|Gun Turret of the Ironclad Monitor in a desalination tank in Newport News Virginia |
So an email came across my desk one day starting out with accusing county government officials in a northeast state of being corrupt. This immediately sets off my "Nut Case" alarm, man the battle stations against incoming lies. Now I know there are crooked people in public offices, but few of them. Most government employees are dedicated, hard working and frequently underpaid. Yes I know many of them have generous pensions, part of the reason they accept less pay then they would earn on the outside is that the benefits of government employment can be nice, But a message that starts out accusing government employees or staff of being corrupt is suspect for me. I then looked for facts to support the accusation, and there was not a single one. Someone didn't get what they wanted, so the people in charge must all be crooks. I got grumpy, sent a response, that offered a referral to an expert on the issue, but also pointed out that odds are the complainer is a nut case. The person sending in the complaint, was not the person allegedly "done wrong." Another hallmark of a nutter attack. Maybe I need a vacation, but my defenses are on high alert.
Speaking of defenses, a few years ago they found the wreck of the first iron clad battle ship, and raised parts of it, including the gun turret. It had been in salt water since the civil war, so it is soaking in a tank having the salt slowly removed in Newport News Virginia. This was part of a museum tour. I understand that part has been closed to the public as part of a cut in state and federal funding. The funding is there to continue the preservation work, but not to make it available to the public.