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Commentary Last Updated: Jan 30th, 2008 - 01:16:26

Calling it by its proper name: �State of Disunion�
By Ben Tanosborn
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Jan 30, 2008, 01:14

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Why is it that we all want to grab that last life vest of commonality and act as if we are all in this together . . . one people with the same destiny? Enough; enough distortion of a sad reality! Looking in the mirror we need to see ourselves for what we are: a disunited people, separated by our personal interests, lack of compassion and discord. Seeing ourselves in any other light is only lying to ourselves, being hypocrites to the bitter end.

Never mind what all those preachers are saying from their pulpits . . . that we are the land favored by God because we honor the Ten Commandments. It seems to me that in our puritan ways we have replaced Moses� tables with a commandment of our own, one that we give unquestionable allegiance to -- the eleventh: �Thou Shalt Screw Thy Neighbor.� A commandment that few people seem to break; one easily observed in our obscene consumerism and the way people seem to take economic advantage of other people (i.e. in real estate) . . . without an ounce of either compassion or restraint.

Monday, Jan. 28, should have been the date for Bush�s seventh, and final, �state of the union� message to Congress and the nation, but it was the eighth. Remember? There was that extra message delivered to a �terrorized� nation back on September 20, 2001; the one that set the stage for a presidency that has been a nightmarish lie for the people of these United States, and a focal point of disbelief for the entire world.

On Sunday, I reread the seven speeches that George W. Bush had delivered to both Congress and the nation, starting with the one he gave a week after his inauguration in 2001. On January 27, 2001, the Supreme Court�s enthroned president told us in his first address that his new governing vision was for government to be active, but limited; engaged but not overbearing; that, while reiterating his pledge at the inauguration to honor both the Constitution and the laws of the nation. And among the promises he made, there was one for paying down the national debt to the tune of $2 trillion.

Seven years have gone by since that speech. The Constitution and laws of the land have been dishonored, and the government has been both unlimited and overbearing, not in working for the people, but in subjugating them, politically and economically. A government that has pitted people against people, exacerbating an already existing dual society; a government that has enlarged its power -- its machinery lubricated with that magical oil of deceit: fear. All the while enriching the already rich and dismantling much of what was left of the middle-class after the demolition derby created by the prior three presidents: Reagan, Bush Senior and �pseudo-progressive� Clinton. And the promise made on that first address of paying down $2 trillion of the national debt in 10 years did instead add $4 trillion of debt in seven years: a $6 trillion turnaround. This White House simply exchanged fiscal responsibility for rampant, in your face, thievery.

And all eight messages, which includes Monday night�s, have had one common ingredient: lies. Not lies in a political, rhetorical sense, but just plain unadulterated lies; lies that only the current occupant of the White House can deliver with a straight face and a fossilized heart. That includes the destruction of sovereign nations, such as Iraq, which reminds us of the Huns of old, or the blitzkrieg of the newer Huns; and the sacrificing of human life in the millions whether via weaponry or sanctions forced by the US's influential mandate on the world. Eight messages adding up to one big lie and an agenda of both warmongering and a shameless continuous adjustment of that balance which measures social justice.

Barack Obama, in his euphoria after his primary victory in South Carolina, coupled with the two Kennedy endorsements, has added high-C preaching intonations stating that this nation, or the coming election, are not about racial issues; or the rich versus the poor; or illegal immigration; or any of the other things that all of us know, deep inside, are the basis for our disunity. A nation of corporate interests, as well as selfish personal interests, that�s what we are, Obama. The rest of the �goody story� is pure hogwash.

Perhaps Obama is playing the astute politician by trying to garner votes any way he can -- more power to him if he succeeds -- however, up to this moment, there isn�t a thing he has said -- or done -- that convinces me he will be sufficiently progressive in his domestic policies or that, in search for peace, he will advocate a needed drastic change in America�s foreign policy. I still view all Democratic candidacies, his included, as the lesser evil, but I will be happy to be proven wrong . . . and, if so, apologize and repent!

In the meantime, we still have one more year of the �lying-est� administration this nation has ever had. Hopefully, there won�t a �reason� for another state of the union address by Bush . . . which by all expectations would be an assault on Iran: a closing statement on the �axis of evil.�

� 2008 Ben Tanosborn

Ben Tanosborn, columnist, poet and writer, resides in Vancouver, Washington (USA), where he is principal of a business consulting firm. Contact him at

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