Monday, May 21, 2007

Stories of the Sea,The Hopeful and The Ludicrous

On Sunday the two humpback whales, Delta and Dawn, started on their return journey from Sacramento to the Pacific, following a deep water shipping channel from the Port of Sacramento.
They are swimming toward the Pacific nearly a week after taking a wrong turn and swimming inland to the state capital. The whales still have “a long way to go and obstacles to overcome. There are sloughs leading to muddy deltas that could trap the injured whales, which appear to have been wounded by a ship's propeller,” officials said. However, their injuries do not seem to be serious and they will have help all along the way.

I’m always captured by stories of animals in distress and the efforts
made to save them, getting emotionally involved to the end which can result in cheers or tears.
If you watched 60 Minutes last night, you saw the following story. I am quoting just enough of it here to share with you the mind boggling incompetence and, I would guess, greed and dishonesty that we have to cope with and pay for.

“Five years ago the Coast Guard undertook a massive modernization program called 'Deepwater' and ended up way over its head. The $24 billion project has turned into a fiasco that has set new standards for incompetence, and triggered a justice department investigation.

You can begin with the fact that the Coast Guard spent nearly $100 million to ruin eight patrol boats. The plan was to take the aging workhorses of the fleet, the 110-foot Island Class patrol boats, and lengthen them by 13 feet, adding a launch ramp for small inflatable boats and expanding the superstructure. But something went drastically wrong at the Bollinger Shipyard near New Orleans, where the first eight boats were extended.

After just a few weeks on the water, all eight boats experienced severe structural problems and had to be pulled out of service. They are currently tied up at a pier at the Coast Guard’s Baltimore yard waiting to be decommissioned. Their problems, the Coast Guard says, are too serious to be fixed.”
There is more, there always is, but I thought this sufficient to stoke the fires of outrage.
A sidebar...My husband and I were watching an old 1930's John Wayne Film this weekend where the good guys were fighting the bad guys in an effort to allow the town folk to vote their territory into statehood. Now the following may not be an exact quote, it was a cowboy movie, after all, and my attention can wander during a shoot 'em up, but you'll get what got me. The heroine, who ran a printing press and was getting ready to print her paper, turned to an old townie and said, "We're fighting for honesty and integrity," to which the old coot replied "What's that got to do with politics ?" The more some things change, the more they stay the same.


Blogger Cathy said...

Oh Pam! That last quote absolutely nails it. Bless those whales. It is emotionally wrenching to see these innocent marvelous creatures struggling to survive.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

I live close enough to the whales and the media coverage I could identify them at sea.

What a waste of money spent on those ships!

Love you!

P.S. I liked the name "baby back" better for the baby whale. LOL

3:40 PM  
Blogger KGMom said...

Pam--I saw the 60 Minutes story. My reaction--how could they use that much money to screw things up so incredibly? Jeez!

8:23 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Humans are amazing. We hunt them to extinction and then agonize over them when stories like this occur. I like us better in this second way.

10:43 PM  

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