I saw — and felt — more of the chilly, cloudy, windy wee hours than I really wanted to when Koko twice woke me in the night so she could go outside and eat grass.
She was still stopping frequently to nibble grass alongside the road, but not, of course, in the places where Round-up had been sprayed, when we ran into farmer Jerry on his way to work this morning. He was a little bit grumpy because equipment problems had kept from accomplishing all he wanted on his farm over the weekend.
“I was born in the wrong century,” he said, and I understood what he meant.
They’re always inventing more stuff that’s supposed to save us time, labor and money, and then we devote untold amounts of time, labor and money first getting it to work and then keeping it running — until the next new invention comes along to render it obsolete.
I was reminded of that when I saw a report about test flights of the “Terrafugia Transition,” a two-seater car that turns into a plane and can travel 450 miles at speeds of 115 mph. Oh, great, just as they’re talking about increasing fuel-economy standards for cars, scientists come up with a new way to burn more fuel. As company CEO Carl Dietrich noted: "This breakthrough changes the world of personal mobility."
Ummm, yeah, for the upwardly mobile, anyway. At $194,000, only the super rich will have this opportunity to waste even more resources.
That’s one problem with scientists. A lot of times they just want to make/do stuff to see if they can, without thinking about the consequences. Or other times they do think about it, but proceed anyway, because no one holds them accountable.
You know, kind of like the Bush Administration officials who sanctioned torture. Except for now six of them are being investigated by the Spanish courts for their dirty deeds. As the New York Times reports:
A Spanish court has taken the first steps toward opening a criminal investigation into allegations that six former high-level Bush administration officials violated international law by providing the legal framework to justify the torture of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, an official close to the case said.
The case, against former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and others, was sent to the prosecutor’s office for review by Baltasar Garzón, the crusading investigative judge who ordered the arrest of the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. The official said that it was “highly probable” that the case would go forward and that it could lead to arrest warrants.
The article goes on to report that some American legal experts are saying the warrants could be more symbolic than practical and would not lead to arrests if the officials do not leave the U.S.
That very well may be, but it doesn’t change the underlying issue, which is accountability among, gasp, attorneys:
But Mr. [Gonzalo] Boye [the Madrid lawyer] said that lawyers should be held accountable for the effects of their work. Noting that the association he represents includes many lawyers, he said: “This is a case from lawyers against lawyers. Our profession does not allow us to misuse our legal knowledge to create a pseudo-legal frame to justify, stimulate and cover up torture.”
Go Spain! But don’t just stop with those six. Let’s bring in Rumsfield, Bush and Cheney, too.
While we’re on the topic of dirty deeds, though of a lesser scale than torture, a letter circulated by kanaka maoli scholars protesting the desecration of burials at Naue received one noteworthy response, and that was from John D'Amario. He works for Joseph Brescia, who is building the house atop the oceanfront burials, at a California company called Architectural Glass & Aluminum, where Brescia is listed on the website as CEO. In describing AGA, the website notes:
Its single foundational block is INTEGRITY. A very simple value.
That value seemed to be missing, however, in a March 25 email that D’Amario sent to Professor Kehaulani Kauanui at Wesleyan University, who was listed as the contact on the kanaka scholars letter. He wrote simply:
So how do you know that the people buried out there weren't assholes??