Sunday, August 14, 2005

Evidence that the Bush Administration is Suppressing Science

This is from the Audibon magazine, May-June 2005

The Big Chill

Last February, 62 distinguished scientists, 20 Nobel laureates among them, charged the Bush administration with "manipulation of the process through wich science enters into its decisions." To discover the extent of the abuse, the Union of Concerned Scientists teamed up with Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility to survey 1,600 scientists in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Nearly 30 percent responded, despite agency directives not to. They spoke of a "climate of fear" at the USFWS--fear of the loss of jobs or of program funding. At a subsequent Congressional hearing, Representative Norman Dicks (D-WA) excoriated departed USFWS director Steve WIlliams: "You are letting political appointees beat up on biologists, so they are intimidated and can't dod their job for habitat and species." Nine of 10 managers cited cases where political appointees and members of Congress injected themselves into scientific determinations. Half knew of cases in which commercial interests caused the reversal or withdrawal of scientific conclusions.

Many called for the removal of Julia MacDonald, an Interior Department appointee who recently claimed that historical records of millions of sage grouse were "simply a fairy tale" and that the birds did not depend on sagebrush for survival. "They will eat other stuff if it is available," she said. As a result, this endangered bird has been denied protection under the Endangered Species Act, while its habitat continues to be destroyed by commercial interests--gas drilling, mining, and development. Click here for the full report.

Survey of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Scientists

Scientific Findings:
Commercial Interference....56%
Interior Department interference....70%

Resources and Morale:
Insufficient Resources....92%
Inaddequate Funding...85%

Effect on Scientific Candor:
Fear of Retaliation....42%
Ordered to Mislead Public....19%

Thursday, August 11, 2005

It's Hard to be a Pacifist with So Many Stupid People in this World

California Senator Barbara Boxer (the only one who stood up for the voting rights of millions of Ohioans whose votes weren't counted during the 2004 election) sent me a link to a site where I could ask Supreme Court Justice-to-be John Roberts a question.

So I asked:

I was curious why abortion is such a clear, important issue to you, yet desegregation of schools, protection of endangered species, and even the protection of the lives of doctors in abortion clinics is not.
Unborn children must be left alive, but children who are already on this Earth have no right to privacy or protection under the law? Should a twelve year old girl really go to jail for eating a frenchfry? Should a child be forced to participate in a religious activity that s/he doesn't believe in, just because s/he wants to attend his/her own graduation ceremony?

These are all in response to some of his seriously reactionary stances as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit for only two years. Before that, he was a corporate law firm lawyer for most of his career. * He has tried to make it as hard as possible to further the desegregation of schools, and approved of D.C.'s harsh handling of a twelve-year-old girl who ate one french fry on a train (she was then handcuffed, arrested, and taken into a windowless police vehicle). * He argues against laws that limit sex discrimination. He supported abortion clinic protestors who bombed abortion clinics.
Okay, it's one thing to be "pro-life". It's another thing entirely when you are opposed to the destruction of a creature that hasn't even passed the reptilian stage of development, but okay with the destruction of human lives. It's okay, as long as they perform abortions, they deserve it. What kind of logic is that?
Worst of all, I know some "progressives" who actually tell me to calm down about Roberts. "Bush is going to nominate a Right-Winger for the Supreme Court, anyway, so be glad it's him." Yes, that's a good attitude. Hitler was going to kill millions of Jews either way, so be glad it was only six million. "There's nothing we can do about it." Okay, so go SIT ON YOUR FUCKING ASS and tell me I'm being naive by thinking we should do something to change it!!!! UGH!!!! I'm through with this foul country!!!!

* Information I got from NARAL and People for the American Way