Now Cough

Monday, February 20, 2006

The good old 1500s

Yeah, this is America

The AAAS, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is meeting in St. Louis. And the gathering, no doubt, will be viewed as a terrorist-sympathizer cell by the Bush administration.

Dr. David Baltimore, Nobel Prize winner and one of the leaders of biotechnology and ethics in the 70s (and a guy who was accused of severe ethical lapses himself) keynoted a talk sponsored by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

It's no accident that we are seeing such an extensive suppression of scientific freedom," he said. "It's part of the theory of government now, and it's a theory we need to vociferously oppose." Far from twisting science to suit its own goals, he said, the government should be "the guardian of intellectual freedom."

But the real courage award goes to a government lawyer named Leslie Sussan who said, speaking for herself, that she saw Bush's science polices

an attack on the rule of law as a basis for self-government and democracy.

Let's see how long she is employed at HHS.

Privacy. Oh. THAT

The Los Angeles Times has an eye opening report on the privacy panel that was supposed to be in place by now at the White House. But, you know, these things take awhile Privacy Guardian Is Still a Paper Tiger (reg. required)

The members of the panel? I can't make this up:

* "The board chairwoman is Carol E. Dinkins, a Houston lawyer who was a Justice Department official in the Reagan administration. A longtime friend of the Bush family, she was the treasurer of George W. Bush's first campaign for governor of Texas, in 1994, and co-chair of Lawyers for Bush-Cheney, which recruited Republican lawyers to handle legal battles after the November 2004 election. Dinkins, a longtime partner in the Houston law firm of Vinson & Elkins, where Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales once was a partner, has specialized in defending oil and gas companies in environmental lawsuits."

* "The board vice chairman is Alan Charles Raul, a Washington lawyer who first suggested the concept of a civil liberties panel in an opinion article in the Los Angeles Times in December 2001. Raul, a former Agriculture Department general counsel currently in private practice, has published a book on privacy and the digital age and is the only panel member with apparent expertise in civil liberties issues."

* "The panel's lone Democrat, Lanny J. Davis, has known Bush since the two were undergraduates at Yale. Civil liberties gr(oups regard the Washington lawyer, who worked in the Clinton White House, as likely to be a progressive voice on the panel." (NOTE: I have always found Davis an oily creep.)

* "The board also includes a conservative Republican legal icon, Washington lawyer and former Bush Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson, whose wife, Barbara, died in the Sept. 11 attacks."

* "The fifth member is Francis X. Taylor, a retired Air Force general and former State Department counter-terrorism coordinator, who is chief security officer at General Electric Co."

You can't make up this stuff.


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