By Phasma Scriptor
Mrs. O'Leary's Cow was a British Agent; the latter-day Cow is an Elephant, agents of the BP, or Why BP’s Alaskan faux island gambit provides ZERO protection against federal rules concerning offshore drilling
When the Brit-owned Illinois Central RR (technically, everything in a monarchy is owned by occupant of the Throne via dominion directum - absolute power to direct) decided to construct its main route from Chicago to Mobile, it was doing so as part of the Queen's grand strategy to take back the renegade colony. All the other main rail lines traversed the US E to W; the IC cut the country in half parallel to the Miss R, upon which the Brit Navy could navigate w/impunity vs. the puny American Navy (forget that silly 1812 affair). The IC would supply logistical support and rapid troop transport/deployment.
One ointmental fly - the crooked-from-year-0 Chicago City Council (dominated by the original ruling triumvirate of saloonkeepers, pimps & gamblers) which, w/o proper grease (that would be an actual shakedown, done Chicago-style), wasn't about to approve IC right-of-way into downtown Chicago. Undeterred, the Brits bought up available land as far N as they could - up to 55th St. ~8 miles from the business district (now the Loop). The rest of the route eventually veered off into Lake Michigan on pilings several hundred feet from the South Shore.
The Councilmen, wise in the ways of protecting their turf, passed an ordinance forbidding landfill off the lakeshore, obviously, a clear this-means-you shot across the bow of IC. As part of the Brits' 'scuse-us for their part in the semi-successful attempt to recoup the Amer colonials via the coup dubbed The Civil War, a specially-tricked-out IC train carried the body of murdered Prez Lincoln back to his home state of Illinois, at the Chicago terminus (pix are available). Inter alia, it was a return shot across the bow of the Chicago fixers.
6 years later, w/Reconstruction in full swing (there being no Honest Abe to prevent the post-war Deconstruction of the Constitution under the guise of freeing the slaves; Lincoln would have freed the slaves w/o converting the Rebel States into military regions, key to the necessity to eliminate him, he having been a praying man, not, as was the Queen, a preying mantis), Mrs. O'Leary's cow started the Great Chicago Fire, burning down the all-wood infrastructure of Chicago's downtown, all the way up to, hmmm, 55th St., where a man dressed-up as an Army Major just happened to be parked w/wagons loaded w/just enough dynamite to blow a firebreak in the wood-frame bungalows, heroically stopping the raging flames just short of the, uh, um, hmmmm, IC trackage from where it said bye-bye to the shoreline.
What to do? What to do? Here we veddy prahper Brits are w/all this construction equipment and all this debris lying around. Should we get in touch w/the Councilmen? Maybe, they might try to enforce that landfill ordinance. Naw. Let's go ahead and shove all this ugly debris into the water. We won't even charge ‘em.
Thus, the IC tracks were wondrously joined to land. The Queen was pleased. Of course, as any visitor to Chicago's South Shore and to Grant Park can see, the IC didn't stop the landfill gambit at their sort-of offshore tracks; those tracks now appear to be well inland. According to Illinois Central Railroad v. Illinois, 146 US 387 (1892), they're not.
The IC wanted to claim that the "land" upon which they had, with such intrigue, labored to reclaim from navigable waters, were theirs to do w/as the Queen pleased. The Supremes exclaimed, w/a nod to the Great Wizard of Oz, Not so fast. They held that navigable waters always remained navigable waters. Their reasoning:
Soooo, building a faux island in the Beaufort Sea, 3 miles offshore, upon which to build BP's latest Doomsday device (dubbed Project Liberty), in order to justify claiming that offshore oil-drilling rules don't apply to BP's plan to put holes in really, really cold Alaskan water has, well, one honking big hole in it. Given the loss of the Gulf of Mexico shores, placing the enjoyment of those navigable entirely in jeopardy via this ruse is “always” subject to revocation.
Of course, we are talkin’ the State of Alaska, which, we've been lately given an entirely unwanted update, is populated w/"sportsmen" of which at least 1 is a "sportswoman" ("sportsditz"?). You betcha. All sportspersons own, at minimum, 1 shotgun per family member. And, I would guess, a significant number have sat w/their loaded shotguns, after a particularly bad day for harvesting moose antlers and ... think "The Deer Hunter" & Christopher Walken doing Russian Roulette duels. At that point, the typical Alaskan might catch himself (or her Sister-self) and realize, "I can't blow my brains out. I don't have any!! How useless is that?" More to the point, oh, wait a minute, yeah, that is the point. They're provably brainless, having put the Sister into the Governor's log cabin; thus, Alaskans aren't going to use the perfectly serviceable ruling in Illinois Central to insist that BP abide by offshore drilling rules on their faux island sitting on the public trust.