Friday, June 27, 2008

The Virtue of Evil

Dear George,

Because we are good, our evil is innocent. For evil to achieve the purity that makes it virtuous, it must be devoid of passion. Evil becomes a shining beacon of virtue when it becomes an ideology expressed in the prosaic prose of a policy paper.

The crème de la crème of this virtue is when policy is converted into neutral numbers on a spreadsheet. A well-formed spreadsheet gives a patina of respectability to the vilest of evils because quantified evil is no longer evil.

Beef is an excellent example of an evil made virtuous. Right now, the Koreans are raising all sorts of hell over the importation of American beef. It seems they’re a little put out because our Department of Agriculture (USDA) only inspects one-percent of our beef for Mad Cow disease, as opposed to those pain-in-the-ass Japanese who test 100 percent of their beef.

The fact that eight people have died from a disease caused by eating beef infected with Mad Cow is irrelevant. Our USDA has a policy that specifically states that only one-percent of our beef needs to be tested. Therefore, the untimely death of those eight unfortunates was not evil because their deaths fell within guidelines established by USDA policy.

Of course, there’s always a malcontent who is not willing to let a policy do what it is suppose to do. The Creekstone Farms Premium Beef Company of Arkansas City, KS doesn’t understand the fine nuances of policy. They got this crazy idea that it might be nice to test all their beef for Mad Cow.

Thank God your alert bureaucrats at the USDA were on the job. They made a beeline to the nearest courthouse and asked the court to enjoin Creekstone from testing all its beef because it would raise consumer questions and make other meat packers look bad.

Unfortunately, the USDA got an activist judge who turned down their motion. Naturally, the USDA is appealing the decision. No doubt the case will go to your cronies on the Supreme Court who will do the right thing.

Once again, a combination of policy and spreadsheet makes it all okay.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

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