Posts Tagged “connecticut”
Water supplies in the US have been fluoridated for decades. It’s a great way to fight tooth decay. It also happens to be safe and effective, and this has been demonstrated repeatedly since the practice began. The science is in; the matter is settled; and it has been settled for years.
But that doesn’t mean there haven’t been wingnuts, cranks, lunatics and freaks wailing and fuming over it. “It’s a Commie plot!” was a common battle-cry against it, in the 50s, and the Communist conspiracy angle remained a popular facet of the anti-fluoridation movement.
The Cold War has been over for more than two decades, but that doesn’t mean opposition to fluoridation went away. No, it took on other angles. For example, some think it’s a Big Pharma conspiracy to stuff corporate coffers with ill-gotten booty at the expense of public health. That anti-fluoridators make their own profits being anti-fluoridators — selling books, hosting seminars, raking in speakers’ fees — doesn’t seem to matter much to their fans. They refuse to see the contradiction and will not admit their heroes are hypocrites.
Here in Connecticut, it seems anti-fluoridators have found a fan in Republican state Senator Joe Markley. The Hartford Courant reports he recently hosted a fake hearing in the state capitol to roll back a law mandating fluoridation in the Nutmeg State (WebCite cached article):
Saying the practice takes away the right of consumers to make medical choices and possibly inflicts serious harm on children, opponents of adding fluoride to public water argued Wednesday that a glass of water should contain water — and nothing else.
At an informal hearing at the state Capitol called by state Sen. Joe Markley, chemist Paul Connett called on state lawmakers to abolish the state’s flouridation law and forbid communities from putting additives in water supplies to improve public health.
“We should never use the public water supply to deliver medicine,” said Connett, a retired Dartmouth professor and leading fluoridation critic. “No doctor could do to us what the state of Connecticut is doing.”
I have to wonder if Connett is a member of the John Birch Society, since one of the pretenses upon which they opposed fluoridation was that it was an impermissible, involuntary, mass medical treatment.
At any rate, the Courant lays out the background behind Connecticut’s fluoridation mandate, and adds:
But Markley, a Republican from Southington, put forth legislation this year to abolish Connecticut’s policy, saying that it unfairly adds an extra expense to cash-strapped town budgets. The bill failed, but Markley said he’ll bring it back next year. On Wednesday, he said he wanted both sides of the fluoridation debate to make their case.
“As a principle, politically, I try to listen to everybody as much as possible,” Markley said. “I like to hear people who know what they’re talking about differ on a topic.”
Note Markley’s brazen appeal to the false debate (aka “teach the controversy”). What the senator doesn’t know — or perhaps he does know, and he’s just lying about it — is that there is no longer any “debate” about the safety or effectiveness of fluoridation. It is safe, and it is effective. Period. Markley’s suggestion that there is any remaining question about it, is disingenuous.
That article makes a point of mentioning that dentists had been invited, but did not come:
Connecticut State Dental Association President Mark Desrosiers said in an interview that his group had accepted an invitation from Markley. But they backed out when they heard Connett would be there.
The reason why dentists wouldn’t bother coming to Markley’s fake hearing starring Connett should be obvious. It’s the same reason that geophysicists don’t show up to meetings of the Flat Earth Society: There’s no point in going! They wouldn’t be welcome, their input isn’t wanted, and there’s nothing they could say that would have the slightest effect on any of the anti-fluoridators there.
Photo credit: Funny Demotivational Posters.
P.S. Watch the credentials here. Connett is a scientist, yes … but he’s a chemist, not a physician or dentist. Woops.
Tags: appeal to debate
, conspiracy theory
, false appeal to debate
, false debate
, hartford ct
, joe markley
, paul connett
, public water
, water fluoridation
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Note: There’s some recent news about the subject of this blog post. See below for more information.
I’m guessing most of you have no idea who Martha Dean is, not even those of you who live in my home state of Connecticut, where she also lives. Ordinarily, I’d have provided a link to her bio on some reference site like Answers.Com — but she’s not even well-known enough for that. That said, she’s hardly a nobody. She was the Republican nominee for Connecticut state Attorney General in 2002 and again in 2010.
Ms Dean is a gun-rights advocate and Republican activist, and one who’s not exactly all together upstairs. For example, while running for A.G. in 2010 she advocated mandatory gun training for all school children in Connecticut (cached) (just the liability insurance alone would make this cost-prohibitive for nearly every school district … but that didn’t matter to her, despite the fact that she’s a lawyer and surely had to have realized it).
Well, this shifty character managed to step in it a few days ago, when — as the Litchfield County Times reports — she posted a link to a “Newtown Truther” conspiracy video on her Facebook wall (WebCite cached article):
Republican legislative leaders have asked former GOP attorney general candidate Martha Dean to take down a link on her Facebook page to a conspiracy video that calls the massacre of schoolchildren in Newtown a “hoax.”
Put together by One Truth 4 Life, the 24-minute video, combines the early confusing reports out of Newtown when police were looking for a second shooter and comments from others at the scene to ultimately conclude that “this was a total hoax. There are just a bunch of people walking around a movie set.”
“Oh my God. It is just vile. It is beyond me how someone would post this, particularly a standard-bearer for any political party. It is such a disgraceful video,” said House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero. He said he couldn’t understand why anyone would call attention to this material.
Larry may profess not understand the reason, but I do: It’s because Martha long ago drank the NRA’s paranoiac Kool-Aid and believes this was all contrived by the Obama administration to take away her precious guns. (Really, Larry, you already know this, too, and don’t need me to tell you. It’d have been better for you just to admit your co-Republican is a lunatic nutcase that no one should listen to and who had no business being on your party’s ballot twice in 8 years. But you haven’t the courage to say it. More’s the pity.)
Ms Dean apparently wasn’t unaffected by the fallout:
When reached Thursday, Dean read from a new post she put on Facebook on the criticism.
“We all love kids and we all mourn the tragic loss of school staff and children at Newtown, but we must never fear asking questions — or posting questions asked by others,” it read. She said she didn’t plan to comment further.
Except, that turns out to have been a lie. Today she had plenty of comment on it … when, as the Hartford Courant reports, she appeared this afternoon on the WTIC-AM radio show of convicted felon and ex-governor John Rowland (cached):
In an extraordinary radio interview [cached] that aired Wednesday afternoon, former Republican Gov. John Rowland, now host of a drive-time talk show on WTIC, relentlessly grilled Martha Dean, the former Republican nominee for attorney general who had posted a Sandy Hook truther video on her Facebook page [cached].
The exchange, which took up most of the 5 o’clock hour, touched on an array of topics, from the Lusitania to Benghazi to Susan Smith. …
“People want to know why you posted the video on your Facebook for Facebook followers,” Rowland asked. “What was the purpose, what was the point? What were you trying to prove, what are the questions that you’d think that people need to bring up in Connecticut..that’s what people want to know.” …
Dean said she uses her Facebook page as a forum for ideas, some of which she agrees with and some of which she doesn’t.
But Dean also say repeatedly that the video “raises questions” about the narrative that unfolded on Dec. 14. Among the questions she cited: How did shooter Adam Lanza get into the school? (He shot his way in [cached].)
The whole “there are questions, therefore my insane theory must be true” rationale is absurd on its face. Of course there are questions about what happened during the Newtown massacre. Dozens of them. I’ve asked some of those questions, myself. I will state very clearly, I find the Connecticut State Police — who’ve controlled the investigation — have been slippery and evasive where it’s concerned, to the point of even being dishonest about it (e.g. saying they discovered evidence of a motive for the massacre, yet continuing to say they have no idea what the motive could have been). However, that’s no reason to presume some insane conspiratorial hypothesis, nor is it good reason to post a video insulting to the victims of the Newtown massacre. The “people have questions” thing has been used to justify any number of crazy or hateful notions. One example is Holocaust denial; some Holocaust deniers predicate their objections on the question of just how many Jews were killed by the Nazis, as though if the number were “only,” say, 1 million instead of, say, 7 million, it means there couldn’t have been any genocide. That, of course, is laughable and asinine. What Martha is doing here isn’t so very different.
Based on the Courant‘s account of Rowland’s takedown of Ms Dean, I almost wish I were one of Rowland’s listeners. But it will take a lot more than just this to get me to listen to that felonious windbag.
At any rate, Martha’s fans within Connecticut’s extreme Right wing (which does exist in spite of this being a very “blue” state) and among NRA activists will, no doubt, laud her for her “courage” and praise her for having “asked questions” they think no one else has dared ask (even though lots of people, including myself, have done so). In other words, she’s already impressed everyone she’d hoped to impress with her little stunt. Nothing she says afterward, and nothing anyone else says about her, can change it. That John Rowland, Larry Cafero, or anyone else — even if they’re Republicans — disapproves of her maneuver, doesn’t matter one iota to her or to her supporters. She’s hooked them, and the barb has sunk in. And she’ll laugh all the way to the bank, especially if she decides to run for statewide office again in 2014.
P.S. I have no idea what Susan Smith has to do with this. I can only imagine what Martha thinks her link is to the Newtown massacre. I don’t even want to know … !
Update: The paranoiac, gun-toting Martha Dean announced she’s running for governor of Connecticut in 2016 (cached).
Photo credit: Motifake.
, john rowland
, larry cafero
, lawrence cafero
, martha dean
, newtown hoax
, newtown massacre
, newtown truth
, newtown truther
, newtown truthers
, one truth 4 life
, sandy hook elementary school
, sandy hook elementary school shooting
, sandy hook hoax
, sandy hook truth
, sandy hook truther
, sandy hook truthers
13 Comments »
I blogged some time ago about Germany addressing its witch-hunting past. A similar effort has been underway here in my home state of Connecticut, which had a couple surges of witch-hunts several decades prior to the now-much-more-famous witch-hunts in Salem, MA (WebCite cached version). One would think that, in the 21st century and in a “blue state,” the powers-that-be would at least be willing to entertain the idea that the witches killed by the Connecticut colony in the 17th century just might have been the victimes of an injustice.
Efforts to rehabilitate Connecticut’s witches started back in ’05 or ’06. An early result was this research report by legislative staff (cached). Such efforts were generally resisted by the General Assembly and the state bureaucracy. Nevertheless, advocates for making things right continue to plug away, as Hartford FAVS reports (cached):
At 82, Bernice Mable Graham Telian doubts she’ll live long enough to see the name of her seventh grandmother and ten others hanged in Colonial Connecticut for witchcraft cleared. …
In 2008, Telian wrote to Connecticut lawmakers when a resolution was introduced in the General Assembly to acknowledge the witch trials. Lawmakers heard testimony from descendants of executed witches and historians, but the measure died. There was even an earlier effort to get the victims pardoned, but the state board of Pardons and Parole said it doesn’t grant posthumous pardons.
Now members of the Connecticut Wiccan & Pagan Network are pushing Gov. Dannel Malloy to sign a proclamation to clear the names of the victims. Supporters are asked to send Malloy a postcard that reads: I am a Pagan/Witch and I vote. Clear the names of Connecticut’s eleven accused and executed witches.
Connecticut lawmakers and bureaucrats have had many excuses for why they refused to act on this over the last 6 or 7 years. Chief among them is the belief that it will set a precedent that would somehow bring on hundreds of lawsuits by people trying to posthumously clear their ancestors. The request for a proclamation rather than a pardon, though, gets around that:
Anthony Griego, who is heading the effort, said the proclamation is non-binding and doesn’t open up the door for lawsuits.
I expect even this namby-pamby, nowhere-near-a-real-exoneration of Connecticut’s witches to meet continued resistance by state government. It’s not viewed as a priority, and it’s thought of as something from the deep dark past with no importance. The state’s Right wing is particularly resistant to doing anything, as seen — for example — in this 2008 editorial in the New Haven Register:
Connecticut does not grant posthumous pardons for those convicted of crimes. That includes those hanged as witches in the 17th century. Instead, the legislature’s Judiciary Committee is considering a resolution denouncing the state’s witch trials as shocking. Of course, they are shocking to a modern sensibility. Equally telling, however, is the 21st century urge to find current victims of ancient miscarriages of justice. …
The legislature’s venture into the state’s earliest history suggests some of the foolishness of our passing judgment on a far different time. In the 17th century, evil and the devil were considered real.
This editorial, then, pans the idea of pardoning Connecticut’s witches as a (presumably Lefist) effort to “find more victims” to help, and it excuses Connecticut’s witch trials as normal and acceptable for the time in which they occurred. Unfortunately, they were not “normal”; witch trials in the American colonies were actually not very common at all — this is why they’re so remarkable and seem so egregious (at the time they occurred, and even more since). Furthermore, it was immoral then and it remains immoral now, even though Christian witch-hunts continue to happen in other parts of the world. The Register editorial also smacks a little bit of the Tea Partiers in Tennessee who demand that schools there not teach that some of the Founding Fathers owned slaves because, quite simply, they don’t want to hear about it any more. Sheesh!
The real point, here, as far as I’m concerned, is: How can Americans dare tell people in other parts of the world to stop their witch-hunts, if they aren’t also willing to go on the record and state, clearly and unequivocally, that the witch-hunts in our own past were reprehensible and wrong? What’s more, an injustice is still an injustice, even if it happened in the past and everyone involved is long dead. Admitting past injustices is a way of preventing them in the future. And what, exactly, is the point of refusing to admit that injustices happened, when everyone fucking well knows they did? Mature adults can handle such an admission. So let’s just get it done already, fercryinoutloud!
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.
, nutmeg state
, posthumous pardon
, posthumous pardons
, wethersfield CT
, wethersfield witch trials
, windsor CT
, windsor witch trials
, witch scare
, witch trial
, witch trials
2 Comments »
Note: A minor update on the CT-5 primaries is below.
With primaries underway for both parties in Connecticut’s hotly contested 5th Congressional District, it almost goes without saying that the Republican candidates are falling all over themselves trying to present themselves as dutifully sanctimonious Rightists. They’ve been advertising themselves as “job creators” and as wanting to promote “freedom” (even though, if any of them are elected to Congress, they will never hire anyone, and will only reduce people’s freedom rather than enhance it). They’ve mostly steered clear of religion, but I knew it wouldn’t be long before their urge to express their piety and sanctity would overpower them. The Hartford Courant reports that the first of them to do this, is Mark Greenberg (WebCite cached article):
Republican congressional candidate Mark Greenberg questioned whether Islam was a peaceful religion Thursday and said he believed it was “a cult in many respects.”
His remarks were made in a radio interview on WNPR’s “Where We Live” program. …
When [host John] Dankosky asked Greenberg if people who don’t share those beliefs also change the country and help make it great, Greenberg said, “perhaps, to a certain extent” and went on to talk about aspects related to the religion that he found objectionable. For example, he said he doesn’t believe a mosque should be built near Ground Zero in New York City, and he questioned whether Islam was a religion of peace. …
“I think it’s more a blueprint for living one’s life — a cult in many respects,” he said of Islam. “It’s a religion, but it’s also a way of living.”
Although agreeing with Dankosky that Judaism and Christianity are also ways of living, Greenberg said there is a difference.
“Judaism and Christianity are very peaceful religions,” he said. “I think they are more peaceful than Islam.”
First, I need to begin by commenting that the word “cult” has more or less become useless. It’s a pejorative term, a label slapped on any other religion one happens to dislike. The word itself has long since lost any specific meaning. That Greenberg used it of Islam, just tells me he doesn’t like Islam — it doesn’t mean anything else.
Second, his claim that Islam is not a “religion of peace” but Judaism and Christianity are, is absurd on its face. All three religions have violent pasts and they have adherents willing to resort to violence in the names of their faiths. The scriptures revered by Judaism and Christianity are chock full of violence. Some of that violence was supposedly committed by God himself, and the rest was done by his human followers. Those revered texts tell of the many bloody wars Israel supposedly fought while it was a tribal confederation and then a kingdom, including massacres and genocides. Christians have marched to war in the name of their god Jesus and took part in atrocities of their own. As recently as the late 20th century, Catholics and Protestants in Ireland were killing each other to prove which church was more Christlike. Christians have even engaged in terror campaigns of their own. And modern Judaism isn’t free of the stain of violence either; they are one side of a decades-old conflict in the Middle East, and there are some violent extremists among Jews, too.
As far as I’m concerned, any religion that carries an entitlement to impose itself on other human beings and on reality, can lead to violence in some of its adherents. That’s as true of Islam as it is of Christianity, Judaism, and a whole host of others.
I’m dreading this primary season here in the Nutmeg State. I’m sure things are going to get even weirder, very soon (the primaries are less than a month away).
Update: Things have, indeed, ramped up a bit in the twin primaries for CT’s 5th District, as I predicted they would. Dankosky’s interview with Greenberg was part of a series of planned interviews with all of the CT-5 candidates from both parties. It turns out, as the Torrington Register-Citizen reports (cached), none of the rest of them did any better than Greenberg — and one declined the interview out of fear of being asked a question she’s successfully avoided answering. The 5th District is doomed, folks … not one of these slippery creatures deserves a place in Congress, however, one of them is guaranteed to end up there. Ouch.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Tags: 2012 campaign
, 2012 election
, 2012 elections
, connecticut 5th district
, ct 5
, mark greenberg
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It took over two years, but the town of Enfield here in Connecticut finally resolved a lawsuit it brought on itself by holding its high school graduation in churches. The Hartford Courant reports on the settlement (WebCite cached article):
In a 6-3 vote, the school board decided Wednesday night to accept a settlement of a lawsuit filed by the ACLU over the school system’s practice of holding high school graduation ceremonies in a church.
The American Civil Liberties Union and another group, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, filed the suit two years ago after the school board decided to hold graduation ceremonies for both Enfield High School and Enrico Fermi High School at First Cathedral in Bloomfield.
I’d blogged about this conflict, back when it erupted in spring of 2010. At the time litigation over this began, various Christianist legal outfits had promised the town and its Board of Education that they’d pay the legal fees, thus encouraging them to defend the lawsuit despite having no chance of prevailing. But I note, in the end, these promises proved bogus, because none of those groups are paying a dime:
The school board’s insurance provider, the Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency, will cover the cost of the settlement up to $470,000, Superintendent Jeffrey Schumann said. The exact dollar amount of the settlement was not revealed.
I wonder if their Jesus taught these guys not to keep their word?
The Courant article includes the expected childish whining and bellyaching on the part of Christianists, both on the Board and in the town, who don’t like the vote and call the ACLU and AU “bullies.” Well … boo fucking hoo, you crybabies! What you were doing was unconstitutional, and you know it. If you had any integrity in the first place, you’d realize that, and would now show the courage to admit having been wrong. But you won’t, because you have no courage; you’re just juvenile religionists who can’t help but stamp and fume when someone dares thwart you.
Photo credit: Hartford Courant.
, american civil liberties union
, bloomfield CT
, enfield board of education
, enfield CT
, enfield public schools
, first cathedral
, graduation ceremony
, high school graduation
, public school
, public schools
, Separation of church and state
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Like so many other media outlets, the folks at WTIC-TV in Hartford seem to have run out of material to fill their nightly news, to the point that they ran a story on exorcisms in my home state of Connecticut. I’ll grant the Nutmeg State has some history in that regard. It’s home to the famous ghost-hunters, the Warrens (Lorraine and her late husband Ed). The famous “demon murder trial” took place here in the 1980s. It was the setting of the 2009 movie The Haunting in Connecticut. Famously haunted places in Connecticut include the abandoned hamlet of Dudleytown, the defunct Norwich State Hospital, Union Cemetery in Easton, and Pettibone’s Tavern (now Abigail’s Grill) … just to name a few.
In their effort to pursue the “hauntings as news” motif I’ve blogged about so many times already, the folks at WTIC-TV ran this story on a paranormal-investigation group and one of their recent cases (WebCite cached version). Unfortunately this is a video report only, and there doesn’t seem to be any way for me to embed it here … so you’ll have to click on the link in order to see it.
They report — uncritically — that a “spiritual battle” is underway, and that “in recent years, it has intensified.” The group they follow is called Connecticut Spirit Investigators, and the reporter cites its claimed 40-year history as a way to grant the group credibility. The group’s high-tech equipment is also on display. What is never explained, is precisely how the group “knows” that a stray magnetic field or a cold spot in a room can only be caused by a ghost, spook, spirit, demon or devil, and can’t possibly have any mundane explanation. They also seem to think weird noises coming from their so-called “ghost box” are proof that supernatural entities lurk at a place; I think it’s proof only that these folks have deluded themselves.
The reporter also claims the group’s “investigation” (if one could call what they do “investigating”) led to an exorcism being performed by a “Bishop McKenna” who’d also exorcised demons in the famous Amityille Horror case. The reporter may have considered this impressive, but I don’t. The famous Amityville, NY haunting turned out to have been a hoax (cached)! Also, the “bishop” in question would have to be Robert McKenna, whose consecration as bishop is suspect, and who in any event is a schismatic (he claims the popes after Pius XII have all been illegitimate); it’s extremely unlikely that McKenna has ever received official approval to perform any exorcisms.
The reporter also brings in another evangelist for ghost-hunting, Fr Bob Bailey from Rhode Island (who’s also appeared on the show Paranormal State). Fr Bailey pontificates on the eternal “cosmic struggle” mentioned at the beginning of the piece, as though he’s an authority on the subject, and not a paid hack who makes money making such claims.
The reporter ends the piece by stating that none of the region’s diocesan offices would discuss the matter, and referred the station directly to the Vatican. That also didn’t go anywhere, apparently. And that’s no surprise … the Catholic Church doesn’t really talk about exorcism — at least, not officially.
At no time during this piece was there even the slightest hint that the interviewees’ claims were anything less than 100% true. At no time does the reporter point out that there is not one iota of objective evidence of the existence of ghosts, demons, poltergeists, devils, souls, Satan, haunted houses, possessions, or the slightest veracity for any of the “paranormal investigators'” antics. At no time does the viewer hear that there’s no objective evidence that any “spiritual battle” is going on at all, much less any evidence offered that it has “intensified in recent years.” At no time did the reporter ask any probing questions, such as “How does any of your equipment prove there’s a ghost or demon here?” There’s nothing about this story that suggests it’s anything other than a puff-piece on CT Spirit Investigators.
I guess this is what passes for 21st century journalism. Unfortunately.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Tags: amityville hoax
, amityville horror
, amityville horror hoax
, bishop robert mckenna
, connecticut spirit investigators
, ct spirit investigators
, demonic possession
, diabolical possession
, fox 61
, fr bob bailey
, fr robert bailey
, hartford ct
, haunted house
, haunted journalism
, journalism fail
, lazy journalism
, paranormal state
, robert mckenna
6 Comments »
Although I mostly focus on religious issues in this blog, I try to think critically about lots of things, all the time. Human beings are incredibly irrational and overemotional over a lot of things, not just religion. One of the things that doesn’t take too much “critical thinking” to realize is a fucking joke, is the absurd “security theater” debacles that crop up all over the country, from time to time. I have blogged about the joke that is TSA, but the full-blown ten-alarm freak-outs that happen go beyond the Homeland Security Dept. or even the federal authorities more generally.
In the last few days, Connecticut has been host to a rash of ridiculous overreactions. A week ago a white powder was reported found at a Meriden courthouse (WebCite cached article). A few days later, a white powder was found at a school in Enfield, and a lockdown ensued (cached). And a white powder arrived at schools in Newington and Madison, today (cached).
I honestly question the official reactions to all of these events. Sure, these things all “might have” turned out to be serious. Those mysterious “white powders” certainly could have been pathogenic or toxic agents that “might” have sickened or killed people.
But in all of these cases — and in many others that I could have listed here, but didn’t bother to — they weren’t. Officials were right to test the powders to find out if they were dangerous … but it turns out, they were harmless. (Curiously, even after testing, we seem never to be told what these things actually turned out to have been. Hmm.)
I seriously question the wisdom of “locking down” a school where a “white powder” has been found. Is it really that great of an idea to lock children into the very same building in which a substance one initially assumes to be dangerous was found? Really!? Somehow I don’t think so. Call me crazy, but I would think you’d want them outside that building, and as far from it as you could get them — if, that is, you truly believed that the mysterious white powder had the potential to kill them.
Also I seriously question the wisdom of closing a courthouse for a day … after it was found that a mysterious white powder was determined not to have been dangerous. What is the point of that? There was never any danger, hence, there’s no reason to continue acting as though there had been one. Grown adults are capable of pulling on their “big boy pants” (or “big girl pants,” as the case may be) and getting back to fucking work, once they realized they’d been hoaxed.
And that, of course, is what this is about. Officials can’t — or won’t — admit they’ve been fooled by things like this. They want us to know they’re “protecting” us; the only way to do that is for them to act as though everything weird that happens is an apocalypse-in-the-making. When they end up with egg on their faces, they can’t just admit they were swindled; they have to behave as though the danger remained — even though they (and we!) damned well know there never had been one in the first place.
I know the old mantra of the “security theater” perpetrators is, “But when something like this happens, we don’t know it’s not serious, so we have to act as though it is!” To that I say, bull-fucking-shit. It takes minutes for someone to come in and test a mysterious white powder to see if it’s dangerous. If it’s inert, the problem is over; vacuum up the shit and let everyone get back to their lives. Why lock down an entire building, over a little bit of white powder inside one room? Why close a building for a full day, after you realize you’ve been swindled? Why the overreaction? Why the tantrum? Why the absurd dance of bullshit that goes on around these things?
I’ll tell you why: Because otherwise, people won’t be aware of our “security officials,” and they won’t have any way to exercise the power they possess. They do this sort of thing, in short, because they can, and because none of us can say boo to them about it while it’s going on. Really, it’s all very juvenile — but no one in authority will ever admit it.
Update: The rocket scientists in charge of these white powder freak-outs, are still freaking out — even after any danger has been ruled out. Some of the schools affected will remain closed for the rest of the week — even though the powder has proven harmless (cached). Why? I have no idea. I can only assume it’s in order to maximize hysteria and inconvenience in those communities.
Photo credit: PsiCop original.
, anthrax hoax
, anthrax prank
, anthrax scare
, enfield CT
, freak out
, freak outs
, freaking out
, homeland security
, madison CT
, meriden CT
, mysterious white powder
, newington CT
, security theater
, white powder
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