Friday, January 21, 2011

Sick, Wrong, and Gore-ey‏

All of you know who Al Gore is right? He’s the environmentalist guy that lives in a house, by himself, that is big enough to fit four of my houses into, and uses 20 times the energy my house uses (oh yeah, and he has 4 houses like this, too); who jet-sets around the globe in a private jet; and who spends all his time telling us that using energy is evil and should not be done. So, yeah, that hypocrite.

Remember his claim to fame?

No, not inventing the internet. The other one. The Love Canal. How he was all about cleaning it up and saving the poor residents of Niagara from the evil corporations that used them as a cheap place to dump toxic chemicals? You remember? You know the story. It is an Erin-Brokovich like story, where the evil company was trying to save a few dollars by killing everyone that lived around it with toxic chemicals. Remember?

Did you know that that was all a lie?

Pretty much everyone has the straight skinny on what really went down, but there above, is a link to a Wikipedia page that sums it up pretty well. If you don’t want to link, here is my condensed version.


So there was this guy named Love who wanted to dig a canal through Niagara for some reason. He started it but didn’t finish it. In the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s, the government used the unfinished, dry canal as a place to dump chemicals and waste products from military/industrial sources (including waste from the Manhattan Project, sooooo, yeah, probably some pretty nasty stuff). In the late 40’s, and early 50’s, they started allowing other companies to dump there. A chemical company named Hooker got a permit to dump there, and created a clay-lined, haz-mat landfill per standard practice (this is still more or less the standard practice for these things, even today), and with government permission also dumped a bunch of stuff there. By the late 50’s, they were finished dumping there, and backfilled the landfill to essentially reclaim the site. It became a big field, with no leaks, and no problem. Oh, yeah, and also by this time, they were the sole user of the site, and had somehow by then also become the owner of the property.

The local government became avaricious in regards to the site. They wanted it to build a school or some shit. Hooker told them that it was unsafe to use the site for anything because of all the stuff, both known and unknown, that had been dumped there over the last 50 years. The school district, replete with their avarice, told them that they did not care, that they wanted the land, and would take it via eminent domain if necessary. After months of arguing with them and warning them that it was not a good idea to use the land for anything, the school district stood by their guns, so Hooker agreed to sell it to them for $1, with the caveat that the school district sign a piece of paper holding them harmless for damages caused by the school district messing with the property, and also strongly recommended that they not build on the land.

The school district built on the land anyway. In the process, they breached the integrity of the clay lining of the landfill, and a spill occurred. Bam. Love Canal is national news.

Now, here is the real gasper. Hooker was held liable for the mess. That’s right. Hooker. So let me lay it out for you in summary:

1.) Hooker was LEGALLY using a government dump site with permission from the government to do so.
2.) The government signed rights for the site over to Hooker, who continued to legally and safely dump there, per the permit that they had to do so. The dump site was contained and built to the standards necessary to contain such a dump site.
3.) The government demanded the property back to be used for development, which Hooker advised against strongly, and only allowed it to happen with their protest and after the government released them from liability for any spills.
4.) The government, not listening to Hooker, dug and breached the landfill, and created a horrible mess despite Hookers warning that just such a thing would surely happen if they didn’t listen to them.
5.) after all of this, Hooker is held responsible (when it cant even be proven that the waste that was released was even Hooker’s waste to begin with – remember, the government dumped there for years, too). This AFTER it was established that dumping there was completely legal, done in a manner that was to the standards of the time and safe, and that the site was rememdiated and left in a condition where it would not leak if someone didn’t f^&* with it. The government f#$% with it, and now it is Hooker’s fault.

How does that work again? Why would anyone want to start a business in their country when you can operate legally for 50 years, then have everything you did get undone by government meddling, and then get blamed for it?

And you people want these people to have control over your healthcare? What the hell?

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