Friday, 21 May 1999 Washington, DC
1. SPY HYSTERIA: SECRETARY OF ENERGY RICHARDSON SAYS TRUST ME.
In testimony before the House Science Committee yesterday,
Secretary Richardson urged members not to "penalize the foreign
visitor program, that has not been the problem...Let me manage my
department...the culture of lapses has ended." He pleaded with
the Committee to give him "a year to see if I perform." By that
time, of course, the Clinton Administration will be on its way
out anyway. With an election on the way, some members seemed
more interested in fixing blame than discussing solutions anyway.
"We aren't here to give you leeway for another year," Rep.
Rohrabacher (R-CA) told Richardson "we want accountability." The
long-awaited release of the Cox report
(WN 2 Apr 99)
awaited. Now they say next week They said that last week.
2. COUNCIL: NATIONAL SECURITY AND THE OPEN CONDUCT OF SCIENCE.
Today, the APS Council approved a statement recognizing the
importance of protecting classified information, while cautioning
that indiscriminate restrictions on open exchange of ideas will
damage science. Foreign visitors and students, it concludes,
have made enormous contributions to American science: "Any
negative characterization of scientists on the basis of ethnic or
national origins is destructive to science and American values."
3. NATIONAL MISSILE DEFENSE: PHANTOM STAR WARS BILL PASSES.
By an overwhelming vote of 345 to 71, Congress boldly declared
that it is the policy of the United States to deploy a defense
against ballistic missiles whenever it is "technologically
feasible." That could be awhile. The bill appropriates no money,
but the cost estimate is up to $75B. The only
Republican voting against it was physicist Vern Ehlers,
who said he could not vote for something that cost
so much with so little chance of working.
4. PATENT OFFICE: FALLOUT FROM FUTURE ENERGY CONFERENCE.
One result of the recent conference on over-unity concepts
(WN 30 Apr 99)
was that it led to a close look at the Patent and Trademark
Office. The conference was hosted by the Integrity Research
Institute, whose president, Tom Valone, is a patent examiner. WN
has been warning for some time about efforts to infiltrate the
Patent Office with examiners sympathetic to fringe science
(WN 20 Nov 98).
In this week's Science magazine David Voss reports on
his investigation of the Patent Office. In addition to patents
awarded for various cold-fusion and over-unity devices, the DKL
Lifeguard, a dowsing rod with lights and buttons
(WN 25 Sep 98),
and an electrical switch operated by ESP, have made the cut.