto Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:18 PM (#3552249)
But if you're like any good lefty environmentalist, you have contempt for people, since that is what the environmentalist movement is about at its rotten core.


Yeah, all those people working at the nexus of human rights and the environment are contemptuous of people. Ask Ken Saro-Wiwa's family. All those people who approach environmentalism from a public health perspective, misanthropic to the core.

BTW, there are people who rely on the Beaufort Sea for their livelihood, so if that's your metric than that's out too.

There's a lot of MBS's handed out for the quality of BTF's political discourse, for the knowledge and insight that's shared among all. Maybe compared to Usenet, but I'm not sure that congratulations are in order.
   164. McCoy Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:24 PM (#3552256)
It's clear to me that the left does indeed see people as pawns being controlled by some Wizard of Oz, incapable of thinking for themselves. That's why the left wants to be in control, using government to do so, creating a nanny state, etc. It's why the left thinks corporations pull the strings for people. It's why Andy is under the bizarre impression that smokers and non-smokers alike can't think for themselves and are at the mercy of cartoon camels and brightly colored packaging.

Yep, it is the left that wants a nanny state and the right doesn't. Yep, the right has never done anything to make the government a nanny-state. Here is a tip, those in power want more power. Those that have power wish to keep power and use power, regardless of what side of the fence they are on. Maybe you the righty plebe what the government to have less power but your overlords in power most certainly do not want less power.
   165. scotto Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:24 PM (#3552257)
The mentality reflects a condescension towards people, and a lack of respect for them.


Good golly. This is breathtaking in the same way that a statement as patently ridiculous as "The right wing mentality reflects a belief that people need authority or chaos will reign. That's why they want to be overlords" is.

The more Quentin Tarantino movies that I watch, the more convinced I am that he's making non-animated cartoons for grown-ups. I think he'd find this place entertaining and maybe even inspirational.
   166. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:34 PM (#3552267)
Perhaps the risk/reward calculus was not where it should have been.


That could be, but Lassus's explicit point was that nothing else matters other than profits, that there was no "risk/reward calculus" at all -- only reward calculus. Quoting now:

To institute more fail-safe measures for drilling, for cranes, for chemical waste, for anything and everything, it costs money. It eats into profits. In the case of oil above all industries, who for generations have basically been printing money, to spend some of the extra profits to avoid and prevent things like this is purely the fault of someone who wants $300 million dollars of profit vs. $295 million dollars of profit. Nothing else matters, nothing else is important, no amount of human accident or suffering or future responsibility holds any weight at all.


Do you sign on to Lassus's comment?

Anyway, his comment also fails for pretending that tradeoffs aren't necessary and acceptable to a degree. Yes, more fail-safe measures would cost money. But we have shown as a society that we are willing to make trade-offs, e.g., to sacrifice safety, for other considerations. With cars, for example, we have shown as consumers that cost is an important consideration as well; less safety features = better cost. And if we really wanted cars that were much more safe, we could max them out at 25 mph.

With respect to this situation, BP could likely have instituted more and more and more "fail-safe measures" (though we don't even know yet if that would have helped). But that also would increase the cost of oil, which consumers don't like. Or it would eventually not become worth it for BP to stay in business and provide the product if it's making peanuts doing so.

There are trade-offs. Lassus's point was that "no amount of human accident or suffering or future responsibility holds any weight at all," which is quite clearly incorrect.
   167. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:34 PM (#3552269)
Regarding the bans on tar sands and shallow water drilling, it's my experience that if there's something unduly onerous in the environmental regs or in the policy than those can and will be changed to make them less onerous in the manner most acceptable to the regulated.


Look, let's be clear what's going on here, okay? The libertarian chorus isn't repeating verbatim the talk-show-right talking points about ANWR and tar sands drilling because they have evidence that environmental regulation in those areas are overburdensome*. They are repeating those talking points verbatim because:

1) They are faced with a situation where private enterprise is clearly in the wrong. This bangs uncomfortably against their rigid ideological faith that private enterprise can *never* be wrong. To relieve cognitive dissonance they create a strawman "real culprit" to blame - in this case the evil environmentalists who closed off "safe" drilling and thus drove the godly capitalists into more dangerous waters, against their noble, better wishes. This in turn allows them to

2) *Reinforce* their rigid ideological faith. The "bad guys" cease to be the private enterprises that put short term profits ahead of safety and environmental caution. In fact, the "bad guys" *become the environmentalists and regulators themselves.* Thus their dreamy libertarian *theory* is proved true, not by evidence based testing against the facts of the world, but by *creating new facts to support the ideology* whenever something bothersome like this comes into play.

*those regulations are actually far too lax, leaning heavily in the favor of industry over environment and resource management.
   168. McCoy Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:37 PM (#3552274)
Do you sign on to Lassus's comment?

Are you seriously asking people if they agree with something that was obviously hyperbole?
   169. McCoy Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:41 PM (#3552282)
But that also would increase the cost of oil, which consumers don't like. And eventually it does not become worth it for BP to stay in business and provide the product if it's making peanuts doing so.

Well, actually wouldn't it be that it would decrease the profit margins of oil? I guess not because unlike other markets the oil market isn't a free market system or anything close to it but I don't see you upset about that. Hell, you are defending these companies that are basically at their very core the opposite of what you hold so dear. It would take a lot of safety measures for BP to get to the point where they are making peanuts. But then again you can make oil from peanuts as well.
   170. scotto Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:41 PM (#3552284)
Look, let's be clear what's going on here, okay?

Thanks, I've got a pretty good idea. I'm not expecting to change a closed mind, just throwing a point that I hadn't seen made yet into the fray because I thought it might be worth someone's while to see.

Just pissin' in the wind, you know?
   171. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:43 PM (#3552286)
But if you're like any good lefty environmentalist, you have contempt for people, since that is what the environmentalist movement is about at its rotten core.
I've got to pick up on this. If I may use your own words, your mentality reflects a condescension towards people, and a lack of respect for them.

People approach environmental issues from a variety of different perspectives. But what the movement is about, at its core, is passing the earth down to the next generation in no worse a state than we found it.
   172. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:44 PM (#3552289)
Just pissin' in the wind, you know?


Oh yeah. That's all any of us are doing really. But I figure it's as good a time as any to say again the basic truths of ideoligical libertarianism as practiced here by Ray, et al.
   173. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:45 PM (#3552290)
It's why Andy is under the bizarre impression that smokers and non-smokers alike can't think for themselves and are at the mercy of cartoon camels and brightly colored packaging.

As opposed to the carefully considered position that cigarette companies engage in multi-million dollar advertising campaigns solely in order to support unemployed cartoonists, and that without that century-long campaign we'd have just as many smokers as we do today.
   174. Answer Guy. Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:46 PM (#3552292)
The libertarian chorus isn't repeating verbatim the talk-show-right talking points about ANWR and tar sands drilling because they have evidence that environmental regulation in those areas are overburdensome*.


Does anyone believe that line anyway, including those spouting it?

As long as the demand for oil exists, some entity will go extracting it whereever the can if they can make a profit (or *think* they can make a profit) doing so.
   175. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:51 PM (#3552297)
Does anyone believe that line anyway, including those spouting it?


I can't speak to whether or not people actually believe it. A man's heart is unknowable and all that. But I can speak to the fact that it is the most popular "counter-narrative" to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, popular among right wing partisans, both libertarian and traditional "conservative" varieties.
   176. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:52 PM (#3552299)
People approach environmental issues from a variety of different perspectives. But what the movement is about, at its core, is passing the earth down to the next generation in no worse a state than we found it.


No, it's not. Environmentalism does not have protecting the earth as its core belief; environmentalism is merely a vehicle for controlling people. As I've said before, once one studies the environmentalist movement in any depth, there is one thing about the movement that quickly reveals itself: the disdain those within the movement have for people.
   177. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:55 PM (#3552303)
No, it's not. Environmentalism does not have protecting the earth as its core belief; environmentalism is merely a vehicle for controlling people.


Well thanks for that pronouncement of Truth and Wisdom, Buddha. I'm glad arguments from bald assertion are perfectly valid when Ray DiPerna is doing the bald asserting.
   178. scotto Posted: June 07, 2010 at 03:57 PM (#3552306)
As I've said before, once one studies the environmentalist movement in any depth, there is one thing about the movement that quickly reveals itself: the disdain those within the movement have for people.

As I've said, you haven't the foggiest idea of what it's about, particularly if you think of it as one movement. You're doing some major league, serious ass-talking with statements like this. In depth study? No.

You're out of your depth, Donny.
   179. BFFB Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:00 PM (#3552310)
As a general point I've seen repeated multiple times the idea that oil companies will drill anywhere, that is correct but there is also a caveat that is missing. They will not drill everywhere all at the same time because of demand and supply; they will exploit the least costly, least risky reserves first.

I don't know this particular economic calculus and it may well be that having more reserves available would have meant that deep water drilling would have started at a later point in history or it might not have, but it's a question that should be asked along with all the others.

To be honest there is an over supply of oil at the moment and what is really keeping the price high is not demand but market speculation; principally futures speculators.

1) They are faced with a situation where private enterprise is clearly in the wrong. This bangs uncomfortably against their rigid ideological faith that private enterprise can *never* be wrong. To relieve cognitive dissonance they create a strawman "real culprit" to blame - in this case the evil environmentalists who closed off "safe" drilling and thus drove the godly capitalists into more dangerous waters, against their noble, better wishes. This in turn allows them to


Is it not possible for every stakeholder to be in the wrong?

I guess to the libertarian anyone who believes that corporations should not be allowed to do whatever the #### they want is anti-capitalist. Seems pretty simplistic to me.


Ultimately the difference between libertarian and regulatory on this is on the mechanism by which corporations are controlled not that they should or should not have their excesses controlled. A libertarian will consider that market pressures will force a company to act responsibly or it will become inefficient and fail, where as the other side will consider that a corporation has to be directly regulated into correct behavior.

Personally I've always thought the truth is somewhere in the middle.

I'm late to the party here, and I haven't read past this point so I may be repeating things, but a manager afraid to do his job because of what his bosses might think is the very definition of an "organizational problem."


Maybe, maybe not. Don't know and really don't care.

Anyway scratch that story because I got another drip of information that Schlumberger weren't looking at the cementing. So, eh.

The mentality reflects a condescension towards people, and a lack of respect for them.


Describes New Labour down to a ####### tee.

No, it's not. Environmentalism does not have protecting the earth as its core belief; environmentalism is merely a vehicle for controlling people.


Environmentalism is not a catch all. It has shades and colours.

There are NGO's which do good work, there are NGO's which are defacto Corporate entities peddling a product. The are NGO organisations which have asinine, unworkable objectives and ones with sensible ones. There are Environmentalists who strike as nihilists with a distinctly Victorian puritanism, there are others which can make sensible arguments for sustainability.

Like any group it runs the complete spectrum.
   180. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:03 PM (#3552313)
Environmentalism does not have protecting the earth as its core belief; environmentalism is merely a vehicle for controlling people.


Wait, what?

When did we cross the border into Crazytown?
   181. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:05 PM (#3552315)
Describes New Labour down to a ####### tee.
Take it to the Dave Cameron thread.
   182. McCoy Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:07 PM (#3552317)
A libertarian will consider that market pressures will force a company to act responsibly or it will become inefficient and fail,

The thing is though that this statement can be absolutely true (don't page the grammar mavens from the Tex thread) and there will still be a need for oversight. The fail part doesn't happen instantaneously and it does not happen cleanly.
   183. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:09 PM (#3552319)

No, it's not. Environmentalism does not have protecting the earth as its core belief; environmentalism is merely a vehicle for controlling people. As I've said before, once one studies the environmentalist movement in any depth, there is one thing about the movement that quickly reveals itself: the disdain those within the movement have for people


Whatever you say Rush.
   184. Shalimar Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:13 PM (#3552323)
When did we cross the border into Crazytown?


When he became a libertarian? To a libertarian, absolutely everything they don't like is a conspiracy to control people.

edit: And the funny thing to me at least, is that despite spending a combined billions and billions of dollars every year on advertising, somehow corporations are pure as the driven snow and don't have any desire to control people. Or it's okay when they do it but not when any other entity does. Or maybe it's just okay when they create a society that makes massive oil use a necessity, because Ray likes all the things oil lets him do. Or something. It's very confusing, like a group of masochists who enjoy being abused but only in certain ways that make them tingly inside.
   185. Avoid Running At All Times- S. Paige Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:17 PM (#3552326)
The New York Mets franchise does not have winning as its core belief. The New York Mets franchise is merely a vehicle for showcasing Jeff Francouer's impressive right arm and disarming charm.
   186. Answer Guy. Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:20 PM (#3552329)
But I can speak to the fact that it is the most popular "counter-narrative" to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, popular among right wing partisans, both libertarian and traditional "conservative" varieties.


Whatever holes there are in the narrative concerning potential takeaways from this disaster...at least they make sense, whether it's "not enough regulation" or "enough regulation, but not followed strictly enough" or the more neutral "failure of everyone involved to assess the risk of this type of event" or, hell, even the very charitable "no one could have anticipated this."

The "if only BP could have been in ANWR, this rig would not never have been erected" notion doesn't even require any specialized knowledge of anything, other than the absolute most basic of economics principles, to laugh off.
   187. Answer Guy. Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:21 PM (#3552332)
The New York Mets franchise does not have winning as its core belief.


I think there are a few franchises at any given time whose primary raison d' etre is to collect revenue sharing money. I don't think the Mets are in that category. They're trying. They're failing spectactularly, but they're trying.
   188. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:24 PM (#3552336)
Is it not possible for every stakeholder to be in the wrong?


It is absolutely possible for every stakeholder to be wrong. In the DH fiasco, this seems to have been the case. Every major player - BP, Transocean, Halliburton and the regulatory agencies (mines & minerals most obviously) are in the wrong. The culture at the regulatory agencies is particularly problematic. The corporate players can be expected to behave recklessly on the margins. When faced with huge corporate profit margins vs low-probability, high-harm outcomes, that is what corporate entities do. From "modern financial mechanisms" that drive massive bubble economies to oil-extraction ventures that drive massive energy sector contracts, corporations will choose short term profits every single time. That is why you need a robust regulatory agency *external* to the corporate infrastructure to control for low-probability, high-harm outcomes. The entity best capable of providing that sort of ballast to the power and will of corporate titans today is, of course, the federal government. That is the fundamental failure of 40 years of blind-faith deregulation. We have removed the counterbalance to corporate will, and thus the ability to guard against socially horrific outcomes, because we have quite idiotically bought into the notion that "business will regulate itself."

Business will not regulate itself. Business will find the profit margin and exploit it. To think otherwise is to fail to comprehend what modern capitalism *does.*

Ultimately the difference between libertarian and regulatory on this is on the mechanism by which corporations are controlled not that they should or should not have their excesses controlled. A libertarian will consider that market pressures will force a company to act responsibly or it will become inefficient and fail, where as the other side will consider that a corporation has to be directly regulated into correct behavior.


Yes. The problem with the libertarian theory is that 1) it fails to test as true when applied to real world and 2) it fails to *pre-emptively prevent bad outcomes.* Even if the theory worked - which by evidence we can say somewhat certainly that it doesn't - the "market pressures" could only act in a reactionary stance. "Market pressure" is lame "boycott BP" sloganeering. "Market pressure" is changing batting practice to "hitting rehearsal" all after the fact, while poison continues to spew into the common seas. Market pressure doesn't prevent disaster, at best it merely punishes disaster after the fact. And in the case of a company like BP, it won't even do that effectively.

Regulation, on the other hand, is exactly the idea that some entity with a priority external to immediate profit margin and share price should act as a brake to the otherwise risk-embracing decisions of corporations. Regulation says "yeah, you could make billions making up derivative trades out of whole cloth, but we should be careful (one might say conservative) to avoid bubble creation and the associated collapse." Regulation says "yeah, you won't get the extra billion on top line profit this quarter, but for the sake of a million other businesses, people and lives that depend on the Gulf, you have to take that hit and behave safely." Regulation attempts to PREVENT catastrophe. "Market pressure" only reacts after catastrophe has already occured. Of course, there is no way to completely control for disasterous accident, even with robust regulatory oversight. But the answer to that basic fact of life - that life is chaotic and bad things will occur regardless of your best effort to guard against it - is not to say \"#### it" and stop attempting to guard against it altogether.
   189. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:25 PM (#3552338)
When he became a libertarian? To a libertarian, absolutely everything they don't like is a conspiracy to control people.


Environmentalism (I mean the wacko lefty environmentalists) does not have to be a "conspiracy"; it's a mechanism.

Has the movement ever argued for less government control?
   190. God can’t be all that impressed with Charles S. Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:27 PM (#3552343)
You might have noticed that these things ultimately cut into a corporation's bottom line, that bad PR leads to loss of market share and lawsuits and a drop in stock value and what not. So a corporation has an inherent incentive to avoid these things, rather than to seek profit at all costs.


But look at the incentives of the people mnaking the decisions. They get bonuses and promotions for saving the company money, and ifn the unlikely event that something does go horribly wrong (like 11 people die in an explosion, and an entire section of the world is destroyed), their downside in nowhere near the proportion of the disaster. The risk/reward is out of whack. Thus the market is destined to fail in this scenario. That is where government properly should step in with regulation.
The full-on nanny-state is a bad idea, but the full-on unfettered capitalist society is equally bad. The answer, as it usually does resides somewhere in the muddy middle.
   191. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:30 PM (#3552350)
Every major player - BP, Transocean, Halliburton and the regulatory agencies (mines & minerals most obviously) are in the wrong.


Well, I guess that settles that. You know exactly what went wrong and who is at fault. But I don't know why you're wasting your time posting on BTF; you should bring your evidence without delay to Obama and Holder. It would save Holder the time of embarking on his fishing expedition to find out who the bad actors were. Heck, it would even save taxpayer money.
   192. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:31 PM (#3552353)
Has the movement ever argued for less government control?


Has a corporation ever done anything environmentally sound that it was not forced to do by regulation?
   193. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:32 PM (#3552354)
Well, I guess that settles that. You know exactly what went wrong and who is at fault.


That's a subtle dodge, Ray, but it fails miserably. Your ideology is a failure. Take off the blinders and look at the world for a minute.
   194. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:34 PM (#3552357)
(I mean the wacko lefty environmentalists)


You're going to need to define your terms here, Ray. Because this isn't sounding any less crazy.
   195. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:35 PM (#3552359)
That's a subtle dodge, Ray, but it fails miserably. Your ideology is a failure. Take off the blinders and look at the world for a minute.

There have been entire SABR chapters that were formed for the sole purpose of getting Ray to take off his blinders, but so far they've all had to throw in the towel.
   196. God can’t be all that impressed with Charles S. Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:35 PM (#3552361)
No, it's not. Environmentalism does not have protecting the earth as its core belief; environmentalism is merely a vehicle for controlling people. As I've said before, once one studies the environmentalist movement in any depth, there is one thing about the movement that quickly reveals itself: the disdain those within the movement have for people.


Certainly you could say the same thing about corporate libertarianism. In any discussion of what's good for the corp. vs. what's good for the people, the libertarian will come down on the side of the corp. That's a pretty long history of disdain for people.
   197. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:37 PM (#3552366)
Certainly you could say the same thing about corporate libertarianism. In any discussion of what's good for the corp. vs. what's good for the people, the libertarian will come down on the side of the corp. That's a pretty long history of disdain for people.


See also "Citzens United." When presented with the opportunity to create from whole cloth "corporate human rights", as if that phrase isn't utterly nonsensical, where do the doctrinaire libertarians land?
   198. Shalimar Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:37 PM (#3552367)
Has the movement ever argued for less government control?


If corporations acted responsibly, there would be no need for regulations to control the evil #### they do.
   199. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:39 PM (#3552368)
Sam, please bring your evidence to Holder forthwith. Your country needs you.
   200. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 07, 2010 at 04:39 PM (#3552369)
The invisible hand of the free market will force the corporations to act responsibly like at Love Canal and every other Superfund site.
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