Since I’m going to be on Meria Heller’s radio program today, I wanted to clarify my thinking about last night’s State of the Union address beforehand. Two major points, re the speech: (1) few surprises; and (2) heartbreak.
The heartbreak must be fought. So – let’s start with those items in the SOTU that offer a little humor, namely the presidential tweaking. Clearly, with the White House slaughtering innocent people in Fallujah, sending
Not all the language adjustments are new, but the White House Tweaking Team is obviously on the job:
· The word “oil” is not used – and I mean, not ever – it’s been replaced entirely with the word “energy.”
· In a couple of clear references to the Baby Boomer generation, the term “Baby Boomers” was not used – replaced with “our generation.”
· The word “Christian” was not heard – replaced with “faith.”
· As predicted, “privatize” or “privatizing,” “privatized” etc were not mentioned in re Social Security; the word of choice was “personal.” (just once)
· And in some references to health care and lower-income workers among others, the word “insurance” was used only once – replaced with “coverage.”
No mysteries here; you can see why they don’t emphasize the word “insurance,” for example. Mentioning “insurance” might remind people of “insurance companies.” And if the public starts thinking about insurance companies — Someone might ask how much money insurance companies are raking in from their investments, why they’re being allowed to hike up their rates on doctors, and why they’re not being forced to provide genuine coverage.
Can anyone compute the actual wealth of the
Substitutions aside, on to some key omissions: No reference by name to Osama bin Laden, for obvious reasons. Weirdly, only a couple of refs to “the European Union” (as standing with us) – and NO reference by name to
I checked my observations in the transcript this morning. Sure enough: it’s analogous to the old David Levine cartoon of a New Yorker’s view of America, with Manhattan extending out to about Kansas etc. – This is indeed GWBush’s view of the world, owing to his obsession with oil: a polar conflict between us (with US oil companies breaking their previous records for profits, in 2004) on one side, and barriers to our FREE access to global oil reserves on the other, for the next forty years.
In 2003, the Wall Street Journal ran an article estimating that the world’s oil reserves will run out in 40 years. On second thought, I’m not going to deal with the Orwellian references to “freedom.” As I have written before: one nation has no right to invade and remake another nation, because there is no such right.
One heartbreaking note, and I’ll try to keep this brief, regarding Bush’s statement about no “timetable” for withdrawing from
Sad to say, I believe I have also observed some of this in real life. It is such a violation, a self-evident violation of trust and personal faith and decency, that every human being can feel it as such at a gut level.
This unbalanced aggression is the parallel to Bush’s
Even if Saddam were to leave
This is no space to psychoanalyze Bush’s brittleness, selfishness and cruelty, though clearly he needs some help. (My own guess is that he is taking infinite revenge against all the “smart people” during
I am ashamed of the big newspapers, too. Bush threw out another sop to the Washington Post last night: he is extending the “No Child” standardized testing to high schools. Among corporations that will benefit is The Post
But it’s not the WashPost’s reporting on the education bill that worries me. It’s the Post’s lack of genuine reporting on Bush, his brother Jeb, his family’s gains from the “war on terrorism,” that so-called war itself, the opposition to the invasion, the handling of 9/11,
and Bush’s ongoing central aims: (1) to invade the