4.08.2006

Look to the future and say, "Fore!"

Hey, when you’re wrong about someone, you have to admit it, right? Because I’ve pretty frequently thought that this administration was evil. Sometimes horrible. Sometimes deliberately cruel. Sometimes bafflingly stupid. Certainly liars. But it seems important to me to be able to acknowledge when your perception of someone you despise is wrong. After all, isn’t that the hope of the world?

You see, the United States has been losing wetland and marshes every year since we started keeping track in 1954. On Earth Day in 2004, President Bush said that he wanted to not just stop the loss, but actually increase the acreage of wetland in the US. After all, farmers and ranchers – you know, those people in political ads in soft-honey focus smiling in front of waving flags? – depend on it so much, as does the ecosystem, and all humans really rely on it for…um…shoot. That thing we do? With our lungs? Breathing! That’s it.

Anyway, I figured it was more sinister bullshit. Or stupid. Or deliberately horrible. Certainly a lie. But last week, secretary Norton announced that they’d done it! They’d increased domestic wetlands by almost 200,000 acres! This is especially impressive considering that, according to the US Geological Survey, Hurricane Katrina destroyed around 64,250 acres of wetland. Norton’s report shows “a loss of 523,500 acres of swamp and marsh wetlands and a gain of 715,300 acres of shallow-water wetlands.” Wow.

Rightly so, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said, "The President's historic support of voluntary conservation programs has led the nation to this important milestone.”

Warms the heart, doesn’t it? Ahhhhhh.

Hm. We lost over half a million acres, but gained 700,000…that seems a little weird. Well, best not nitpick. Right? Right.

Because if one did, one would discover that the government redefined the criteria for qualifying as a “wetland.” This new definition includes…

Ready? Take a deep breath.

Golf courses.

I’m serious. Fucking golf courses!

You see, in addition to being 'wet' 'land', when bird’s migrate, sometimes a couple of them stop to catch their breath in the water-hazards. Before getting zonked in the head by a Titleist, that is. And that’s how we lost a half-million acres of wetland (the most ever), and gained a lot of…”wetland”.

It’s hard to keep getting upset, especially since this sort of thing is certainly not unprecedented. Reagan did this all the time. He redefined “mentally ill” in order to empty out the asylums, which was, coincidentally, around the time the “crazy homeless guy” first appeared on the American landscape. Then he redefined “homeless” to keep those statistics from going up and redefined "poverty” and “unemployed” to show that poverty was down. Clinton did it too, redefining “job” to show how many new jobs his administration had created. And, my personal fave, Reagan redefined “vegetable” to include Ketchup, so he could show that the dietary needs of people on federal assistance were being met.

Anyway…when you’re wrong about someone, or an administration, you have to admit it. And I was wrong about all those things I at times thought about them. Because, in fact, they are apparently all true simultaneously. They’re horribly evil, deliberately cruel, lying idiots.

It feels good to admit that, you know? Like a breath of fresh, golf course air.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Kelsey said...

That's interesting...I didn't know people had the power to change the meaning of a word. Like how they consider golf courses "wetlands". when did that happen? Facinating.

9:43 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home