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         December 10/05

OPINION:    Are we of the daily humdrum living alongside a Republican administration and congress that are apart from us in a parallel universe?  Don't you wonder?

       Okay, I guess it's not all that surreal. Just trying to get your attention. So let's get down to it.  Now aside from the lies handed to Americans in order to gain support for the whopping fiasco of the war in Iraq, what else has the Republican administration produced since 9/11?   Well apart from corruption scandals--which I'll place to the side for a moment--not much.

       Well, on second thought, I admit they have been rather busy: giving themselves raises, giving tax breaks to the rich, pork to their states, the finger to the survivors of Katrina, giving no-bid contracts to crony contractors, crazily giving more money per capita to Wyoming than to New York for homeland security, giving corporations the right to bankruptcy so as to escape paying employee pensions while CEOs receive millions in compensation, while at the same time raising the bar for Joe six-pack to apply for bankruptcy when he's financially destroyed by medical bills, creating a Medicare drug bill that would have Einstein scratching his wooly head, while of course our law makers have absolute and uncomplicated coverage for themselves.  Mmm, okay, so on third thought I see I was wrong about "not much."  

      So, what should they have been doing since 9/11?  Well according to former 9/11 commission president Thomas Kean, a lot more than the above.  Pointing to the ignoring of the commission's extremely crucial  recommendations,  he said the administration and our sterling congress has failed, in four years since the twin towers attack, to plan for the dangerous proliferation of biological, nuclear and chemical weapons of mass destruction that might be smuggled into our country, which prompted Mr. Kean to give the government a lengthy column of report-card Fs; to which he then added the outrageous fact that police, firefighters and medics are still without the ability to communicate by radio during some as yet unknown terrorist emergency, a critical lack which would perilously enlarge the effects of any disaster. 

       But not to worry, folks, our law makers, who seem to become mentally challenged when it comes to doing something for you and me, have decided on a communications bill that will take effect in the year 2009.  And no doubt they've asked potential terrorists if they wouldn't mind holding off on attack plans until that time; no doubt sent Happy Holiday cards to them.  Comfy now?  No?  Mmm, well maybe it is all that surreal.

       In the administration's universe there were no Saudi's on the planes that crashed the twin towers, only Iraqis.  In the administration's universe our side is not torturing detainees, the latter having been asserted by Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice in Germany, insulting the intelligence of Europeans by telling them the U.S. wouldn't tolerate such a thing (while President Bush is threatening to veto any ban on inhuman and degrading treatment),  while what was on European's minds was the kidnap and torture of an innocent German citizen, Khaled el-Masri, which Rice in her dreamscape universe was able to overlook.

        But an astute member of the British Parliament got it right when he said, Rice's statement had been "carefully lawyered." For instance, when she declared that (in the dreamscape of the administration's universe) "...the U.S. doesn't send people to countries where they 'will be' tortured, leaving open the possibility that they 'may be' tortured."  Parentheses and italics mine.

       

       In the administration's universe it's again now okay to carry small knives and scissors aboard commercial passenger planes, because the cockpits are basically impenetrable and because officials want to finally concentrate their manpower on searches for bombs in the cargo compartments of said planes; therefore in this partly retro scenario we can imagine the pilot safely flying the plane while flight attendants and passengers are once again busy with the terrorists who are trying to slice them into infidel pieces.  All of this the result of not having the money that buys the federal manpower to search both people and cargo compartments; this insanity being the result of pouring men and

tons of money into an unnecessary war in Iraq, because in the dreamscape of the administration's universe we were to be greeted with flowers and fountains of oil, and profitable no-bid reconstruction projects.  But again, folks, not to worry, because Press Secretary Scott McCellan once again reassured us that "we' are still "taking the fight to the enemy."  So we don't have to fight them here, yeah, we know.

 

      Thanks, Scott, but it's my belief that we are the enemy: the Republicans for taking us into the insanity of Iraq, and Democrats for reacting wimpishly to polls suggesting that John and Jane Doe of the daily humdrum were supporting the war, having been  scammed into their support by the Bush/Cheney lies--the gutless Democrats (my party, mind you) agreeing to the war in fear of not "supporting the troops,"  forgetting that dissent, when necessary, is an essential patriotic duty of every citizen. For Pete's sake, who wouldn't support the troops? And only now are the Dems attacking the administration's war policy because they smell blood from the thousand cuts of Iraq and the ever-mounting scandals.

       Yes, scandals.  Too numerous, after all, to list here, involving to such an amazing extent the bribing of our lawmakers.  Not that it should surprise one, considering these kickbacks are merely the most glaring aspect of what has hijacked our democracy. The greatest bribery being in the form of corporate lobbying, resulting in the  never-ending pouring of millions of dollars into political coffers, in effect taking control of both parties and therefore America's domestic and international policy, and negating the value of our votes.

      

       Oil interests are controlling too much of what we do in the world. If we had been developing and producing the valid alternative sources of energy which have existed all along, we wouldn't  be invading middle eastern countries to ensure the future flow of crude.  But oil interests have prevented these alternatives by bribing our law makers with material gifts and donations to campaigns.  It is ironic that Bush, a great friend to OIL, is contributing to the undermining of our democracy at home while trying to export it to Iraq, where the Islamic fundamentalists waiting in the wings don't give a rats ass for democratic ideals.  Is this any way to run a country?  What became of leadership? Huh?

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