Some of us are observing 9/11 with tributes to those who died, some with a focus on the war yet to be won, and some — on the taxpayer’s dime — by taking swipes at the United States.
The Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), headquartered at the University of Southern California, was founded in 1991 with a mission to:
* gather new information about earthquakes in Southern California;
* integrate this information into a comprehensive and predictive understanding of earthquake phenomena; and
* communicate this understanding to end-users and the general public in order to increase earthquake awareness, reduce economic losses, and save lives.
Indeed, the SCEC’s mission is so important that the US Government funds it (translation: you, the taxpayer, fund it):
Funding for SCEC activities is provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
The SCEC’s current director is a guy named Thomas Jordan, a professor at USC. Prof. Jordan opened today’s proceedings with a moment of silence for 9/11. Although my friend does not have a transcript or recording of Prof. Jordan’s words, his notes reflect that Prof. Jordan has more on his mind than commemorating the dead.
According to my friend’s notes, what Prof. Jordan actually said was that, in addition to observing a moment of silence for 9/11’s victims, the silence should be used to remember and mourn “the political and moral damage to our country.” Amongst the 400 or so audience members, my friend heard silence and a few chuckles, although he couldn’t tell whether the latter were embarrassed or complicitous.
Are my friend and I the only ones who find it deeply disturbing that an academic would use his federally funded pulpit as an appropriate forum, on 9/11, to attack his country?