What's the good of all the this and that, the tit for tat, and Fat, Fat the water rat, no matter how many bullets in his hat, if we don't talk about Admiral Allen of the United States Coast Guard?

The man's been at it since the explosion at the well first happened, as the oil gushed into the Gulf, up to July 15 when the flow was stopped, and he's still at it now that the final sealing is about to take place. What's more, he's pointing us to what has to be learned from the event and what has to be put in place so this disaster is the last of its kind. An amazing man.

I caught him last night being interviewed by Charley Rose. It was a demonstration of the value of good, simple television, despite the relentless flow of sewage on the three thousand and one channels available for  the nation's viewing pleasure. Where or how would you or I ever have been able to see and hear and appreciate such a man? There he was---clear, straightforward, with a thorough grasp of the facts, balanced, unruffled, ready and able to answer the most difficult or poorly articulated question, responding the way good old Joe Friday used to, with an interest only in the facts, neither impatient, nor defensive, not looking for praise, not looking for glory. A man of action, sober and fair, accurate in his assessments, a man living in a real world, doing a real job, despite the enormity of the challenges facing him. Without ego--that was what was so astonishing.

He took it on. He led the charge. He did the job. He was the indispensable man. He is an American hero if ever there was one.

So, throw your hats in the air, boys! To Admiral Thad Allen! To the Coast Guard! And to the Nation that still has the stuff to produce such men!













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