9/18/2007

CurBlog

N-BAF on parade
Elected leaders lather themselves in Homeland Security snake oil for shot at germ gem.



Hope for a rude democracy: Memorial HS student Angela Orosco
By Greg Harman

I hope you didn’t have anything to ask of the manager of the $450-million National Bio- & Agro-Defense Facility. Because, for shame, you weren’t there to ask it.
If you hadabeen, you likely would have fallen over massaging a madly inflamed indignation.
The sales event Sept. 11 was intended to be an informative session about the federal germ lab Homeland may want to dock in SA, however it was too soon usurped and transformed into a politico San Antonio infomercial.
“I know our state agencies are ready and willing to do anything to make this a reality,” Secretary of State Phil Wilson this week.
Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones, commenting that the Sept. 11 meeting date was an “auspicious date … for us to be talking about this” and promised to use all her political connections to make it happen.
Ciro Rodriguez wanted all to know that barracks to biowarfare is a “natural progression” for San Antonio “to keep us free from harm.”
Still, the parade of politicians rattled on about the greatness of San Anto and the great state of Tejas.
Our star of the hour, however, was Mr. Sen. Jeff Wentworth, who offered the state’s entire folio of domestic and wild animals up for national security’s sake.
“With the exception of camels, just about every animal that is susceptible to diseases that the N-BAF will research lives in Texas. Cattle, swine, deer, sheep, goats, buffalo, birds, snakes and bats all abound in Texas, and I’m sure we can even scare up a camel or two.”
As elected state and federal leaders were offering your children and “hogs, dogs, and frogs” to that bio-warfare wet dream, a single, sole, solitary child rose from the pew to ask the only truly significant question of the evening.
Memorial High School student Angela Orosco asked why nine other sites had been dropped from consideration. She got bureaucratic fudge in return.
We think it appropriate to offer her a more complete answer here:
Lack of fiscal incentives offered in Missouri killed that state’s chances; close proximity to an “urban center” (read: D.C.) was the reason Maryland officials received for the cut; and public protests in Wisconsin didn’t help matters up there.
Why would anyone protest what San Antonio’s leaders treat like the Holy Grail and capstone of a burgeoning bio-economy?
Beyond all the potential bio risks we’ve already raised elsewhere (check out Sunshine Project for recent Texas lab debacles), is 100,000 gallons of water per day worth at least talking about? None of the city or state conservation-minded thought so. And neither did your elected reps.
Now, here’s a fun game, think of your favorite lobbyist/polit burro and see if you can find them on this complete scoping meeting Roster of Boosters, as provided by U.S. Homeland Security. Happy hunting!

1. Bryan Alsip
2. Elizabeth Ames Jones
3. Jeff Barker
4. John Bruno
5. Jay Campion
6. Shannon Cantrell
7. David Casteel
8. Ramiro Cavazos
9. Mike Charlton
10. Henry Cisneros
11. Peter Conner
12. Henry Cuellar (presented by Sean Caporaletti as Representative Cuellar got called away from the meeting)
13. Thomas Cropper
14. Ed Davis
15. Eugene Dawson, Jr.
16. Melissa de la Garza
17. Allen Dehnert
18. Cheryl DiCarlo
19. Guy Dietrich
20. Jim Dublin
21. York Duncan
22. Jay Fraser
23. Jane Fritz
24. Robert Gracy
25. Neal Guentzel
26. Fernando Guerra
27. Howard Ham
28. Cyndy Hanson
29. Brian Herman
30. Mario Hernandez
31. Bob Hillman
32. Jonathan Huhn
33. George Irving
34. Tony Jaso
35. Marcel Johnson
36. Jeffrey Kantor
37. Melina Kinsey
38. Karl Klose
39. Thomas Kowalski
40. Ron Lehman
41. Linda Loomis
42. Lawson Magruder, III
43. Margaret Martin
44. David Marquez
45. David Maserang
46. William Miller
47. Mary Pat Moyer
48. Jean Patterson
49. Marcel Perret-Gentil
50. David Prichard
51. James Reed
52. Rick Rhodes
53. Ciro Rodriguez
54. Kenneth Shine
55. Robert Siddall
56. Clay Smith
57. Gary Stamp
58. Ann Stevens
59. Gregor Weber
60. Bill Welsh
61. Jeff Wentworth
62. Phil Wilson
63. Nelson Wolff
64. Xhavit Zogaj