Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Wherein the pacifist changes her mind on the death penalty...
The Bayou Buzz informs us that the State Bird of Louisiana, the brown pelican, is washing up in need of de-greasing as are her fellows the green heron and northern gannet. So BP, here's my take on your "little accident".
Here in 'merica we have a system of justice that is horribly flawed. We tend to lock up citizens of all colors other than pasty with a rabid proclivity unseen in just about any other culture. We also feel poor folks are guiltier and more deserving of prison sentences than rich folks. The persecution of Martha notwithstanding. Basically in the good ole us of a only professional athletes are allowed to commit crimes penalty-free. We love our rapist basketballers and wife-murdering football types. I mean honestly are crimes against women really even crimes?
That being satirically said (well, just the last question), we do have a justice system. And one thing that we try to do within this legal system of "justice" is ensure that penalties are designed to address and mitigate against crime. It is hoped that these penalties or punishments or sentences are a deterrent to willful misbehavior and in some instances even un-willfull or accidental, but no less egregious behavior.
For example, should I one day decide to hire someone to operate my forklift and neglect to provide them with safety gear and training, I would be held to account and found, at the very least in a civil court case, responsible for any accident and associated costs that befell my hired hand.
If through my negligence as a landlord who did not maintain working fire alarms and fire escapes, I was responsible for the deaths by fire of my tenants, I would surely spend time in prison for manslaughter.
And, I believe that if I was drilling a well for my neighbor and I had a device that would ensure that I could stop the flow or output of said well in an emergency, thereby preventing any damage to my neighbor's property and I chose not to deploy said emergency device due to my concerns about the convenience or cost of same- I would be legally responsible to restore my neighbor as closely as possible to pre-loss condition.
Now BP I am sure you are hearing a lot of "let the time fit the crime" talk right now. And truly how can any time fit this heinous crime? I am simply here to add my voice to the choir. And I am not as naive as my vacant stare would have you believe. I know you have a universe full of attorneys ready to defend your right to rape and pillage. Let's just imagine some person of conscience is driving the bus for a moment...
You have annihilated an entire ecosystem, very probably destroyed the only coral reef left in this hemisphere, and devastated countless businesses - perhaps permanently destroying an entire fleet's lifetime of fishing. And you have only just begun.
Your willful disregard for the natural world and the human landscape which you are exploiting renders you unquestionably culpable. You did it. And you have the powder burns on your hands to prove it. We need to put you down for the benefit of humanity.
I am not a supporter of death penalties for people. However, as the Supreme Court so recently decided to elevate corporations to the status of persons, I am willing to re-consider my opposition. In this case, I want to see you spending every penny of revenue you will EVER generate on repairing the losses you have caused, on making restitution to the countries, the peoples, the animals, and the environments you have willfully destroyed.
And then, when your life as a corporation has been spent to the satisfaction of all of your victims, I want you put to death. I'm sorry, but I can think of no punishment to fit this crime except that you British Petroleum pay the ultimate price. And by you I don't really mean all of your executives and your investors whether they be rich white bastards, pension fund investors, or the governments of the world. Those losers just need to be rendered broke. But you BP - Corporate Person - no BP, no more.
I know we could get a jury to convict and a judge to hand down that ultimate sentence. We need to establish a clear penalty for destruction on such an epic scale (because then perhaps we could apply the law to weapons manufacturers and crazed, war-hungry governments too-you know what I'm talkin' about- lawyer types call it a precedent).
After all , here in 'merica we execute developmentally disabled teenagers and innocent people. While you may have some fools believing you are a people, we all know you ain't an innocent. And I am O.K. with this little aberration in my moral code. BP I want you dead.