Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

None dare call it treason

It so happens I'm doing a study right now which required me to get some information from an agency of the federal government -- a presumably non-political branch of CDC, to be slightly less vague -- about the racial and ethnic identification standards used in a particular data system. After a couple of weeks of trying, I couldn't get anybody to answer my phone calls or e-mails, so I called a friend somwhere in a relevant federal office.

She told me that she didn't think she could be of any help. Career civil servants right now are being bird-dogged by political appointees, who subtly threaten them. Questions from the general public about any potentially politically charged issues -- with race and ethnicity obviously being one -- are booby traps, and they don't want to touch them. I could FOIA this info, but who knows how long it would take to extract it, and as it happens it isn't worth it to me. My friend, naturally, is looking for a job.

The neo-cons have substantially succeeded in their project of trashing the federal government. Even if we do get rid of these depraved fanatics in 2009, it's going to take decades to rebuild the infrastructure of non-political, professional, effective government that we once took for granted. And that's not just in the places where it's gotten a lot of public attention -- DoD, Justice, State, EPA, even NOAA. It's everywhere.

As usual, I put the blame for this immeasurable national disaster mostly on the corporate media -- the TV networks, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and most of the rest of them. They inflicted these malignant clowns on us, and they still haven't grasped what they have done.

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