Wednesday, June 25, 2008

June 25, 2008

Looks like Exxon Valdez was let off the hook by the supreme court, cutting the total they owe to local inhabitants of the disaster area from $2.5 billion to $500 million. Interesting note: Judge Alito was not allowed to vote because he owns stock in Exxon.

The real story here is that Exxon will continue to appeal the ruling for the next few hundred years. They will drag their feet on this issue until they're knee-deep in concrete. The surviving animals and people harmed by this spill will all be dead before Exxon writes a check. Or, the oil company will have successfully dwindled the amount to $0 through shrewd legal manuevering. Either way, a drunk sea captain's mishap will be swept under the rug and only those directly affected by it (which is mostly wildlife) will remember.

What about me?
Four Americans died in another roadside bomb yesterday in Iraq. Three were soldiers and one was an interpreter, yet the New York Times headline reads, "3 U.S. soldiers killed by bomb in Iraq." In the lede sentence, the paper mentions the fourth casualty but being concpicously absent from the headline suggests that soldiers deaths are more important than others working in some non-combative capacity in the war. It's subtle, but we need to keep a close eye on the way media outlets provide us with bite-sized nuggets of information.

More and more, our rushed, overworked society read about current events as they tick across the bottom of the screen on cable news networks or skimming the small blurbs on internet news sites. Ignoring "the whole story" gives tremendous powers of influence to the storyteller, highlighting what sells, and hiding what doesn't. We should be a nation of skeptics when it comes to spoon fed news.

Flying bats
I've said that it's only a matter of time before somebody on a baseball field is hit with a shard of broken bat. An umpire suffered a gash to the head by a sharp piece of a maple wood bat last night in Kansas City.

These bats are splintering all over the infield these days and it truly is dangerous. These pieces can be large wooden stakes that would have no problem impaling someone. Maple bats are made of cheap, light wood that simply can't hold up to baseball's standards. Players should have to adjust to ash bats (although I hear the Emerald ash borer is a current problem concerning ash bats), and eliminate the greater threat of injuries to everyone on the field and in the stands. It's one thing to get hit with a ball - that has to suck and could still be lethal - but a heavy broken bat is a lot harder to catch, or even avoid.

Adam Dunn has used up an entire forest of maple trees this year alone. The man breaks a bat a week it seems. Maybe a heavier ash bat would make him go the other way sometimes and raise that batting average. Just a thought.

-B. Clifton Burke


  • At 11:58 AM , Anonymous Damaris said...

    something to think about: It took Exxon Mobil just under two days to bring in $2.5 billion in revenue during the first quarter of 2007.


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