The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
Superman, Everyman
Monday, May 21th, 2007
The Nossiter Net is cast  to snare some of  the riper rascalities of the day.  Comments?
President Bush wants to appoint Michael Baroody to head the Consumer Product Safety Commission.  Michael Baroody is the chief lobbyist for the National Association of Manufacturers, the people who make the goods the Consumer Product Safety Commission is supposed to regulate. Some legislators are saying this is akin to putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

Which is like saying that just because Vice President Cheney ran a big defense and oil services company, the government for the past six years has pursued policies that benefit those two industries.  True, fighting a gratuitous war of choice in the Middle East has had the effect of driving up oil prices and oil industry profits.  Equally true, defense contractors have feasted on hundreds of billions of dollars of government business generated by the Iraq war.  And yes, if you’d invested in Halliburton stock at its low point in the summer of ’02, you’d have enjoyed a return of 643% at today’s price.  But these were all unintended consequences of the administration’s forward strategy for freedom in the Middle East.

It’s as though the Alberto Gonzales Justice Department has turned into a political tool of the Bush administration just because Attorney General Gonzales has always been a political tool of George W. Bush.  Perhaps Texas Governor Bush’s then general counsel Gonzales did arrange for his boss to be excused from jury duty in a drunk driving case back in ‘96.  True, George W. himself was convicted of a drunk driving misdemeanor twenty years earlier, and jury service might have called attention to that little blot on the Bush escutcheon.  But Gonzales acted only because the governor might someday have been in the position of having to pardon the defendant in the case, an absurdity if Bush had served on the jury that convicted him.  That’s why it’s merely coincidental that the U.S. prosecutors Gonzales has been firing served mostly in states where key Republicans were in political danger.  The prosecutors’ removal had nothing to do with their lack of zeal in either defending the endangered Republicans, or in pursuing opposition Democrats.

The same illogic seeks causal relationships between the appointment of a coal mining executive, Richard Stickler, as head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, and the nearly fifty miners who died in accidents last year.  Similarly, citizens and even citizens’ pets by the hundreds are sickening and dying from contaminated food and unsafe drugs.  President Clinton’s FDA Commissioner David Kessler told Congress recently that the nation’s food and drug safety system was “broken.”  This was well after the abrupt resignation of President Bush’s FDA appointee, Lester Crawford, who owned stock in such food and drug giants as Pepsico, Sysco, and Kimberley Clark while serving as the head of the agency regulating them.

Yet to ask if self-interest or cronyism or excessive partisanship and power lust lie behind the actions of the Bush administration merely reflects ill on the questioner.  Such a view mindlessly seeks cause and effect, a form of determinism that Nietzsche taught us long ago is fit only for the “untermensch.”  Your true “ubermensch” on the other hand is comfortable with a random universe in which cause and effect are pretty much ruled out.  It may appear that the government is willfully robbing us at the pump, slaughtering our youth in Iraq, killing miners, poisoning food shoppers, and disenfranchising voters.  But by doing nothing about it, perhaps there’s some comfort in the thought that we might very well all be supermen.

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There was nothing new at The Nossiter Net between March 3rd and April 26th,  nearly eight weeks.  The reason:  tech sabotage. Yahoo Geocities, the host for this site, denied access for the entire period.  At one point, they even managed to lose all the files.  In many discussions with Yahoo staff, no clear explanation was forthcoming.  No one seemed able to fix the problem.  Ruling out the possibility of Dubbya’s revenge, I finally wrote to Mr. Terry Semel, Chairman and CEO of Yahoo! Inc and described the ordeal the page had undergone since the beginning of March.  A week later, a helpful Yahooo engineer named Jason called.  He had my letter before him.  Though he couldn’t do the repairs on on the spot, he promised a fix by the next day.  That was April 26th, nearly two months after shutting me down in the first place.

The Nossiter Net apologizes, which is more than I can say for Yahoo Geocities.


©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2007

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