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Shake-up at the O.K. corral

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
November 25, 2004


"The purpose and function of government is not to preside over change but to prevent change. By political methods when unavoidable, by violence when convenient." — Edward Abbey

In 1972 Rene Dubois, advisor to the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, introduced the world to concept of Think Globally. Act Locally. Since then this mantra has been a rallying crying of ecologists, environmentalists, and grassroots activists. Myself included.

As empowering and feel good as that sentiment may be, local considerations get over looked when a federal government is in debt, out of control, and full bent on Armageddon. Add to that a state government stretched to point of draining local municipalities, and federal representatives so busy playing corporate politics and international skullduggery they have no time to focus on local issues.

The current shuffling at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., the "New and Improved" Bush Administration, is an example of how the National Politics is just another form of bread and circus.

As of this writing, the play by play, all of which needs to be confirmed by a Bush friendly congress, is as follows.

Attorney General John Ashcroft, the guy who lost to a dead man, resigned, to be replaced by White House Council Alberto Gonzales, an Enron Lawyer. Gonzales, a Houston Lawyer was replaced with Harriet Miers, a Dallas lawyer, presidential advisor, and deputy chief of staff. Secretary of State Colin Powell has resigned and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice will replace him as chief international diplomat. Moving into the space vacated by Ms. Rice, Stephan J. Hadley will now be watching football at Camp David with Presidente Bush. Prior to being National Security Advisor, Steve Hadley, served as assistant to the president and Deputy National Security Advisor.

Secretary of Education Rod Paige, a Houston educator, is being replaced by Margaret Spellings, a graduate of the University of Houston. Margaret Spellings, worked as Political Director in President Bush's first successful gubernatorial campaign in 1994, created education policy for Governor Bush as his senior advisor for the six years he was in office, and currently serves as Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy.

Commerce Secretary Don Evans, an Austin businessman who was first appointed by Governor Bush to the Board of Regents of the University of Texas, is moving on to greener, more lucrative pastures. His replacement is yet to named. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham is also leaving the Bush Cabinet. We can expect his successor to be less benign, and possibly from Texas.

Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, one of the Californians on King George's Court is also being let go. As of this writing Presidential advisor Karl Rove, another Texan, has approached Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson, a democrat, to fill that cabinet position. I'm sure the pitch includes promises of job security, and the near certainty of Nelson from being defeated in his next bid for reelection. Rove is as predictable as the Texas two-step. Nebraska has a Republican Governor, who would then appoint a Republican to replace the departing Senator, there by adding another Senate vote to the Bush jihad.

If Senator Nelson rejects the White House threats and bribes, George W. Will then appoint another yes person of narrow focus, probably someone with the timber lobby, or Monsanto.

Four years Californians have been preoccupied with the chaos generated by the administration of George W. Bush. Under the fog of war, enabled by a corporate media, the folks of Bush incorporated as diverted our attention from what is real and what really matters. Now is the time to reassert our connection to community by focusing on local issues that promote local action. The Cabinet of George w. Bush will not doing anything to encourage cleaner water or air. The Bush Administration cares nothing about the Southern California commute, the loss of biodiversity, local landfills, sewer systems, and classrooms at capacity.

Under a new mandate are Californians sure the Bush Administration won't move to increase the number of active oil leases off the California coast, or use the threat of such to ensure the drilling of the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve as a compromise? I'm not.

A simplified translation of Think Globally, Act Locally would be California First.

More to the point, working on regional and municipal levels to ensure a quality of life and local governance that reflects the importance of environmental sustainability, should be the focus of every Californian. In view of the growing chaos generated by an emboldened Bush Administration, California self-reliance should be discussed open and honestly.

Scary? You Bet. But no scarier than a corporate theocracy gripped with fear, attacking smaller nations for their national resources under the transparent mandate of "Spreading freedom."

The break away Republic of California has a nice ring to it.

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