The Great Gulf Challenge
Let’s unite as a people and unleash the power of American enterprise and ingenuity to turn back the black tide of oil fouled beaches and tortured sea animals. Here’s how to make it happen:
In the same spirit as The Great Race, The Millennium Challenge and The Grainger Challenge, the United States should sponsor The Great Gulf Challenge – an international competition to clean the crude oil slick out of the Gulf of Mexico.
The winning team gets the world’s accolades on par with any Olympic champion, satisfaction of having contributed to a great quest to save a vital ecosystem, and will be positioned as the world’s leading performer in oil recovery technology.
We need to act quickly. There is no time to get too complicated about this. There is too much at risk and much to be gained.
The challenge is clear:
The team that recovers the most crude oil from within the Deepwater Horizon spill zone by the end of the contest is the winner.
Keep the rules simple:
Immediately upon Executive Order declaring The Great Gulf Challenge underway, any team that delivers recovered crude oil and tar from the spill zone to designated collection vessels will receive points based on weight recovered.
The team that has acquires the most points (recovers the most crude oil) by the Challenge end – wins.
The Challenge ends at an indeterminate time to be declared by the President of the United States during the course of the competition based on field realities, economics, production rates or other factors that lead the President to conclude the Challenge.
Teams can be of any size and comprised of any mix of companies, technology groups, individuals or academics.
Each team is required to maintain a daily log of events, lessons learned, technologies tested, production rates, etc. Each team is required to report its activity, lessons learned and performance results to the President. A percentage of the team’s eligible reimbursement earned will be retained until the team submits its final report to the President.
The United States government, the American People, in profound appreciation for the benefits derived will guarantee reimbursement for all expenses incurred during the Challenge by all teams that register, participate and deliver product to the collection points.
Foreign nations can also accept the Challenge and sponsor teams to compete under their flag.
Any person that thinks these rules biased or unfair should not enter the competition. Rather, find another way to help relieve the environmental damage, human and wildlife suffering in the Gulf region and God speed.
Remember, the true objective of The Great Gulf Challenge is to get as much petroleum product out of the Gulf waters and off its beaches, minimize the near and long term damages.
In this cause everyone is a winner.
Why not? True enough, but we’ll discuss reasons that justify government respect for the governed further along in this dialog on democracy. For now, let me just say that hopefully the reason we chose “Respect The People” as the theme for this blog will become obvious as you read further.
Define “respect”? Respect means a relationship that:
- Recognizes another person’s rights and privileges
- Defers to another person with regard to their rights and privileges
- Treats the other person with dignity
- Trusts the other person as a compatriot
Non-democratic governments may respect their citizens to some degree, or not at all as characteristic of the most oppressive forms of totalitarian government.
Once we understand that respect for the people is the foundation and defining principle of all democratic governments, we wield a powerful tool that enables us to discern the times when a democratic government strays from this standard.
Consider these examples of what we love about living in a democracy:
- Freedom to express our thoughts and beliefs openly without government control
- Unrestricted movement about the country
- Free to gather with others in social and political associations
- Property ownership
- Peace of mind and liberty to pursue personal potential
Now, what do the following trends reveal about the current state of governance?
- Expanding lexicon of words and concepts that are deemed “politically incorrect”
- Ever increasing practice of identification checks at work and ports of transportation
- Surveillance of certain groups
- Government no longer required to have a specific public use for property before it confiscates property
- Conflicted and confused by an ever encompassing and constricting structure of regulation
See the contrast? Which direction is the “Respect” meter pointing now?
Declining respect for the people’s liberty and basic human rights is symptomatic of a government at odds with its citizenry. Fortunately, a democratic people have the power to restore a healthy balance between their freedom and their security. The people must engage with their government and excercise their rightful authority through the democratic process.