Copyright © 2010
April 20, 2010
I was reminded of my own
censored plight while you were considering Alcee Hastings words and
pondering its significance to the vote on the next day:
wish that I had been there when Thomas Edison made the remark that I
think applies here: ‘There ain’t no rules around here — we’re trying to
accomplish something.’ And therefore, when the deal goes down, all this
talk about rules, we make ‘em up as we go along, and I’m here now 18
years, and a significant amount of that time here on this committee
under the leadership of the Republicans…”1
On Saturday, March 20, our house had been entirely vacant for a good
period during the day. When I brushed my teeth at bedtime, I was
left with some kind of soap in my mouth. There I stood, feeling
violated, tempted to think it related to current politics on the
pretext of my having saved the above cited article earlier in the
I brushed my teeth again with a new toothbrush to little avail.
The vile taste occupied my mind with various thoughts of what the
was until I concluded it was saddle soap. A four a.m. examination
of MSDS2 documentation relieved
any thought that I might have to call any poison control center. Without any certainty whether it
crime or an accident, I decided to pass it over. In the context
of the experience of much more concrete tampering as a witness and a
scapegoat, this incident is perhaps not without significance.
I believe this is a common experience for persons under harassment for
some reason or another. The perpetrators proceed by subtlety to
harass their target by means by which they do not expect to get caught,
or if caught to either have minor penalties or none at all. If
they are lucky the target might speak of the abuse in terms that
discredit them rather than get them the understanding they
desire. If the perpetrators are bold or have an experience of
success in concealment, they may even commit serious crimes against the
target, expecting no consequences.
I read of a Department of Energy whistleblower who barely escaped death
at the hands of his persecutors. He had been assigned to go into
a plutonium contaminated area in a full safety suit. When his
air line was cut, he had to make a lengthy escape to safety while
holding his breath. I do not think anyone was ever
prosecuted. It was his word against their denial.
My own experience has ranged from the things you would almost dismiss
yourself for their subtlety, to things obvious but inconsequential, and
ultimately to things threatening of or attempting to harm. Some,
villains in James Bond movies, would tell me what they had done,
expecting that I would not succeed in communicating it to others.
I believe that Durham had a implict understanding that they could do
anything to me and no one would hold them accountable. Certainly,
the thorough concealment activities of Nortel and their allies would
create this understanding.
A person might reason themselves to be a target of such activities by
the observation of their frequency and number (inductive
reasoning), the common-sense analysis of the high statistical
likelihood of the more concrete events, or by association or deduction
of the motivating event (deductive reasoning). It is unfortunate
that the inductive reasoning that underpins experimental science should
be readily dismissed as paranoia by those who have criminal or
political reasons for doing so.
Although this sort of harassment can proceed to serious crimes, I still
label them conspiracy of torts
because of the expectation to evade legal consequences by subterfuge.
Bennett, Post On Politics, March 20, 2010, "Rep. Alcee Hastings invokes
Thomas Edison: ‘No rules around here — we’re trying to accomplish
2Material Safety Data Sheet.
April 20, 2010 created.
April 26, 2010 minor spelling correction and added an acronym