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The Tentacle


January 19, 2005

It All Seems So Incongruous!

David 'Kip' Koontz

As we approach George W. Bush's inauguration as President, it is easy to question why a $40 million bash is necessary for someone being sworn in for a second term.

We are told we are a government at "war."

It seems tasteless to put on parades, dole out all the pomp and circumstance and get all gussied up and attend elegant balls when Walter Reed Medical Center is full of men and women who are no longer able to join in the dancing.

When President Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn in during war in 1941, he hosted a luncheon with chicken salad sandwiches instead of hosting a gala with the finest of foods.

Guess it just didn't seem right in light of the fact he had already had the opportunity to celebrate his swearing in previously.

So has W...in a $40 million extravaganza some four years ago.

One presumes that since the price tag isn't far greater than four years ago it is in some way W's nod to keeping the festivities down to the most bare of minimums.

One can only wonder what would happen if W would ask the corporate donors to take their inaugural contributions and give them to charity...even those "faith based" one's Mr. Bush so likes to support?

Would they give it?

Would $40 million help people in this nation?

Would it help people throughout the world?

Mr. Bush has made a personal plea to the people of this country to help those so horribly devastated by the earthquake and tsunami in South Asia.

How would $40 million help them?

How many prescription drugs for senior citizens would $40 million buy?

How much of a salary increase could an enlisted soldier get if $40 million were divvied up? Then, perhaps, their spouses wouldn't have to rely on food assistance or housing assistance.

How many children, who have not yet been adopted, could be provided better care with $40 million?

Could Social Security be shored up at all with $40 million?

How many textbooks could be bought with $40 million?

On what else, other than a coronation fit for a king, could $40 million be spent?

It just seems to be so utterly contradictory that a man who calls himself "compassionate" can allow such hoopla to occur at a time when we have "war;" economic problems; countless thousands without medical care; and when this nation and the world are suffering the effects of natural disasters.

To whom is Mr. Bush compassionate?

It is also unseemly to behave as if he had been swept into office on huge wave of victory.

Receiving 51 percent of the vote of those who voted isn't a mandate, really.

Not if one compares that to the actual number of registered voters. It is most likely a smaller percentage of the people in the country if you look at that.

Bet it gets to be an even smaller number of Americans if you take into account all those who are of age to vote but are not even registered.

Nope. No mandate. Not really.

Even worse than the vulgarity of the pomp is the fact that only Bushies are welcome.

Even Pennsylvania Avenue, the street on which W's parade will march, the street known as "America's Main Street," is virtually off limits to those without an invitation to the parade.

One needs an invitation to a parade?

It seems so, as those who disagree with Mr. Bush and his agenda are relegated to a place along the parade route called Marshall Park at 4th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

A search for that park yielded no specific results of a location, but it is supposed to be where demonstrators have been allowed to set up bleachers for a mere 1,000 people.

Oh, now that's significant, right, affording 1,000 people the right to express their views on "America's Main Street?"

Officials believe that standing shoulder to shoulder up to 10,000 people could actually fit in the park, again a pittance of those who may wish to exercise their alleged right to free speech.

National Park Police have said it is within their jurisdiction to limit the number of "anti-Bushies" allowed within the inaugural zone.

Limit?

It is what is now called a "free speech zone."

Our "National Main Street" is not a "free speech zone?"

Authorities have also said those in opposition who do make it to the parade will not be afforded the opportunity to mill about as they have in the past.

It is the epitome of the American ideal to corral folks who express a counter view to the President's that will so likely win over the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people.

Right?

An invitation must, at least, afford one the opportunity to use a porta-potty.

Watching the news building up to the falderal it appears Pennsylvania Avenue will be lined on both sides by police and military personnel.

It conjures up images of Stalin-era May Day festivals in the old Soviet Union.

Of course, security is necessary, but this goes beyond security.

Denying the citizens of this nation the right to even view a parade unless invited is but yet another un-noble act taken by George W. Bush.

To deny citizens access to express their opinion is even worse.

We are told this is being done for security reasons.

This comes not from security but from fear.

A fear of seeing what his administration has wrought.

A nation divided over his incursion into Iraq will indeed prompt protests.

But, W and his guests must be shielded from that because there can be no difference of opinion on "America's Main Street."

Especially when you have been told by God you are doing the right thing.

A President who promotes injustice and intolerance towards others will most likely find himself protested by those against whom he promotes this intolerance.

W and his guests must not see that because it may offend their self-righteous sensibilities.

Those who have lost their jobs to workers overseas may want to come and tell the President they need help.

W and his guests must not see or hear that. The unemployed must be kept out of sight and out of earshot for fear of causing offense to those in the right because they have prospered.

Those without healthcare or access to prescription drugs may very well want to express their concern toward the President wanting him to know that their voices are not being heard.but they can't do that on "America's Main Street," even if they are well enough to get there.

Environmentalists and conservationists concerned about W's policies that destroy our world may want to express their views.because the environment stands only in the way of financial gain.

Pennsylvania Avenue is no longer "America's Main Street" just as George W. Bush is not really the President of all Americans.

The White House, the street on which it sits and its occupant are bought and paid for by the military-industrial complex, the drug companies, insurance companies, the petroleum and oil industry.to that end any big business, really and extreme right-wing "Christians" and to only them they now answer.

This inauguration, if nothing else, should illustrate to Americans that George W. Bush doesn't care about the people of this nation or the people of the world.

Even worse, it should illustrate clearly that George W. Bush doesn't value those principles we hold so dear, and those values we are told are the reasons we are sending our family members to die in Iraq.

If he did, he would respect, not trample, that which is found in our Constitution.

Especially on the day he swears to uphold it.



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