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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

June, 2005

Connecting The Dots
BY Staff

We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of the few. But we can't have both.
--Louis D. Brandeis, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1916-1939.Alan Greenspan has changed his mind. But it's too late now, the damage is done. The flip-flopping Federal Reserve Board Chairman now says President Bush’s budget-busting tax cuts for the rich, which Greenspan supported in 2001 and again this year, have led to record deficits ($412 billion and counting) and soaring interest rates while failing to create more jobs or help the economy. As usual, Congress took Greenspan’s advice in 2001, accepting “trickle-down” economics which failed under President Reagan and has become more of a trick than a trickle under President Bush, allowing him to use the budget deficit as an excuse to cut spending for programs like Social Security and Medicare.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman recently noted that if Bush were serious about saving Social Security he would repeal his tax cuts for the ricrmed by the Army, have made his death “harder to deal with,” said his parents Mary and Patrick Tillman.
The new National I.D. card passed 100-0 in the Senate recently after it was tacked onto the $82 billion emergency appropriations bill for Iraq and Afghanistan. The Pentagon says the $82 billion will last only until October.
Meanwhile, the Marine Corps Times conducted an eight-month investigation of the body armor used by thousands of Marines in the Middle East. Their tests showed “complete penetration” of the “bullet-proof” vests by 9mm pistol rounds. The Marines probably have a few good ideas about how to spend that $82 billion. Until then, pass the “Hillbilly Armor.”
Laura Bush was heckled by both Palestinians and Israelis during her recent trip to the Middle East to promote women’s rights. Her home state of Texas, where her husband served as governor, is ranked 49th for women’s health care, according to ABC. Before the trip, Mrs. Bush received rave reviews for her comedy performed for the White House Press Corp, garnering big laughs for her barnyard humor which included a joke about hubby George trying to milk a male horse. Sounds like she’s ready for the Howard Stern Show.
While the FCC and Christian fundamentalists vilify Howard for his humor involving s-e-x, right-wing talk show host Glen Beck receives little or no attention for his on-air ramblings about killing filmmaker Michael Moore (Fahrenheit 9-11), according to Media Matters. Beck, who is syndicated to more than 160 stations by Premier Radio Network, owned by Clear Channel, recently pondered over the air waves whether “I could kill him (Moore) myself or if I would need somebody to do it.” He concluded, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could be just choking the life out (of him). Is that wrong?” Funny you should ask.
As press freedom diminishes faster than the U.S. Dollar, press manipulation seems to be rising as fast as the National Debt (for which we pay about $1 billion per day just in interest). The New York Times has documented more than 20 federal agencies, including the State Department and the Defense Department, which now create false news clips, eagerly presented as the real thing by TV news departments. The Bush Administration spent $254 million in its first four years on contracts to public relations firms, more than twice the amount spent by the Clinton Administration.
While Gov. Schwarzenegger rants about "closing" California's borders, or "securing" them or "defending" them with armed vigilantes, he seems to have conveniently forgotten that he has admitted working illegally in America while he was an illegal Austrian immigrant in the 1970’s. “The hypocrisyh, which “would yield enough revenue to call off his proposed benefits cuts and still have $8 trillion in change.” But Bush is hell-bent on going in the opposite direction, pushing to extend expiring tax-cut provisions while proposing huge tax breaks for energy companies. And just to tighten the screws on the middle class, the “compassionate conservative” has eliminated bankruptcy for the proletariat, claiming Americans with money problems “have to be held accountable,” unlike corporations such as United Airlines, for example.
The world's second largest airline can now emerge from bankruptcy, possibly this autumn, thanks to the largest corporate pension default in the nation’s history, granted by a Republican-appointed bankruptcy judge. If you are one of United’s 120,000 employees or retirees, the roaring sound you hear is your Pension Plan taking off into the not-so-friendly skies without you.
If the Bankruptcy Bill wasn't cruel enough, Republican senators managed to block two amendments to it. One, proposed by Sen. Ted Kennedy, would have limited the interest rate creditors could charge to 75%. The other would have exempted military personnel, many of whom have had major financial problems thanks to Bush keeping them in the Middle East way beyond their scheduled tours of duty.
The Army determined days after the death of pro football star and Army Ranger Pat Tillman that he had been killed by fellow soldiers, but lied for several weeks to his parents and even destroyed evidence about the incident. A report by Brig. Gen. Gary Jones of the Army Special Operations Command found that the Army did not tell Tillman’s family or the public that he had been mistakenly killed by fellow Rangers until weeks after his nationally televised memorial service, Army officials said. The findings, first reported by the Washington Post and later confi and chutzpah of the governor is incredible,” says Mark Silverman, director of immigration policy for the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.
The head of the National Rifle Association recently announced that he knows how to curb student violence in our schools: Teachers should carry guns! As President Bush said to the press at the end of his most recent (rare) press conference, “Thank you for your answers.”


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