Monday, January 28, 2008

An offer I can't refuse.

Last week I got an email from a reporter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer inviting me to participate on a panel of diverse persons who will watch the State of the Union address and then be interviewed by reporters about our reactions to the President’s speech. Good golly – an almost-too-good-to-be-true opportunity to be able to express my opinion about the state of our nation. I’m in.

Briefly, the state of our nation is….sorry.

  • In the past six years, our country has engaged in two wars. In starting the second one, the president introduced a new, untested and unapproved doctrine of preemptive war, for which I hope he someday does prison time.
  • According to advance copies of the speech, the president is going to attack congressional pork projects. It is too bad his criticism does not extend to overseas defense contracts. Are the President’s sensibilities offended by the fact that these congressional projects are domestic, or that his friends aren’t getting a cut?
  • We need alternative fuels badly, but Congress has allowed the powerful corn lobby to persuade them to invest in corn ethanol. Corn ethanol take almost as much energy to produce as it provides, negating any benefit. This is in contrast to beet or sugar ethanol, which is very efficient to produce. As a result, corn prices (and everything else produced from with corn from tortillas to beef) have risen dramatically.
  • The bottom line is that it has gotten harder and harder for poor and middle-class Americans to live and work in a way that fosters a healthy society. Somehow, when a person is struggling to keep his head above water, he is not thinking about what it would take to walk out of the lake. I think that many Americans are tired of gasping for air. We need real economic relief.

I could just go on and on without end.

Tonight, my biggest challenge is going to be refraining from screaming uncontrollably at the television screen as I would normally do in the privacy of my own home.

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