Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Watching the Watcher



Hindsight is 20-20 they say. I knew I should have said something about Scott Bloch when I checked him out. It just confirms my ever-growing faith in Wikipedia as a source. I guess I need to clue y’all in don’t I ?

All right, just off the front page today, you see this story.

F.B.I. Raids Office of Special Counsel

”The raid on the downtown Washington headquarters of the agency, the Office of Special Counsel, and another at the home of its director, Scott J. Bloch, followed accusations that Mr. Bloch had destroyed evidence on government computers that might demonstrate wrongdoing.“

As some of you might remember, Mr. Bloch’s name was prominent in the coverage about air traffic control reporting errors at DFW.

FAA Accused Of Hiding Controllers' Mistakes

”U.S. Special Counsel Scott J. Bloch, who investigates complaints made by government whistle-blowers, alleges that the FAA and its air traffic controllers have been reclassifying mistakes for at least a year in a widespread effort to reduce criticism from bosses and to help boost performance bonuses, which are based partly on error data.“

When his name first popped up (it was earlier than the DFW story) I went to check him out at Wikipedia.

”Bloch's first major actions as head of the office were to choose as deputy a lawyer who had publicly taken a position against the "homosexual agenda", and to hire young lawyers from Ave Maria School of Law, the Catholic school founded by Domino's Pizza billionaire Tom Monaghan. In February 2004, Bloch ordered all mention of sexual orientation workplace nondiscrimination be removed from OSC's website and printed materials. Bloch stated his office lacked the authority to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.“

I knew something wasn’t right. You see this over and over again in the Bush Administration’s appointees -- some type of connection to recently-founded religious colleges. Take Kay Coles James for instance. She was Director for the Office of Personnel Management. Before that, she was dean of Regent University’s government school. Regent University was founded by Pat Robertson.

I hate to say it but Kevin Phillips' American Theocracy has influenced me more than any other book I’ve read recently. One of my Republican friends had given me a copy of his previous book -- American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush as something of a joke. I thought it went a little too far and that Mr. Phillips might have something of a blind spot when it came to the Bush family. However, as events unfold, I keep seeing the central themes of American Theocracy come up again and again. The full title of the book sums it up, very well indeed.

American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century

Don Brown
May 7, 2008

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