Every day an unspoken but heartfelt cry goes up—Tell me it isn’t true…take your pick of bad ideas. Tell me it isn’t true for instance that the Pentagon is considering “The Salvador Option”, that secret strategy said to have been used during the Reagan years for US support of death squads in El Salvador. Many of the presumed architects of such strategies, Abrams, Poindexter, Negraponte are back in government, but please don’t tell me there’s a plan afoot to send “death squads” into neighboring countries our government determines to be supporting insurgents in Iraq. Let, this just be an unfounded rumor, but keep an eye on it just the same.
And please don’t tell me that Homeland Security Funds are being used in some states for questionable projects having nothing whatever to do with what most of us would consider national or state security. Unfortunately, even if we aren’t told, this is one charge that is, I’m afraid, true. Take the Inauguration, for example. Despite the fact that Bush supporters have ponied up some $40,000,000 for the partying deemed appropriate for such an occasion, these supporters and the federal government have denied requests from DC to cover security and other expenses for the event said to come to around $17.3 million. That means DC has to come up with funds from somewhere, presumably Homeland Security – our tax dollars at work. Money well spent? And what of the neediest among us, including our returning vets whose needs go unmet by an under-funded Veteran’s Administration. $40,000,000 might come in handy for those troops we say so fervently we support. Priorities please.
And please tell me no-one is buying Halliburton’s explanation, that it isn’t illegal for it to do business in Iran (as it has incidentally for many years) even though Iran is on the enemies list. The reason given? Why it’s just our offshore subsidiaries doing business there so it’s okay. These people are hairsplitting masters as witness efforts now to legislate tort reform, one major reason being the asbestos claims against Halliburton. Never mind that during Cheney’s tenure as CEO the firm acquired The Dresser Corporation with its huge asbestos liability. Aren’t Cheney and his pals supposed to be smart? Are we smart enough to see through all this and call them on their duplicity?
Unfortunately, most of the time there is only one voice framing the debate, the administration’s, and the echo of its majorities in the houses of Congress, and the right-wing apologists heard daily on propaganda radio and TV. It isn’t, as they would have us believe, that Social Security is a “crisis” problem. It has always been and should continue to be a “safety net” that should remain fully funded. Tax cuts for the rich benefit those who are already fully funded, and if the excuse originally was to foster the growth of jobs, this has not happened. Check the figures at The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, note that the biggest reason for budget shortfalls are the tax cuts not social security.
One 24-Hour way to be heard is to support the Not One Damn Dime boycott on Inauguration Day to “remind the people in power…that they work for the people of the United States…not for the international corporations and K Street lobbyists…” You don’t have to go anywhere, sign anything or call anyone – just don’t buy anything for that one day and send the message that we do have some power out here, and that we can and will use it when we need to.

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