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Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2003 - 4:52 p.m.

President mixes his meanings

W. DEXTER BELLAMY
Fort Myers
Published by news-press.com on September 23, 2003

In 1948 George Orwell published “1984,” a negative utopian vision of a future. A world at continual war with the restrictions of freedom that waging war requires. A language — doublespeak — was devised to control subversive conversation and thoughts. In doublespeak a word has two meanings, the original meaning and just the opposite. For example: war is peace, ignorance is knowledge, freedom is slavery.

The Bush administration has borrowed and has enlarged on Orwell’s “1984” use of doublespeaks:

• The Patriot Act for the sake of freedom and safety. This act is really an anti-First Amendment Act. It permits search without notification, suspects can be incarcerated without filing of charges or access to a lawyer, librarians must give federal investigators readers’ book choices. Secretary Ashcroft assures us this power will be used only against terrorists, but it has already been used to detain several hundred innocent people. Our constitution was devised to depend on laws and courts, not the whims of any individuals.

• The Healthy Forest Act is really an act to open national forests to private logging, road building and clear cutting.

• The Revised Clean Air Act is a grant to the oil and coal power stations, permitting them to continue emitting pollutants while ignoring the original Clean Air Act.

• The No Child Will be Left Behind pledge has become a reduction in federal support for education at all levels. The lack of funds has forced schools to close in Oregon and Missouri. The increase in tuition prevents many poor students from getting a college education.

• The Clean Water Act has permitted injection of treated water into deep wells. But the Revised Clean Water Act now permits injection of untreated water into deep wells that in some cases have been found to contaminate the drinking water aquifers.

Republicans are a party of “compassionate conservatism.” However, while the wealthy received lavish tax cuts, poverty is increasing in United States. Seventeen percent of all children live in poverty. With an unemployment of over 6 percent, poor mothers are being forced off welfare to look for paying jobs.

Secrecy is rampant in the Bush administration. Vice President Cheney refuses to disclose who and how many oil and gas CEOs helped write the energy bill, which increased our dependence on imported oil.

“Black” or classified programs requested in the 2004 defense budged are at the highest level since 1988. It will reach $23.2 billion of the Pentagon’s total request for procurement of research funding. Neither the taxpayers nor Congress know what all this money is for.

Ignorance is knowledge.

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