"Academic research and scientists in this country are no longer deserving of the public trust," declared Marc Edwards, the Virginia Tech civil engineering professor who helped expose the Flint water crisis.
Professor, if Bernie wins, he should hire you. Thank you for your work and for taking a public stand against the degraded state of our scientific (sic) community.
It's just as bad in the social sciences, too, and for the same reasons.
so few public intellectuals being trained these days, that when the last of the old buzzards go, we're not going to hear very much from the PhD crowd that doesn't involve pimping capitalism and corporatism.
My long dream was to become a working professor, but by the time I managed to arrive with my training, the academy was well beyond my limit of ethical toleration. I just couldn't join up for life.
The age of the "street scholar" or "samurai scholar" is definitely here.
I wish the professor could cite studies that address federal funding in universities for both BASIC and APPLIED research. I do know that since the 60s-70s corporations and foundations have increasingly provided funding with claims to patent and other rights over anything produced in university departments that might have product and market values/advantage.
The privatization of university research seemed to reached tsunami stage under Reagan and rolled over into ways and means for rationalizations for countless public services, now 'for profit', utterly skewing the motivations for basic science.
pressures put on academics to secure funding are forcing scientists to abandon work done in the public interest and that similar financial motives are causing government science agencies to ignore inconvenient truths—like high levels of lead in public drinking water.
This is an important point. Another article today bemoans the lack of an antiwar movement. Part of the explanation can be found in the author's quote above.
How many towns, universities, businesses, etc. rely on federal funds or federal privileges?
How many Americans enjoy the discounts of a base PX, or the good pay working in a "defense" job?
Money buys silence, and nowhere is this more true than in the case of the truth about September 11.
Rocking the boat is seen to be not only pointless but personally risky, and with good reason. It is easier to go along to get along.
What has happened is a kind of mob rule, since Sept. 11.
The roar of the warmongers, who must believe or pretend to believe the whole 9/11 fraud, is violent in its nature and has easily shouted down the more gentle, though not necessarily less brave, voices for peace.
Only the truth about Sept. 11, presented in incontrovertible manner, can provide the necessary shock of betrayal that might can turn the minds of those hordes of war supporters in the direction of light and towards peace.
But it is so much simpler and easier, in the short run, to just contnue making the bullets or the handiwypes for the war machine, since the pay and benefits are hard to beat- and who would want to go back to paying retail if they can shop at base stores and get lower prices? And who would want to go against thir local church, which, unless it were one of the rare exceptions, also led cheers to go to war?
Most Americans don't have the time or inclination to look into complex isues. The majority bought the official story, and that kept their lives more stable because it gave all the benefits of being a team player.
Whatever inner rationalizations or justifications are, in each individual, to vindicate himself for his emotional and vocal (at the very least) support of the post-9/11 warmaking, the result has been a sea of fixed minds, and not limited to conservatives- far from it.
The official 9/11 myth took on the charcter and authority, quite early on, of an article of faith- or an Article of the Constitution, almost: that is to say, it was deeply taken to heart in a way similar to the emotional metamorphosis of a sudden religious conversion.
The myth even took on the character of everyday articles of faith such as "the sun comes up in the East".
The myth became a religion of its own, with adherents no less fanatical than any ancient desert assassin or child-beating evangelist. The myth attracted and held both types, and a host of other ne'er-do-wells, bullies, liars and fiends (assuming David Icke is wrong, that is, and the warmongers are in fact human and not reptilians. I subscribe to the human theory.)
Human, the warmakers are, and all of their helpers, yes; but humans sold out, a little or a lot or altogether, to evil of various types; people in the exact position of old Jabez Stone contracting with the Devil; people who in the words of their own professed scripture are "sowing the wind" and who will, though they pretend it won't happen, "reap the whirlwind".
I don't think karma is confined to a single life, but if it is, their karma will be fulfilled somehow.
It may not be in any form we would recognize- but somehow, surely, some force must work, to balance out the evil done, or purify the dark souls who willingly did such evil.
It has often been said that evil is banal. This banality aids greatly in the acceptance of varying levels of perceived evil, which every human being is willing to tolerate in some amount great or small.
The warmongers are also you and I, but in a turned direction, or affected by a kind of blindness; I am grateful that in the luck of the draw I was a person who loves peace and love more than violence and war.
But that good fortune, well, it could have easily been the opposite, and I might have been born a Hitler, and thought I was right then, too.
So it's best not to rush to judgement, and best not to judge with anger or prejudice, even when judging the war makers, for "There but for fortune go I".
Sorry, got off-topic, but you know, the head bone is connected to the knee bone, so it's not completely irrelevant to the topic.
P.S. Elsewhere, I recently read a brilliant comment:
"The Axis of Evil has got nothing on the Axis of See-No-Evil."
That could be an epitaph for our times.
The good professor should hang in there because a change in the mindset in this country is on the way with Bernie. It isn't that Bernie will do everything all by himself but that dumbing down and suppressing of innovation will begin to change. Also the criticism of corporate and oligarchy powers that be will become a standard in a Sanders administration.
Hang in there Prof. Edwards... we still have a chance to fix what is broken in this country's soul and ... mindset.
"Drone" is on Netflix now. Starts off meandering, but gets down to it. Highly recommend. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson is in there.
Another 'hidden' crisis is the lead levels in basically any older major city in the US.
The legacy costs have been well known for years, decades. We have known of the effects of lead for kids brains for nearly 30 years. All the older cities have the lead legacy. It's in the houses and buildings of older structures and the land.
The Detroit Free Press did an excellent series about the lead legacy about 5 years ago, finding that upwards of 60% of the land in Detroit had lead. This was caused by decades of smokestack pollution and our decades of leaded gas and non-existent tailpipe pollution controls, as well as leaded paints in homes.
Studies have found that it is in the warmer months when kids are outside, that the levels of lead increase in our youths bodies.
Flint IS a wake-up call. Unless our states, our nation want to continue to make kids from older urban cities STUPID by not dealing with the lead, then at this point, I have to say any inaction is simply racial hatred. IGNORANCE is no longer an excuse!
Thanks! I was still editing mistakes until a minute ago...
Don't fall into that trap. While it is certainly true that minorities suffer more abuse and neglect from the elites who govern etc, if you look at poor communities of ANY color, you will see the same neglect and abuse.
It is the money honey...or lack thereof. If you are poor (and many more poor are minorities) then you get the short end. The wrong side of the tracks these days turns out to be more like living in the poor neighborhood next to where they are putting the toxic dump.
It is the lack of money that is part of the hatred for the poor that is characteristic of our culture. If you are poor... you get f'ked big time whatever your color.
Nevertheless, minorities also have to deal with racism too.
Reference the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, passed just as Reagan was entering the White House, which allowed the privatization, trademarking, and patenting of inventions that result from federally-funded public research. From the Wikipedia article:
"The key change made by Bayh–Dole was in ownership of inventions made with federal funding. Before the Bayh–Dole Act, federal research funding contracts and grants obligated inventors (where ever they worked) to assign inventions they made using federal funding to the federal government. Bayh–Dole permits a university, small business, or non-profit institution to elect to pursue ownership of an invention in preference to the government."
Corruption of government has reached epidemic and deadly proportions - the bottom-line deemed more relevant that oaths of office and protecting the public health and welfare or common environment. The revolving-door between business/corporate pirates and public "regulatory" agencies is out of all control, big-money having been elevated to a holy quest.
Government is constituted to protect the public, not protect and shill for corporate greed! Safety standards are consistently being lowered, testing of potentially deadly chemicals, pharmaceutical poisons, household products, food products and water quality, lowered to be meaningless, profits above all. The perpetrators use a malleable public as a steady supply of cash, wealth, and both our "regulatory" and prosecutorial branches of government have been near totally corrupted by big-money pressure including academic funding and Congress via campaign-contribution bribes.
You are giving us a whole new definition of "pollyannish".
Didn't people say the same thing about Obama?
You forgot to mention the plumbing. Lead solder is in the plumbing of every house built earlier than 1988. That is where nearly all the lead in tap water is coming from.
The cost to abate it - tearing out and replacing the pipes in almost every house and building in the US, would be huge - although some kind thermoset plastic slip-lining of the pipes might make the cost a lot lower.
YOU ARE ON IT!!
A excellent wikipedia posting. Reading for the evening is now scheduled. Thank you Webwalk
Ultimately not off topic at all. You simply introduce some perspective on the breadth of the problem and a spirited argument for integrity and some of what that struggle for integrity entails.
I say Essay On!
Professor Edwards has shown great courage, and in doing so has saved countless children from brain damage due to lead poisoning. He is so right about greed killing public science. I see evidence of that here in Washington State. We do need to be paying attention and demanding better from our civil servants.
I'd say the waking up and smelling the coffee can be a new morning routine in countless lives. Whatever distortions there are, providing clarity on the fight to picked is also part of every social critter and group. The good Doc spoke up and its our task to carry the ball. HIKE!!
This is what happens when you cut government education funding to the bone and then schools have to get private funding.