"When truth and compassion part ways, follow compassion." ~ Unknown

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Jimi, the Rockridge Institute, and the rest of my day

Mr. Lee drove to Soda Springs Idaho today to pick up an off-road trailer he bought on Ebay. He'll be back Sunday evening. All in all he'll drive over 1200 miles in about a day and a half. I didn't go because it would be too tough, my knee being in this shape. I slept until after noon, healing takes a lot of energy, then worked on the driftwork website. Unfortunately I was working on a wide screen and checking it now on the laptop, I see it isn't quite right. Later. I'm done for the day.

So no matinee, maybe tomorrow, but here's a sound clip you might enjoy. I'm listening to it at the moment and find it pretty interesting. It's a raw mix of comments, often from concerts, by Jimmy Hendrix.

And from the Rockridge Institute, a very sobering look at the accomplishments made by the Bush administration. Their point is that actually Bush is not an incompetent boob. In fact, his administration has done a lot to advance the conservative agenda. The problems we complain about are not because Bush is an idiot. It is because the conservative philosophy is so terribly flawed and designed to benefit only the wealthiest. Here's an example of the changes the conservatives have ushered in. It's chilling.

The idea that Bush is incompetent is a curious one. Consider the following (incomplete) list of major initiatives the Bush administration, with a loyal conservative Congress, has accomplished:

* Centralizing power within the executive branch to an unprecedented degree
* Starting two major wars, one started with questionable intelligence and in a manner with which the military disagreed
* Placing on the Supreme Court two far-right justices, and stacking the lower federal courts with many more
* Cutting taxes during wartime, an unprecedented event
* Passing a number of controversial bills such as the PATRIOT Act, the No Child Left Behind Act, the Medicare Drug bill, the Bankruptcy bill and a number of massive tax cuts
* Rolling back and refusing to enforce a host of basic regulatory protections
* Appointing industry officials to oversee regulatory agencies
* Establishing a greater role for religion through faith-based initiatives
* Passing Orwellian-titled legislation assaulting the environment — “The Healthy Forests Act” and the “Clear Skies Initiative” — to deforest public lands, and put more pollution in our skies
* Winning re-election and solidifying his party’s grip on Congress

These aren’t signs of incompetence. As should be painfully clear, the Bush administration has been overwhelmingly competent in advancing its conservative vision. It has been all too effective in achieving its goals by determinedly pursuing a conservative philosophy.

It’s not Bush the man who has been so harmful, it’s the conservative agenda.

More at the Rockridge Institute.

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