Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Well, criticism of Dubya's crew's stinting attitude toward preservation of archaeological sites in Iraq may have been overstated after all. They're just adopting the same attitude they have towards preservation of archaeological sites in their own country:

The Bush administration is considering privatizing archaeological oversight of hundreds of national parks and landmarks and firing the National Park Service archaeologists who for decades have been charged with protecting their historic value and cultural heritage.

The administration says turning over the archaeology jobs to private contractors could save money, but critics charge that contractors are ill-equipped to cope with an array of endemic challenges, including influential outsiders trying to dictate Park policy, chronic congressional underfunding and serious personnel shortages that Park Service archaeologists mitigate by using thousands of volunteers -- an option not open to a private company.

The park service archaeologists say, in their own defense, that they've been underfunded for so many years that they've just learned to make do with less. But we all know what government employees are really like. Just look at this batch at the EPA, who have been sitting around ever since Dubya entered office, not doing their jobs:

In the last several months, the Environmental Protection Agency has delayed or refused to do analyses on proposals that conflict with the president's air pollution agenda, say members of Congress, their aides, environmental advocates and agency employees.

Agency employees say they have been told either not to analyze or not to release information about mercury, carbon dioxide and other air pollutants. This has prompted inquiries and complaints from environmental groups, as well as Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

Some people might see politics here, but an EPA spokesman said that "politics played no role in these decisions" -- and much as we might view government employees as lazy bums, who could possibly think that they'd actually lie?

via The Agonist.


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