About Me

My photo

Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Friday, August 29, 2008

Senator-Nominee Obama's culminating call

The speech Obama made to 84,000 delegates at the Democratic Party Convention of 2008, concluded with this invocation of the Promise:

"America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done....

"Let us keep that promise, that American promise, and in the words of Scripture, 'Hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.'"


The Scripture may be drawn from Hebrews 10:23. Here is that verse in its context:

"Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries."

The book of Hebrews is a highly controversial document. But there can be no dispute that the passage clearly begs people to "consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds...encouraging one another".

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Seamless science of religion; the Sin-Grace bridge

The deeper your search for truth, the more seamless it seems. As the light and the heat of the flame composes the fire, the transfixing truth is one thing for all its attributes.
The farther back in time we trace the human awakening, the more our religion and our science appear to be the same fire. Our notion of sin in pre-Galileo vessels was not confined to social condemnation, it was not in a thought-box entered one day out of the week, it was not neutered, or considered impractical for business. Private faith was tied to social duty. It still is.
Of course, there have always been false prophets, hypocritical preachers, and careless scientists. The Cheney of graft and war profiteering is paleolithic. The Bush of hypocrisy and fraud is burned into many of our texts -- it is actually the plot line of most of our stories and warning Gospels. The Rovian pretentions to statistics and authenticity are nothing new. Evil always acts under color of law and authority when possible. And this is where the idea of "sin" operates as the dragon at the margins, policing even a wrathful, wasteful, proud and envious god.
Pope Gregory (the Great) catalogued the Seven Deadly sins, which were put into theoretical and literary paces by Thomas Aquinas and Dante. One draws a bracing excitement from reciting the list: Pride, gluttony, sloth, lust, greed, envy and anger. For 15 centuries the Church decreed these to be sufficient to explain the misfortunes of mankind. For example, violence is derivative of anger, waste from gluttony, theft from greed, and all manner of tragedy from pride. None of these "sins" separate Man from God, as all of them are carefully attributed to the Gods -- in the Bible, the Popovul, the Olympiad, the Book of the Dead, the Book of Mormon. What is useful, of course, is the fact that "sin", unlike folly or crime, contains the spiritual hint of redemption.
Mohandas Gandhi was one of our first leaders to re-visit the list. His version of the seven deadliest sins: "Wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, politics without principle, commerce without morality, worship without sacrifice, selfishness without responsibility."
Ghandi clearly addressed the falling gap between "spiritual" and practical morality, once again placing sin into the scientifically valid tool kit. We have always needed a practical measure not only of acts but of attitudes. The mens rea is not just problemmatic for Believers (after-life gamblers). It is also a concern for specialists in all human realms -- legal, social sciences, corporate enterprises, individual responsibility. The sin which begins in the heart, and the hope of salvation, is universal.
What is keeping us from grace? Clearly stealing, coveting. But also polluting, withholding evidence, and becoming rich at the expense of the gullible. There is authenticity and scientific method behind the usages of Sin. The world can be "saved", in every sense, if we understood that the condemnation is not just "spiritually" appropriate. It is apparent that survival requires us to recognize the acts and attitudes which are separating us from grace.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The attempted "swift-boating" of Obama

A book attacking a Presidential candidate with false allegations has surfaced in this election cycle. Negative advertising works. I know of no "effective" means to counter it, in light of the time-sensitivity of elections, and the perversity of humankind.

Recall the previous work of Jerome R. Corsi, a professional hate-mongerer. He coauthored UNFIT FOR COMMAND: SWIFT BOAT VETERANS SPEAK OUT AGAINST JOHN KERRY. That raft of speculation and falsity was launched against a Viet Nam War veteran, and it was condemned by John McCain in the 2004 election cycle for what it was: Pure slime.

Corsi has now published THE OBAMA NATION: LEFTIST POLITICS AND THE CULT OF PERSONALITY. Ironically, this attack by the same author, using the same methods, for the same political purpose (to defeat a candidate), has not (yet?) been condemned by McCain. However, he should. Although he may benefit from the same purpose and may share motives with Corsi, the means and methods of the two books are identical: To slime the candidate using profoundly hot-button conclusions based on fictional "evidence" which appeal to the prejudices of the public most likely to distort their good judgment. McCain has already clearly condemned the strategy.

The text of OBAMA NATION can be summarized: Obama is a jihadist drug user who is lying about his religion and his plan to impose a black supremacist communist state as soon as he seizes the reins of power.

The allegations in Corsi's latest book, to the extent that they advert to any "facts", are rebutted point-by-point on Obama's website. ALL of Corsi's conclusions are shown to be based on outright fictions. But the real point here, is that this publication is not part of political discourse. This is not "Oops we misstated" something, or "reasonable men may disagree". The repeated misquotations and mistakes cannot be excused. This book, and this repeated form of negative press, is a deliberate tool of deception designed to "win" an election by using fraud. Once again, Corsi is manipulating the gullibilities of the voters.

Who is Jerome R. Corsi? First, he is not a "conservative". He does not advocate ANY form of government, nor does he lay out any positive program or institutions in his books and articles. He is a professional attacker. Why bother building a bridge, if you can make millions blowing up the country?

His current work is a website in which he writes "stories" about how President George W. Bush has been conspiring to eliminate the border between the United States and Mexico. He has been working on an expose' of the secrets about 9/11 which the present administration has been withholding from the public.

Other books and articles by Corsi use racist epithets to inflame a hate-mongering fear of whatever is foreign, unifying, inclusive, or somehow "tainted" by color. He is being interviewed on "pro-white" radio, endorsing a confused ideology of State secession by the "Christian" nations. All government is a conspiracy.

"Corsi" himself, is of Sicilian extraction - that island first inhabited by Africans, then colonized by semitic phoenicians, and whose people enjoy to this day the interconnectedness of the Mediterranean. The Corsi's have long enjoyed the benefits of the mixed race, foreign exchange, and freedoms he now condemns.

It appears clear that Corsi can write. He cannot quote Obama or Scripture accurately, but he can write. The OBAMA NATION is now "number 1" on the Sunday New York Times' bestseller list. In other words, in spite of the fabrication of extremely hurtful personal defamation, in spite of logical incoherence, and hypocrisy you can measure on the Richter Scale, a publisher has decided there is money to be made in slime politics. Publish it and people who want to believe it will buy it.

History will duly note that OBAMA NATION is published by Simon & Schuster, which hired the Bush-Rove political operative, Mary Matalin, to edit the imprint. A network of book clubs and radio shows is in place to generate "buzz" for this slime.
The financially stressed publishing industry does not intend to lose money betting on the gullibility of the voting public.

Interestingly, my good Christian friends in the National Guard have been sending me email attachments containing breathless announcements of how important it is to buy the OBAMA NATION. Abomination, get it? And Obama is the anti-christ....etc.

These poor remnant soldier-citizens! Economically capsized more than most after eight years of Bush-Cheney-Rove, and continuing to bear the burden of a fight none of them asked for or knew anything about, and that so-called "conservatives" want to continue. They are the mainstay of the mixed-race Army, invoking the Love-Gospel Jesus of the Resurrection. And in this crazy world, they are making Corsi rich, and they want to drive a great leader from public office.

Forgive them, Father, they know not what they do.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What do we know about The Tribes?

Racism is wrong--it is an economic, moral, and scientific error. In addition, the "traditions" of The Tribe suffers the same deficiencies. And yet, the invocation and "public policy" of race orientation continues.

Any invocation of loyalty to The Tribe should be scrutinized carefully. It is certain to be either rank naivete, or more likely, a cynical attempt by someone to gain power over others by using some means other than merit.

People have always been under the sway of Tribalism. We will never eliminate either "the poor" or "the aristocracy"; it's been tried. The poor have little to cling to, and The Tribe offers at least the illusion of a raft. The rich may find it easier or more convenient to demand loyalty to an abstration they control, than to earn respect, which is their remaining need. Hence, Tribalism is likely to remain an under-tow in the tide of humankind.

Today, we are looking at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I was almost stunned by how many different racial characteristics were evident in the participants just in the contestants from China. Although I am fairly certain that China has not implemented a policy of diversity -- many minority tribal groups are completely locked out (Uighurs, Tibetans) -- the diversity of the continent was reflected in the faces and bones of their Olympians.

In 1932, Jim Thorpe proved the metal of American Indian genes. The 1938 Olympics in Berlin show-cased the superiority of many non-Aryans over "Aryans" during the Guilt-en Age of Race Theory. Irish, Jewish, Hispanic and American Indians, and several African Americans (including Jesse Owens with 5 gold medals) competitively and fairly crushed the best that the Nazi ideologues of Aryan persuasions had to offer. The 1948-1956 victories of Emil Zatopek (Czek) showed the emptiness of tribalisms even within the realms of the Fatherland. Still, in spite of these individual performances, Race Theory did not die. It flourishes yet among the rich and the poor, and it is taught in text books throughout the Arab world, for example.

These 2008 Olympics offer some hope. Because of the scale of its manifestation, this laboratory proof leaves all Race Theory in the dust. It is not just a matter of individuals who are possible "exceptions" -- like Thorpe, Zaharias, Owens, etc.

The Finns (5 million), Norwegians (5 million), Ethiopians (50 million), South Koreans (49 million) and Australians (20 million) are racking up medals way out of proportion to their respective tribal pools. Clearly, the "races", if they exist, are irrelevant even if they were somehow defineable, which they are not. We do not know what "race" the ubiquitous "English" are -- Basques? Celts? Germans? -- or even how many of them there are.

The Arabs who are now spending the most money on teaching race theory to school children throughout Africa and the Middle East, ironically have the most serious problems with even defining race, much less proving it is in any way significant. For example, half the black Nilotic tribes of Ethiopia speak Semitic languages, and the Sabra "Jews" who are villified ("Death! Death!" shouted in Mosques) are genetically indistinguishable from the Bedouin tribes.

So, the Olympic lesson, once again. Perhaps it makes no difference when billions are spent on text-books that are indifferent to science, morals, or economics. Still, there are those golden victories. The Chinese team, the American team, the participation of 204 countries, and no single "race" being dominant. Not one. The Arab nations are represented by brave and beautiful athletes, but they are not examples of superiority over Jews -- in spite of the text books.

And there is that four-man team that won the 400-meter relay -- over all the boasts and bluster and threats of refusing to enter waters tainted by the sweat of Jews and "slaves" -- you have the victory of "Phelps", a mongrel English name, an African American, and two Jews.


Collection of materials on a core "Belief": TOLERANCE.

1. Amy Chua, a Yale law professor, has developed the idea of tolerance as the key to the rise of civilization as drawn from selected and curious historical examples. In DAY OF EMPIRE (2008), she describes the superpowers, and concludes that they arise by "attracting the best and the brightest from all over the world". Purges and exclusions have always triggered backlash and decline. She details the examples of Rome, the Tang Dynasty, the Dutch Republic, and even Genghis Khan (declared religious tolerance). And come to think of it she is exactly right -- the U.S. won the race for the atomic bomb by becoming a haven for persecuted scientists from Nazi Europe.

The Scale of the Living

I was thinking about things I thought I knew something about...and realized that I really cannot even comprehend the huge scale of the smallest things!

For example, I know a lot about mosquitoes. I grew up with them, not exactly as pets, but I could identify ten different species, with special attention to Anopheles oswaldoi, which carried the malaria in our area. But of course, there are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes! And many of them look alike, and in my forgetting, I don't think I could distinguish fruitarians from blood-suckers now.

I got to thinking that this SCALE of life forms is wildly beyond the comprehension of any of us. I checked the Smithsonian collections -- over 30 million insects, 7 million fish, 5 million plant specimens. These numbers are wild.

No one can keep track of the way life has expanded and diversified. I was pleased to see that the Smithsonian has bar coded the collections, although most field ecologists are not out there with portable barcorders. None of these forms of life are labeled or coded....

Except, what about their DNA? We bar code DNA, and all living creatures have DNA. You don't have to kill the creature to collect its sample. DNA could even distinguish species that look identical, such as some of the mosquitoes.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

And the People fled their homes....

When families flee their homes, this is the bottom, the last loss. It is not just job loss, or the destruction of seed corn. It is not just chaos and loss of family members. It is everything. Maybe the last bit of life, hanging on.

In the history of migration, often it is native inhabitants fleeing their villages in the face of an onslaught of immigrants.

In modern times, often technologically superior groups flee from "laws", the extortion exerted by force upon legitimacy. The Karelians were not displaced by a sudden influx of Soviets, but 300,000 of them fled the USSR seizure of their jurisdiction. Millions of Jewish people were forced from their homes by public policies and laws of various European States -- although organized pogroms, and Crystalnacht, followed the legalization of the ethnic persecution. The point is that Law led the coersion.

Curiously, the Hutu-controlled government took the trouble to project a "public policy" which at least pretended a justification for slaughtering unarmed Tutsi in their homes and churches. In 1994, ethnic fighting in Rwanda led to the massacre of at least half a million Tutsis and sent more than a million Hutus fleeing to Zaire, Tanzania, and Burundi.

The Darfurians are subjected to the most primitive form of persecution. The tribal Arabs are simply attacking them -- killing and burning. The government of Sudan does not even bother to project a public policy or "legal" authority for the persecution. Arab racist sophistication is devoted to blaming Israel, denying reality, and preventing investigation, or resolution. Three of the minority ethnic groups in Darfur--the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa--are being attacked by armed forces, the Janjaweed militias, and the entire government apparatus. Over 2.7 million have fled their homes.

In Kenya, after the December 2007 "election" was compromised by violence (President Mwai Kibaki claimed to have defeated Raila Odinga by 230,000 votes out of 10 million cast), thousands of people were killed in the streets, and more than 300,000 fled their homes.

The Palestinian Arabs also fled their homes during the first war between Israel and the combined nations on its border. However, no government had declared a public policy of extermination against Arabs, and no organized pogroms had destroyed their communities before they fled. It is true that many of them fled out of fear, but it is fair to say that it was the fear of war, not targeted persecution. It is also true that many Arab "villages", not all of which were entirely abandoned, were destroyed by the Israeli Army. (The number of destroyed "villages" is controversial as it is difficult to define the abandoned dwellings and propagandists have made it impossible. There is no such discrepant calculation in counting the villages in Darfur.)

In modern Kurdistan, the Kurds who once conquered the Middle East, are now persecuted by Arabs and Turks. Over one million Kurds fled and lost their homes at the hand of Saddam Hussein in the last decade of his rule.

Why is there any controversy at all? ANY essentially involuntary movement of people from their homes on any scale, reflects upon the leadership and comfort of all.

Who will lead us as we face Natural Foreseeable and Certain Disasters ("NFCD")

In assessing a "belief" system, or the ability of an ideologically-driven candidate to lead, it would seem practical to put them up against Natural Foreseeable and Certain Disasters ("NFCD"). How will your "Beliefs" steel your response? How will the candidate perform in the face of Disaster?

All ideological obsessions--such as judgments on the rectitude of abortions and the rights of gay persons to exist -- pale compared to NFCDs. Let's take an example: Harmful algal blooms (or HABs). These toxic blooms are commonly called "Red Tides", although they are not tide-driven and are not always red.

HABs present one of the most scientifically complex and economically significant coastal management issues facing the nations today. The micro-organisms are ancient, adaptive, and roguish. In the past, only a few regions were affected by these harmful algal blooms, but now all U.S. coastal regions, and vast areas across the globe, have reported major toxic algal blooms.

The Harmful Algae Page was started 9 years ago by Donald Anderson of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. His gallery of killers is alarming, diverse, and rich. For example, the dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense is among the most efficient poisoners. A Chaetoceros species stabs fish to death by plunging serrated spines into their gils. Over five kinds of human illnesses from seafood poisoning are directly caused by HABs, all of them potentially deadly.

How will your Beliefs help? Will we have a Leader with enough intelligence to understand how much we depend on leadership in the face of real dangers? Will our Leaders devote resources to mitigate the HAB attacks? For eight years, HAB attacks have increased while our leaders ignored them or even encouraged economic activities that have made them worse. All indications are that pollution run-off from human activity has increased the distribution and scale of the HAB attacks.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The importance of Religion

The comedic documentary, RELIGULOUS, is scheduled to be out in October 3. The director is Larry Charles, who did "Borat", and the interviews are conducted by the acolyte of George Carlin, Bill Maher. http://www.latimes.com/thebigpicture

Clearly the pre-opening announcement of this "documentary" -- interviews with real "believers" -- is part of a marketing plan, a ROI motive behind the mirror of comedy and the spin of entertainment. Still, since it promises to be a comedic exposure of the predators who continue to benefit themselves at the expense of "believers", I want to add to the pre-opening "buzz".

At the same time, it may be necessary for those of us in the "science" community to distinguish our positions from those who merely want to make fools of Believers.

The True Believers are already made fools of by the predators; I do not wish to add to their burdens, or even to their doubts. Religion is a powerful reality, and it is morally neutral, neither "good" nor "bad". Sam Harris' THE END OF FAITH does not make sense scientifically. There is faith, and it continues; it IS. Even if Harris refers to faith as a "neurological disorder", he misses the point: It is neurological. It is IN our brain. We are hard-wired -- send us your tired cliches -- for prayer, hope, belief, "spirituality", "not bread alone-ness".

In fact, the role of religion in the great suffering and pain inflicted by humans on others, should be looked at carefully. We seem to have suffered far more at the hand of Non-Believers: Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, and the pillagers of the Tutsi congregations in the churches. With this history, I'll take my chances with the Believers every time. Every time. Especially, because there is no god.... and Believers clearly are looking for redemption, which makes them gullible victims to predators.

I hope this film mocks the predation, and not the congregant victims. "Kill the monarchy, but not the King." -- Thomas Paine.

Cars, as weaponized transportation.

I am not one of those people who are lured to the highway by the hope of speed and envy which an automobile embodies. Nothing ruins a good walk more than the fact that so many others have chosen to drive--it is drivers and their motorways and means that makes walking a poor choice.

I confess that I was once injured when I fell off an ox-cart. I have been bucked off a calf twice, and a horse, maybe ten times. Damn, it was the same horse. But I never felt SERIOUSLY injured. Just shaken and stirred.

Between 1997 and 2001, I was in four traffic accidents -- three rear-enders and a T-bone at a controlled intersection. It changed my life. The injuries were life-threatening and severe.

So, by way of disclosure, I have a personal understanding that anything that goes faster than a horse can gallop, is "dangerous". It is not potentially dangerous, it IS dangerous. And to get so many people to engage in a dangerous activity, you probably have to trick them, lie to them, conceal the dangers, and eliminate alternatives they would otherwise rationally choose if they had any choice.

Vehicle "accidents" cause more than 40,000 deaths every year in the United States. The non-terminal casualties, ranging from whiplash sufficient to be reported (and claimed to insurance companies who are motivated to deny their significance), to every condition short of death, are ten times that number.

Tom Vanderbilt just authored a book titled "TRAFFIC", with the promising subtitle, "Why we drive the way we do (and What it says about us)". He does a pretty good job of showing that out on the highways, nothing is as it appears. He explores the appearance of chaos on the roads of India, the congestion fees in London, the frailties of urban planning, attempts at hard-shell traffic engineering, and driver behavior/ optical theory.

We live in an increasingly mobile world, but not really. We are increasingly "virtual" in our travels, and our traffic is bursting on cables. Energy costs are increasing. This is a great opportunity to get off the "driving anything beats walking" beat. In spite of the promises made by car manufacturers and engineering linguistics -- modal bias, dilemma zone, motion parallax, induced travel, traffic thrombosis -- traffic on our unwalkable and undrivable streets, just gets worse and worse.

Anything that travels faster than a horse can gallop, is considered, by a human body, to be a weapon. It is not a utility, a tool, or an extension of the body. It is going to kill. That speed is its only reality, the rest is illusion, and the speed is not compatible with human life on impact.

Of course, the fight against "cars" -- and the mythology created around them -- is marginalized. However, acceptance of the reality of a weapon in our midst is not an "extreme" position. It is simple realism. It faces the reality of slaughter.

The myth Believer gets into a car and drives to work or to the store for food, ignoring the fact that they are risking their life or their livelihood (injured people invariably lose or diminish their careers). The myth Believer is tricked by the reality of great comfort sitting in a car, into believing that this comfort is safe when launched on the street at speed.

The Business of Crime

On August 9, 2008, Edison International announced that its NET income nearly TRIPLED, from its publicly-announced second-quarter earnings of one year ago. Edison's President, Theodore Craver Jr., who added the CEO title a week ago, said that this eye-brow raising "success" is the result of "being able to realize our substantial growth potential".

Actually, Mr. Craver, it boils down to being able to be a criminal. You are realizing substantial criminal growth potential, and you are doing it under color of "doing business". Let's look at what Edison is actually achieving:

-- Edison is an "international" entity; it is "off-shore". It is taking money from rate-paying citizens who are always domestic, wherever they are.

-- The rate-payer paying for a utility owned by Edison, and which has No Competition at its point of purchase. The rate-payer is under Edison's monopoly.

-- Edison bought the Congress, and wrote its own laws concerning its "utility" services, building a monopoly for itself into the legal infrastructure. Under Reagan, and then perfected under a series of "conservative" administrations, this public utility proceeded to DE-REGULATE itself, while maintaining its market monopoly. We now have, literally, regulated and restricted Statism for the rate-payer (just TRY generating your own power onto the grid), and un-restricted un-regulated monopolist profiteering by Edison.

-- In the same quarter that Edison announced unprecedented gross profits, and NET profit increases, the price of oil had also increased. In other words, even though the cost to generate electricity increased-- Edison had to pay a lot more for their own fuel costs -- they made even more profit.

-- This same profit increase does not even include a claim made by the IRS (which remains the ONLY "regulator" or government intrusion on Edison's practices) concerning a (wait for it) for ONE AND ONE HALF BILLION in unpaid taxes, involving a "complex lease arrangement" made with a wholly unregulated subsidiary company, and with which Edison's lawyers intend to shield Edison further from tax exposures in the future.

-- This profit increase does not include any purchases of pollution allowances -- even though these costs were supposed to be incurred as part of their own pollution reduction compliance plan. For example, their own Edison Mission Group was required to post $48 million to the program. They clearly signal that won't happen. By setting up unregulated subsidiaries, such as Edison Capital, which supposedly invests in energy and infrastructure, Edison International intends to evade the pollution allowances. They see pollution reduction as an "impairment" to their profits.

-- Edison makes no claim that the profit increase is the result of increased efficiency, a better product or service, a new technology, or a market expansion.

-- Edison also announced its intention to increase rates for 2009, 2010, and 2011. It is almost breath-taking to see their interest in their future profit-taking....

-- The bottom line is that Edison has increased its profits by taking more money from consumers in local arenas served by its monopoly on power delivery, while avoiding the taxes and pollution regulations which would be imposed by the respective public agencies. Proposed rate hikes are based on extortion. There is no free market here. The "hidden hand" is not a free and informed market setting the price, it is Edison's off-shore and unregulated subsidiaries taking the benefits while shifting all the costs and burdens back to ratepayers and tax payers.

This is not Capitalism. This is predation. What ENRON got away with, is what Edison is getting away with: Money, taken under the false pretenses of "business". This profiteering enterprise will collapse because it is predation, it is not actually "business". They produce nothing. There is no informed exchange involved in this "profit".

Where you see the profits increase, in the absence of ANY improved product, service, technology or market expansion, you have to ask just what "business" is Edison in?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Competence vs Ideological Purity - the FBI Anthrax Investigation

THE ANTHRAX INVESTIGATION. The real mystery of this investigation is not so much WHO attacked America using Anthrax immediately after the 9/11/01 attack on New York City, but why the investigation was conducted with such misdirection from the top.

1. The Global Search. The FBI was tasked with the investigation. A competent detective, and there are many in the FBI, would at least consider a perpetrator from an American laboratory. It was widely reported in the press at the time that the quality of the material (armament grade) as well as the technology of its delivery system (a fine powder) could only have been produced in a few places and most of those places are here in the USA. And yet, the FBI launched itself into a global search. Global. Looking everywhere but here.

2. President Bush appointed the FBI Director and the Attorney General. The Bush-Cheney-Rove cabal appointed personnel based on ideology rather than competence or even common sense. They searched abroad, not because that is where the evidence pointed, but because of what it would "look like" politically to fix blame on an American. Our leadership spent millions on an investigation all over the world, getting nowhere. The perpetrator turns out to have been Bruce Ivins -- a life-long Republican, a donor to Bush-Cheney-Rove campaigns, and a "religious patriot". A Believer. As the long-delayed seven year investigation finally, finally turned in his direction, he committed suicide. After seven years, no charges have ever been brought against any person responsible for one of the most savage attacks on America.

3. How long will our society be paying for the consequences, and robust salaries, of the Bush-Cheney-Rove appointees? People have been appointed to public service positions of great importance, who once again have shown themselves to be incapable of performing service for anyone other than themselves. Folks, this is not what we need to expect. We need leaders who are competent, who surround themselves with competent advisors, and who make appointments of competent people.

4. Save us from the ideologues. The sooner we restore public offices to people of ability, the better. And simple Justice requires that those who are responsible for damage and harm, should pay compensation. The Justice Department now stands up trying to take credit for accumulating a vast amount of evidence against Mr. Ivins, now that he is deceased. Yet, they also announced that they are closing the investigation! Are the victims compensated? Are the people responsible for the Post Office deaths, and for the bungled investigation, accountable to the tax payers who paid their salaries? This is a clueless Justice Department. Where is the Justice? Going on seven years.