The Week That Was

It has been an interesting week. The Limbaugh-ites and some of the corporate media glitterati got upset because D.H.S. came out with a memorandum, that probably should have been a little more specific, to the effect that certain extreme ideologists should be watched, but to take a line from Shakespeare, "they doth protest too much," because there are, after all, more than a few crazies out there. D.H.S., in the past, has come out with a similar report or reports about groups with various political ideologies, so it is not as if they were dwelling on one aspect, but the corporate mainstream news media often manages to distort things to make things look different from what they actually are.

Considering the government overall, not just Homeland Security, they are not exactly great shakes either regarding the recognition of threats to our nation, as they too can overreact, such as with the McCarthy-ite bill being passed around Congress called the Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act. The bill is very controversial, the media has been relatively mum about it, and we don't think it has been enacted so far, fortunately, but the entire House of Representatives delegation from Washington state voted for it, and the national House of Representatives overwhelmingly supported it as well. There were a handful of patriotic dissenters. It seems to be tied up in the Senate, where it should be voted down once and for all. We won't go into a long dissertation about why we oppose this bill in this essay, but it is an Orwellian piece of legislation, to put it kindly.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department released torture memorandums from the Bush rule years, which are absolutely shameful to our nation, while all but promising not to prosecute those who sanctioned and ordered torture, nor those who carried out the orders. Is this any way for a proud nation to carry on, either before or after the fact? The answer is obvious.

Then there was the Tea Party Protest on April 15th, where we were kind of in the middle of the road concerning, but did not participate in it and would not have. For one thing, it was too identified with the Limbaugh-ites, and it seemed like many working class people, believe it or not, along with the media glitterati, were protesting tax hikes on the rich. The Obama administration's tax plan would not raise taxes for anybody whose income is less than 250 thousand dollars, annually (it actually cuts the tax rates for lower incomes); but would raise them on upper incomes, yet, still less than the rate that it used to be, and we pretty much agree with that. Where we did agree with some protesters, however, was concerning the lack of wisdom of the government's "Wall Street" bail-outs, and of course we agreed with the great dissenter Ron Paul's hardy band of followers who have been saying that we, as a nation, spend far too much money on the military industrial complex.

Finally, Texas's unruly governor, Rick Perry, popped up in the news again. When he is not trying to mandate that parents make their children take a somewhat controversial vaccination, or persecuting unpopular religious sects wholesale as opposed to prosecuting individual acts when a law has been broken, he is suggesting that Texas secede from the union as happened in this week that was, apparently because he doesn't like the president's proposals. Neither does Ron Paul, another Texan, but he's not suggesting that Texas secede, he's standing his ground, defiantly and courageously, in Congress. Thank goodness.

[revised on 4/19/09]

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