Bier de Stone ( wrote,
Bier de Stone

excerpt from Shock Doctrine

Page 296, Shock therapy in the U.S.A.

The first major victory of the Friedmanite counterrevolution in the US had been Ronald Reagan's attack on the air traffic controllers' union and his deregulation of the airlines. 20 years later, the entire air transit system had been privatized, deregulated and downsized, with the vast majority of airport security work performed by underpaid, poorly trained, nonunion contractors. After the attacks, the inspector general of the Dept. of Transportation testified that the airlines, which were responsible for security on their flights, had skimped significantly to keep costs down. The

counterpressures in turn manifested themselves as significant weaknesses in security,

he told the Bush-convened 9/11 Commission. A longtime Federal Aviation Authority security official testified before the commission that the airlines' approach to security was

decry, deny and delay.

On Sept 10, as long as flights were cheap and plentiful, none of that seemed to matter. But on Sept. 12, putting $6-an-hour contract workers in charge of airport security seemed reckless. Then, in October, envelopes with white powder were sent to lawmakers and journalists, spreading panic about the possibility of a major anthrax outbreak. Once again, nineties privatization looked very different in this new light: Why did a private lab have the exclusive right to produce the anthrax vaccine? Had the federal government signed away its responsibility to protect the public from a major public health emergency? It didn't help that Bioport, the privatized lab in question, had failed a series of inspections and that the FDA wasn't even authorizing it to distribute its vaccines at the time. Furthermore, if it was true, as media reports kept claiming, that anthrax, smallpox and other deadly agents could be spread through the mail, the food supply or the water systems, was it really such a good idea to be pushing ahead with Bush's plans to privatize the postal service? And what about all those laid-off food and water inspectors—could somebody bring them back?

Sounds like the question posed by the author is crying out for ideas. Considering my limited knowledge of chemistry and concocting mixed drinks, I would say these facts take a radical spin if white powder is replaced by the word "cocaine" and other deadly agents by "government sanctioned assassins". It is a touchy subject, I know. I should shut it, I know, but just look at all the cognitive remarks: It didn't help that Bioport, the privatized lab in question, had failed a series of inspections and that the FDA wasn't even authorizing it to distribute its vaccines at the time

That to me reads as Bioport was a methamphetamine cook that the FDA didn't recognize as a pharmaceutical.

Page 301, IBID

Through all its various name changes—the War on Terror, the war on radical Islam, the war against Islamofascism, the Third World War, the long war, the generational war—the basic shape of the conflict has remained unchanged. It is limited by neither time nor space nor target. From a military perspective, these sprawling and amorphous traits make the War on Terror an unwinnable proposition. But from an economic perspective, they make it an unbeatable one: not a flash–in–the–pan war that could potentially be won by a new and permanent fixture in the global economic architecture.

California is rumored to have many citizens protesting the war and wanting their state's hands washed from the blood spilling. It's hard not to wonder whether this isn't a religious war after all, with so many different slogans and pitches being worded by officials in the media. If there's any credibility to Naomi's perspective of a war being fought against unseen enemies, what does a ballot initiative for 2008 say if not "let's unite to strike a blow to the church." I'm old fashioned about rights to marry. I feel that allowing same sex marriage can warp ideals about traditional relationships, but I'm one to talk. I was beaten up in school one day because I was accused of being gay, get this, for brushing my hair with a hair brush. I would like to see the old bear flag republic flag† restored, or a honeybee added to it for the sake of the 'birds & the bees' analogy because, god knows, I didn't get that lecture when I reached puberty other than being handed a box of condoms.

Tags: books, politics

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