If any more proof were needed that the most powerful nation on earth is now governed by a junta of panic-stricken, innumerate provincial nitwits, consider this.
For fifty years Lawrence Livermore Laboratories in California has earned the respect of scientists around the world, pioneering ground-breaking research. It's a nuke lab for sure, but the expertise has extended beyond defense into biotech and other fields, and provides a friendly host to open source, distributed computing and file system work, today.
Or at least it did, before last week's dramatic review of 'Homeland Defense' priorities. This magicked the Labs out of existence. The reshuffle assigned most of the Labs budget over to a new department, but took only four per cent of the staff with it, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Which effectively put a lightening bolt into the Labs' research work: for after the reshuffle, and sans humans, it would have little reason to exist.
Reporters questioned the administration on the sudden disappearance of one of one of America's crown jewels:
"I cannot give you the kind of explanation you need to deal with that imbalance," Tom Ridge, placeman in charge of the re-org, told the Chronicle.
He later admitted that it might be a mis-print. A billion dollar mis-print.
Officials at the Labs declined to comment. As well they might, for with a sneeze here or a cough there, fifty years of research could go up in smoke.
Remind us again. Who are the bad guys? ®