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Most Corrupt Language

By Robert C. Keating, Editor

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," wrote Shakespeare. But the opposite is not true. When something really stinks, you need a great name to sell it. No one understands this better than the Bush administration, which keeps twisting the language and pushing one bad thing after another by calling it the opposite of what it is.

Example #1: “Clear Skies Initiative”-- Actually Bush’s plan to weaken the Clean Air Act 

America would be far better off enforcing the current Clean Air Act. Bush's sound-alike "Clear Skies Initiative" actually:

* Replaces Clean Air Act protections with a “cap and trade” program for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury emissions.  Polluting plants could keep polluting by buying credits from cleaner plants, with dirtier air the result for their communities

* Allows dramatically more pollution than the Clean Air Act:

o       500% more mercury pollution

o       68% more pollution from Nitrogen Oxide, a major contributor to smog that is linked to asthma and lung disease

o       225% more pollution from Sulphur Dioxide, a major contributor to acid rain and soot.

* Allows a voluntary approach to controlling Carbon Dioxide emissions, the leading cause of global warming

* Delays enforcement of public health standards for smog and soot until the end of 2015

* Restricts the power of states to petition for an end to pollution from upwind sources in other states

Example #2: "Healthy Forests Initiative" -- Actually gives logging industry virtually free access to our National Forests under Bush's guise of forest fire protection

Once fully enacted, the initiative would:

1. Limit environmental analysis and limit public participation by (a) excluding environmental analysis for any site-specific project the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management claim will reduce hazardous fuels, including post-fire salvage projects; and by (b) limiting public participation by allowing "hazardous fuels reduction projects" to be categorically excluded and suspends citizens' rights to appeal projects.

2. Accelerate aggressive "thinning" across millions of acres of back country forests miles away from communities at risk to forest fires

3. Uses 'Goods for services' as the Funding Mechanism by (a) allowing the Forest Service and BLM to give away trees to logging companies as payment for any management activity, including logging on public lands; and (b) creating a powerful new incentive to log large fire-resistant trees, old growth, and other commercially valuable forests.

The Sierra Club summarizes: "The President's ill-named 'Healthy Forests Initiative' will do little to protect communities and homes from forest fires. Instead this sweeping initiative is concerned on decreasing public involvement, reducing environmental protection and increasing access to our National Forests and other federal lands for timber companies....When the plan met with widespread public skepticism and Congress adjourned in late 2002 without passing Bush's legislation, the President decided to act by decree, pushing parts of his plan through administratively. The administration then began a series of new National Forest management proposals to limit the analysis of environmental impacts, repeal the ability of the public to appeal bad projects and increase the degradation of wild forests. Each proposal will increase harm to forest habitat and wildlife; together these proposals will turn scientific forest management back 40 years.*

Example #3: "Deficit Reduction Act"

In another rhetorical sleight of hand, Bush's "Deficit Reduction Act" actually raised the federal budget deficit by $20 billion.

Example #4: "Town Meetings" -- Actually closed events with hand-picked guests to push Bush's agenda

The town meeting has a place in American history next to the Liberty Bell. Schoolchildren learn that town meetings are where early American citizens practiced democracy...each one having a voice about the issues facing the community.

What resemblance do those early town meetings bear to the Bush administration's "town meetings" covered on the nightly news? Other than having Americans in attendance, not much. Bush's "town meetings" are not made up of regular folks who meet on a regular basis. Rather, they are made up of supporters picked by the President's advance team to help sell the rest of us on something he's already decided to do...like occupy Iraq, or privatize social security. Careful screening prevents challenging viewpoints from getting into these "town meetings." As a result, the President gets asked some really tough questions, like, "What's it like to be President?"

Interestingly, New England--the birthplace of town meetings--has been having some real town meetings where the results are quite different from the manufactured ones'. A growing number of towns like Newfane, Vermont, are saying "enough is enough" and voting to impeach the President. ________________________
* www.sierraclub.org

© 2006 Most Corrupt.com



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