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Offshore Drilling – How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love Sludgy Water

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Look at it this way, how much money will Americans save on sun screens if they go to the beach, jump in the water and come out with a nice thick film of crude oil on their skin! As a bonus, they will not have to worry about bird droppings landing on their heads or picnic lunches from Sea Gulls or pesky Pelicans or any other birds that eat ocean prey. These and other surprising benefits will come from the congress' passing of a bill that opens up all of our shores to offshore drilling from sea to shining sea.

The House of Representatives has already passed the bill, so all that remains for it to become law is for the Senate to pass it. What's that you say, the President? George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are such big oil sellouts that in their case we need to come up with another word for sellout that better emphasizes the idea. Of course, Bush will sign the bill. A bill suitable for being dropped out of a B-52 ridden by Slim Pickens in some surrealistic Stanley Kubrick film out of fear from some paranoid schizophrenic's desire to protect their 'precious bodily fluids'. OK, I reached for that one, but what exactly would you call this monument to stupidity. At a time when other countries are touting "eco-tourism" we are about to turn the beaches of Florida, California and the Carolinas into "Petro-tourism." Florida, in particular, depends on its beaches to fuel its main source of revenue, tourism. If politicians are preparing to pollute Florida's beaches, they had better have an entire new economy ready for Florida's citizens to compensate.

Thus, it isn't so much of a surprise that the main opponents of the bill are Florida's two Senators, Bill Nelson, and Mel Martinez. Despite their party differences, Nelson, a Democrat and Martinez, a Republican, have joined forces and vowed to Filibuster any bill that legalizes the offshore drilling of Florida Beaches. I have an idea for them. Other filibusters have read from the Bible, various newspapers and War and Peace, but none of these documents or books is long enough to drive home the threat of a long, protracted filibuster. May I suggest to both Senators that they read from the English translation of the Talmud? Observant Jews often join clubs where they read one page of the Talmud a day. My understanding is that a complete cycle to read the entire Talmud covering one page a day from beginning to end takes 7.5 years meaning the Talmud is in the neighborhood of 2700 pages. Senators, have your staff print every linked page from this site: http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/talmud.htm . Not only will it almost certainly last as long as you need it, but I hear that the material is somewhat interesting. The Talmud covers hypothetical but realistic situations in which Rabbis discuss how to apply the Law of Moses to everyday life. It is applied jurisprudence of the Old Testament developed by the best in rabbinical thought of 1500-2000 years ago. Talking it up almost makes me want to try reading it myself. However, the best part would be allowing everyone to tune in on C-Span and see the faces of your fellow Senators when you open the boxes containing the 2700 pages from which you intend to read. If Cheney is presiding, you might want to have his cardiologist on hand with a spare pacemaker.

I am at a loss to understand why the loss of America's remaining pristine beaches is worth whatever the congress feels we might gain from the passage of this bill. Who besides the oil company's and their congressional lackeys thinks this is a good idea? Has anyone seen Galveston bay and Texas' northern beaches lately? And no, Texans, I am not messing with Texas, your oil companies already did that long before I came on the scene. As far as Florida is concerned, once you get tourists accustomed to avoiding a place, it is hard to attract them back. For that reason and because our coastal environment is too precious to destroy this way, please tell your senators to fight this bill and support the threatened filibuster by Nelson and Martinez.
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A political blogger for the International Business Times, Steve Leser is a hot national political pundit. He has appeared on MSNBC's Coundown with Keith Olbermann, Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Russia Today's (RT) Crosstalk with (more...)
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