N-BAF on parade

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I hope you didn’t have anything to ask of the manager of the $450-million National Bio- & Agro-Defense Facility. Because, for shame, you weren’t there to ask it.

If you hadabeen, you likely would have fallen over massaging a madly inflamed indignation.

The sales event Sept. 11 was intended to be an informative session about the federal germ lab Homeland may want to dock in SA, however it was too soon usurped and transformed into a politico San Antonio infomercial.

“I know our state agencies are ready and willing to do anything to make this a reality,” Secretary of State Phil Wilson this week.

Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones, commenting that the Sept. 11 meeting date was an “auspicious date … for us to be talking about this” and promised to use all her political connections to make it happen.

Ciro Rodriguez wanted all to know that barracks to biowarfare is a “natural progression” for San Antonio “to keep us free from harm.”

Still, the parade of politicians rattled on about the greatness of San Anto and the great state of Tejas.

Our star of the hour, however, was Mr. Sen. Jeff Wentworth, who offered the state’s entire folio of domestic and wild animals up for national security’s sake.

“With the exception of camels, just about every animal that is susceptible to diseases that the N-BAF will research lives in Texas. Cattle, swine, deer, sheep, goats, buffalo, birds, snakes and bats all abound in Texas, and I’m sure we can even scare up a camel or two.”

As elected state and federal leaders were offering your children and “hogs, dogs, and frogs” to that bio-warfare wet dream, a single, sole, solitary child rose from the pew to ask the only truly significant question of the evening.

Memorial High School student Angela Orosco asked why nine other sites had been dropped from consideration. She got bureaucratic fudge in return.

We think it appropriate to offer her a more complete answer here:

Lack of fiscal incentives offered in Missouri killed that state’s chances; close proximity to an “urban center” (read: D.C.) was the reason Maryland officials received for the cut; and public protests in Wisconsin didn’t help matters up there.

Why would anyone protest what San Antonio’s leaders treat like the Holy Grail and capstone of a burgeoning bio-economy?

Beyond all the potential bio risks we’ve already raised elsewhere (check out Sunshine Project for recent Texas lab debacles), is 100,000 gallons of water per day worth at least talking about? None of the city or state conservation-minded thought so. And neither did your elected reps.

Now, here’s a fun game, think of your favorite lobbyist/polit burro and see if you can find them on this complete scoping meeting Roster of Boosters, as provided by U.S. Homeland Security. Happy hunting!

1. Bryan Alsip

2. Elizabeth Ames Jones

3. Jeff Barker

4. John Bruno

5. Jay Campion

6. Shannon Cantrell

7. David Casteel

8. Ramiro Cavazos

9. Mike Charlton

10. Henry Cisneros

11. Peter Conner

12. Henry Cuellar (presented by Sean Caporaletti as Representative Cuellar got called away from the meeting)

13. Thomas Cropper

14. Ed Davis

15. Eugene Dawson, Jr.

16. Melissa de la Garza

17. Allen Dehnert

18. Cheryl DiCarlo

19. Guy Dietrich

20. Jim Dublin

21. York Duncan

22. Jay Fraser

23. Jane Fritz

24. Robert Gracy

25. Neal Guentzel

26. Fernando Guerra

27. Howard Ham

28. Cyndy Hanson

29. Brian Herman

30. Mario Hernandez

31. Bob Hillman

32. Jonathan Huhn

33. George Irving

34. Tony Jaso

35. Marcel Johnson

36. Jeffrey Kantor

37. Melina Kinsey

38. Karl Klose

39. Thomas Kowalski

40. Ron Lehman

41. Linda Loomis

42. Lawson Magruder, III

43. Margaret Martin

44. David Marquez

45. David Maserang

46. William Miller

47. Mary Pat Moyer

48. Jean Patterson

49. Marcel Perret-Gentil

50. David Prichard

51. James Reed

52. Rick Rhodes

53. Ciro Rodriguez

54. Kenneth Shine

55. Robert Siddall

56. Clay Smith

57. Gary Stamp

58. Ann Stevens

59. Gregor Weber

60. Bill Welsh

61. Jeff Wentworth

62. Phil Wilson

63. Nelson Wolff

64. Xhavit Zogaj

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