In response to your diary entries: "Worlds apart" and "A Democrat gets it"
Your theory that concern for "children's welfare under the influence of a culture in which all the norms that keep most people safe are breaking down is uppermost in most parents' minds" is very probably high on the agenda for many of the Americans who voted recently and I'm sure that's why they have developed a "trust [for] their country's leader" who according to you has "reformed" and "showed backbone by allowing religion to turn him from vice to virtue."But if religious values are at the heart of American voters' decision making technique, shouldn't these values be better based on a person's (Bush's) actions and not on the various speeches he makes. Empty promises, apologies in advance for being glib, do not feed poor children. This is just a handful of Bush's ACTIONS:
According to the New York Times ""People in the very top income categories fared better by almost any measure, according to the report. The average after-tax income for people in the top 1 percent of income earners climbed 10.1 percent, while that of those in the middle 20 percent climbed 2.3 percent, and that of those in the bottom fifth only 1.6 percent."
According to the U.S. Census Bureau "For all children under 18, the poverty rate increased from 16.7 percent in 2002 to 17.6 percent in 2003. The number in poverty rose, from 12.1 million to 12.9 million," "The poverty rate and number of families in poverty increased from 9.6 percent and 7.2 million in 2002 to 10.0 percent and 7.6 million in 2003," "The proportion of uninsured children did not change in 2003, REMAINING AT 11.4 PERCENT OF ALL CHILDREN (my emphasis), or 8.4 million."
So "Concern for children's welfare" doesn't seem high on this moral minded man's agenda.
"He pats us on the back with his speeches and stabs us in the back with his actions," said Charles A. Carter of Shawnee, Okla., a retired Navy senior chief petty officer.
According to the Democrats "The President's budget raises health care costs for over 1 million veterans, increasing drug co-payments and imposing new enrollment fees that will cost veterans over $2 billion over five years. According to the Administration’s own figures, this will result in driving about 200,000 veterans out of the system, and discourage another 1 million veterans from enrolling. Every year since taking office, the Bush Administration has proposed to increase the cost of health care for veterans."
So, with family at the core of Bush's policies, he has decided to make a few grandfathers/fathers a little less well off, not to mention less able to deal with their disability, assuming they have one (and there is plenty to choose from). Aquired, no doubt, from "defending freedom" in countries they may never have heard of, aganist people they never new existed, but in the knowledge that if they do get injured they will be well looked after by their caring and religious president.
A new report from the EPI "The employment rate among single mothers fell from 73.0 percent in 2000 to 69.8 percent in 2003," [Between '95 and '00 employment increased BUT] "About one-fourth of these employment gains were lost between 2000 and 2003."
According to CNN "President Bush on Tuesday unveiled a welfare reform plan that touts marriage for unwed mothers and stiffens work requirements for recipients."
Seemingly Bush's plan is to get them married off so he can pay them even less, admirable stuff.
And for those children who have just arrived President Bush is planning "Providing food assistance to legal immigrants in need, after they have lived in the country longer than five years," assuming they last that long i guess.
In one respect you are completely correct, when you say "The choice is between fighting terror and defeating it, or making an accommodation with it that guarantees it will eventually defeat you. On the one side is the Bush administration; on the other is the United Nations," but regretfully for the wrong reasons. A large portion of the anti-war lobby and those of us who believe in human rights decided to vote for the lesser of two evils in the hope it will save countless civilian lives, but the fight to hinder US led terror hit a stumbling block with President Bush's re-election. Obviously a small majority of American voters have sided with Terrorism, but as you say, it will eventually defeat them. Well, the poor ones anyway (hint: most of them are).
Terrorism: "the unlawful use of force against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population or any segment thereof, in the furtherance of political or social objectives."
Low Intensity Warfare (Official US Policy): "... a political-military confrontation between contending states or groups below conventional war and above the routine, peaceful competition among states. It frequently involves protracted struggles of competing principles and ideologies. Low-intensity conflict ranges from subversion to the use of the armed forces. It is waged by a combination of means, employing political, economic, informational, and military instruments. Low-intensity conflicts are often localized, generally in the Third World, but contain regional and global security implications."
Melanie meet Reality, Reality meet Melanie, "Nice to meet you Melanie."