Top Concerns Report 2005
On the last day of 2004, in lieu of a list of the top news stories of the year, I posted my Top 10 Concerns for the year, indicating how I thought the Bush administration was leading us in the wrong direction on virtually all of them. I said I expected these concerns to be under discussion here at “Sense from Seattle” during 2005. In his posted comments, John from Phoenix added two concerns to my list and expanded on one other.
Here is my report on what happened during 2005 in the areas of concern and what discussion took place in articles here at Sense. Also included are some predictions for 2006. For those interested in reviewing any articles, the Sense index link on the left side of this page lists all Sense postings alphabetical by topic.
On religion and politics, posturing in opposition to gay marriage, which was used by many Republicans in the 2004 campaign, has quieted down some and is being replaced with the Intelligent Design farce. With the two slots opening on the Supreme Court, abortion judicial rulings returned to the forefront. Religious discussion was the fourth most popular topic at Sense during 2005, with 12 articles posted. I expect many Republicans to use their “Holy Trinity” of gay bashing, abortion opposition and undercover creationism in the 2006 campaign.
Civil liberties continued under attack by the Bush administration in 2005, mostly with regard to those imprisoned in the so-called War on Terror. The Courts righted some of the wrongs, but Bush still persists in using the War as an excuse for abuse. The end of the year saw revelations about wiretapping Americans without first obtaining warrants and the Patriot Act likely being scaled back some. These issues were little discussed at Sense. They will probably become 2006 campaign issues and receive more discussion here next year.
“The End Justifies the Means” continues to be the defacto motto of the Bush Administration and was discussed here many times in the 29 articles (most on any topic) on the administration that appeared on Sense in 2005, and will likely be discussed again during the coming year.
Disdain for science by Bush and his followers was rampant in 2005, with such examples as the intelligent design farce, outright rejection of global warming, foot dragging on the morning after pill, etc. Sometimes discussed in passing, the topic of Science is not even included in the Sense index and deserves better coverage in 2006, since the attacks will continue.
That disenfranchisement of black inner city voters is part of a larger racial divide in America was dramatically shown by the Hurricane Katrina story, which continues to receive fairly good coverage in the mainstream media, so was not much discussed here, with only two articles indexed under race, though there were ten under the topic of elections and eight on politics. I will be looking for stories on black disenfranchisement during the 2006 campaign. The Katrina aftermath story will continue for 2006 and many years more. I have much to say about racial issues in America and am only waiting for my trigger finger to succumb.
The media finally started to stand up to Bush in 2005. As the polls began to show Americans strongly disapproving of Bush, reporters learned that most Americans want them to ask better questions. A Republican effort to politicize the public broadcasting media was thwarted with a deserved backlash. Six 2005 articles on journalism are included in the Sense index. I expect the public mood for tough questions and honest answers to continue into the 2006 campaign, while Bush and his Republican followers try to give evasive and deceptive answers.
My legal experience draws me to matters involving the judicial system, a topic discussed under 9 articles at Sense in 2005, plus an extra one on Bankruptcy. With the opportunity to make two Supreme Court appointments, Bush toned down his general attacks on so-called “activist judges”. The attempt to undermine the Courts in the Schiavo case was another defeat and backlash for Bush people. The Alioto confirmation hearing in January may generate more opposition to the appointment than did the Roberts hearings, but he will probably be confirmed. During 2006, we should begin to learn more about our new Chief Justice also.
Drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was the poster child for the Bush environmental degradation movement in 2006. Environmental issues were discussed in six articles here during the year. The systematic attack will continue in 2006.
The public began to see the disconnect in the Bush political discourse during 2005, a subject covered here under the topics of politics and the Bush administration. In response to the polls they say they ignore, Bush advisors counseled him to appear more responsive, but it is so against his nature and he is so lacking in ability that this will continue to fail and cause backlash in 2006.
Bush is still acting like the contemptuous bully of the world, though the quagmire in Iraq, the second most discussed issue at Sense in 2005, with 22 postings, has exposed his weaknesses. His strutting and posing will continue in 2006, but less frequently and with a limp in his false swagger.
The second most discussed topic at Sense in 2005, was one that was not even on the 2004 list of concerns, perhaps because it cuts across many topics. Congress was indexed in connection with 14 articles. With the mid term elections in 2006, Congress should continue to receive plenty of attention.
A final concern not on the 2004 list, Wal-Mart, earned a dishonorable mention in 2005, with six Sense postings. Labor issues, which are a big part of the Wal-Mart concern, along with the downside of globalism, received five discussions of their own. The related topics of immigration (two Sense articles in 2005), corporations (five articles) and globalism(not indexed, though four articles are indexed on economics) deserve more coverage here in 2006.
Best wishes to you, America and the world for a better 2006.