American Creativity confronts Bush on offshore drilling
[Posted 20 May 2006]
As Bush made his way to Virginia Beach yesterday, to charge his supporters
$5,000 for lunch, a plane flew over
the area pulling the banner "PRES BUSH DON'T DRILL VA'S COAST" (see photo below).
Bush's visit ignored the issue of spoiling Virginia's coast, and all the other
issues, too -- he
was just there to eat lunch for
Drake, a sold-out Virginia politician who was recently exposed in a series of
moveon.org television ads. Bush raised $500,000 for Drake, according to news
reports, charging 100 supporters $5,000 each to eat lunch with him. (How does
campaign fundraising law allow that? If I want to donate to a Congressman's
campaign, I'm limited BY LAW to just over $2,000. So I could donate more if they
hand me a veggie dog with beans, and call it a "fundraiser"???)
Rep. Drake votes Bush's way nearly 100% of the time, accumulating a
dire record of support
for every big corporate payoff on Bush's wish list. (Breaking news today --
coal miners died in Kentucky early this morning. Just gotta "love" that lax
mine safety enforcement implemented by the Bush Administration. Just donate
to their campaign,
and you can break any law and kill as many people as you want.)
Unfortunately, Drake couldn't make it to Bush's little gala in her honor.
She stayed in DC, claiming that she couldn't
miss a vote that evening involving the military and awards of
government contracts (incidentally,
bill passed by 29 votes, so it's unlikely she thought the vote would
Drake's office later denied that being seen with President Bush was too
much of a political liability to risk. Nope, his ever-dropping poll numbers, Iraq,
and $3 gasoline had absolutely nothing to do with it...
Now, Bush doesn't like hearing about the suffering his actions have caused the
American people, or anyone else for that matter. So normally
he has "free
speech zones" set up miles away from his speaking engagements, arresting protesters
who dare come within earshot or visual site of the man, lest his "baby feelings" be
hurt by the harsh consequences of his actions. But ingenuity is
still in good supply here in America, and somebody hired a plane to breach
speech zone" and advertise
their concerns in the sky, to the entire Virginia Beach community.
The airplane with banner pictured below was caught on camera at 8:32 a.m.,
according to its uncropped, original digital time stamp (there's actually a photo
below, even though its sky is almost the color of this page):
America has finally come to this -- the President has become
so inaccessible that people need to fly a plane around town to be seen and heard.
It took me a while and several calls to track down the geniuses
responsible for this stunt. Calls to the local airport and newspaper weren't
returned. But I'd seen reports (not acknowledging the plane or its
photo) of the the local Sierra Club protesting offshore drilling.
So I called a few Sierra Club offices, and finally was able to track down
Josh Low of the Virginia Sierra Club (Richmond).
Mr. Low confirmed that the Sierra Club had
paid for the banner and airplane. He told me that the Sierra Club was aware
of Bush coming to Virginia Beach for the fundraiser, and also that Bush was a
big proponent of offshore drilling along Virginia's coast.
The Sierra Club's position is that offshore drilling would spoil the
area's environment, waterways, and Virginia's natural heritage.
Annie Strickler of Sierra Club's San Francisco Headquarters confirmed this
information, and also mentioned that the Sierra Club is concerned with
Virginia Beach's tourism economy, and the potential for possible oil spills from
offshore drilling in the area.
Virginia Beach is an odd area, environmentally. I've been through there several
times, but wouldn't enter the water at any of its Beaches.
It's located too close to the big military bases in Norfolk. (Virginia Beach,
Norfolk, Chesapeake, Newport News, etc., are all in the same metro area -- only
signs indicate where one ends and the other begins.) In fact, the
town itself always has noisy,
smelly military aircraft disturbing the neighborhoods. I don't know how
the homeowners manage to
tolerate it. But many people who live there are affiliated with the military
or benefit from the money of military people, and so tolerate it they must.
The area can also be quite beautiful in places, with a surprising tourist trade
and vast natural wetlands -- among numerous roads that lead into various
Naval base entrances. Take a wrong turn, and you're approaching the US Navy.
Take another, and you're driving through a huge marsh or crossing a long bridge
over the water. Despite the environmental handicap of the US Navy, the town
manages to have a certain amount of environmental consciousness. And I'm sure
local residents were glad to see the Sierra Club's banner in the sky, breaking
through the more popular issues of the day to stop oil rigs from further degrading
their living conditions. It's great to see the Sierra Club making the
effort to preserve the area's remaining beaches and waterways, and I hope they're
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