Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Republicans: Raping The Public Trust For Private Profit At Our Expense

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 5, 2007

Los Alamos 

(The town of Los Alamos, circa 1960.)

This is what twelve years of a Republican Congress and six years of a Republican president get you:  Once-excellent agencies butchered and plundered, their bounty — paid for by our tax dollars — taken from the public domain and locked away, never to be seen again.

Examples follow past the fold.

Example #1:  Los Alamos National Laboratories (h/t Hubris Sonic).

Los Alamos National Laboratory will no longer permit historians and other researchers to have access to its archival records because Los Alamos National Security (LANS), the private contractor that now operates the Lab, says it has “no policy in place” that would allow such access.

“Policies that had previously applied to the University of California relating to the disclosure of information directly to you are no longer applicable,” wrote Judy Archuleta of the Los Alamos Information Practices Office to Alex Wellerstein, a graduate student at Harvard.

In effect, when it comes to historical or other public research, the Los Alamos archives are closed for business. (AHN)

Los Alamos National Laboratory is no more. Last year after conducting a fear up on security at LANL the Republicans turned control of Los Alamos over to a private corporation. Los Alamos National Security LLC, is owned by University of California, BWX Tech, Washington Group International, and Bechtel. Who have been forcing a brain drain their by requiring random drug tests and lie detector tests. This after firing 700 contractors.

And now they are shutting down access to the public archives. All of this work was produced from public money, and now only Bechtel will have access.

Republicans:  Just plain bad for national security.

Example #2:   The Centers for Disease Control (h/t Stormcrow):

Once upon a time, working at the Center for Disease Control (aka, CDC, now called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) was a dream job for a dedicated public health scientist or practitioner. No more. The independent CDC blog, CDC Chatter, is reporting results of a new survey of employee satisfaction in federal services. CDC is near the bottom of 222 agencies, with a score down from its 2005 score. CDC ranked 189th out of the 222 agencies and agency subcomponents.

[…]

The Bush administration has appointed pliable and incompetent managers [PW butts in:  Julie Gerberding, in this case] and then stood idly by while they wrecked their agencies. Since this administration and the Republican party cares nothing about the mission of government but only about using it to privilege and enrich its friends it’s no surprise.

But it is a great tragedy. History will not be kind to them.

Is it any wonder that the US is falling behind in science?

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One Response to “Republicans: Raping The Public Trust For Private Profit At Our Expense”

  1. Charles said

    This is a repetition of history, PW. The US has never been strong on basic science, but foreign scientists have been drawn here by the freedom. In World War II, we were able to prevail in some measure because of immigrant scientists.

    The the McCarthy era came along and the US was no longer viewed as a great beacon of liberty. Charlie Chaplin’s exile to Europe (not that he was a scientist) made us the butt of ridicule.

    And then in the 1960s, with an opening up of society, science flourished.

    It wasn’t so much the politics of Reagan as the economics. The Reagan recession brought budgetary cuts that have never really been restored. Even in the Clinton years, commercial science did relatively well, but basic science was still receding. Scientists who were used to every grant receiving funding saw the ratio drop to one in three. Nowadays, some people experience a one in ten funding rate.

    The attractiveness of our country for scientists has significantly declined. This is especially true for Muslims, but also– what scientist would come to a place that claims evolution is a liberal myth?

    I don’t know where the people who are running this country imagine their policies are leading us, but it is in the direction of third world status, and not upward.

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