Tuesday, September 05, 2006

L’État, c’est moi: environmental edition

Bush Declares Eco-Whistleblower Law Void for EPA Employees

The Bush administration has declared itself immune from whistleblower protections for federal workers under the Clean Water Act, according to legal documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). As a result of an opinion issued by a unit within the Office of the Attorney General, federal workers will have little protection from official retaliation for reporting water pollution enforcement breakdowns, manipulations of science or cleanup failures.

Citing an "unpublished opinion of the [Attorney General's] Office of Legal Counsel," the Secretary of Labor's Administrative Review Board has ruled federal employees may no longer pursue whistleblower claims under the Clean Water Act. The opinion invoked the ancient doctrine of sovereign immunity which is based on the old English legal maxim that "The King Can Do No Wrong." It is an absolute defense to any legal action unless the "sovereign" consents to be sued.

The opinion and the ruling reverse nearly two decades of precedent. Approximately 170,000 federal employees working within environmental agencies are affected by the loss of whistleblower rights.
This is of a piece with the warrantless NSA spying, the Presidential signing statements, and all the other manifestations of an Executive branch utterly contemptuous of any authority but its own.

I consider myself an environmentalist. I'm not pure in my lifestyle or my consumer choices, but I have made and continue to make efforts to make a difference regarding green issues. But this story encapsulates the reasons why I don't spend a lot of time writing about the need for political action on those specific issues: it just doesn't matter what environmental laws say, because these guys will ignore whatever they don't like. The only way to make meaningful progress on green issues is to drive these cretins out of office.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see that my comment on your previous post applies equally well here.

To sum up: work for any government and you must recite the bureaucrat's catechism each day on the way to work; to wait for any government to change in a significant way (elections change nothing, or hadn't you noticed?)is to be a frog.

To wit (thoughts on labor day)
Clearly, labor is SUPPOSED to consist of people about whom the Catholic church has said "give us a child until he's seven and he's ours for life." That is, people who have never really had a chance because they have been controlled since birth.

The real question is, in view of the idea that intellectuals are not only supposed to be able to think for themselves but to do it spontaneously (daily even), why is no one (apparently) asking the following question: What does the frog tell himself as the water temperature slowly rises?


8:05 PM  
Blogger Eric Soderstrom said...

I put this in the other thread...

TA - the frog thinks, "Ooohh - those bubbles feel kind of nice."

Incidentally, I cleaned out the filter of our spa (medical necessity - car accident. OK, 75% therapeutic, 25% fun) recently and pulled the skeletal remains of a small frog from the filter. I can't figure out how it got in there in the first place.

So I pose to you - why does the frog get in to the pot in the first place?

12:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because someone told him that any frog worth his slime has got a spa in the backyard.

Actually, its not how you live, its what you have to do to live that way (which includes living real close to lots of "security" people so that you can continue to live that way).


4:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally, perhaps you are not a frog. If you hear muttering in the morning, look in the mirror and see if your lips are moving. If they are, and you seem to be saying "It'll be ok. I just have to get through today/this week/this year," could be you are saying the workers' catechism without knowing it.


4:45 AM  

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