I'm going to admit right up front that this may not be as smoothly written as some of my other entries. A case of "pretty PO'd itis" is probably partly to blame.
There's been a great deal of publicity in the northwest over the arrest of several "eco-terrorists." That's a media designation, not mine. They are self-admitted vandals, I accept that and believe that the charges should be answered in court. It's the terrorist spin I have a problem with.
Yes, a lot of money was lost when certain labs and developments were torched. Yes, the results could have been a hell of a lot worse if the SUV's that were torched at a dealership in Eugene had blown up and taken the neighborhood with them. But, effect on national security, minimal.
Compare the heavy duty vandalism to what happened when the traders at Enron decided that trading energy futures was more fun than playing video games and took the west coast, especially California, for a roller coaster ride. Gee, too bad about grandma losing power in the rolling black outs. When you read the copies of the e-mails going back and forth you really do get the feeling that it was all a game to them. That real people were being affected by their "gaming" was totally off the radar.
What about the damage done to the people working for Enron who saw their retirement dreams melting like an ice cube in a cup of coffee in July when Enron's shares tanked and they were blocked from selling by the 401K administrators.
How about the damage that continues to be done to the environment as protections are eroded. We've managed to end run a plan for a massive sell off of public lands at cents on the dollar, but for how long?
The damage to the body politic as both parties continue to gerrymander congressional districts into safe zones has to be at least as bad. Redistricting, there's an innocuous word for you. It's gerrymandering pure and simple and the only place I've seen the word used is the comic strip Safe Havens. The fact that I happen to like my congressman doesn't change the fact that the lines should be drawn according to population, period end of story.
According to a column in the paper this morning Medicaid for sick kids with no insurance is being cut. But, seniore citizens can get Viagra and similar drugs through Medicare coverage. It seems the companies that produce the drugs were "promised" that the coverage would be there in 2006. Welfare forpeople in need somehow weakens the national spine but welfare for corporations with deep pockets for lobbyists helps to avoid ostroporosis of the body politic. I know, I haven't figured this one out myself. What I do know is that kids can't afford lobbyists and the drug companies can.
I don't even want to go into the fraying of the threads that tie us together that we're seeing in the name of "national security." I don't know about anybody else but I don't feel safer since the Patriot act was passed and the Department of Homeland Security was created.
I did this draft yesterday. I woke up this morning to the news of the Abramoff plea bargain. There have to be pols on both sides of the isle sweating bullets over what this guy is going to say under oath. I have no illusions that this will cure the problem. Only that it might become less blatant at least in the short term.