For those who like a dash of irony in their daily news diet the June 21 Times carries a double ration. First, the editorial about Neil Bush, who used his privileged position to have his bank lend funds to business associates, deals that benefited him financially, loans that were not properly secured. For this caper Neil was slapped on the wrist by the government Office of Thrift Supervision, banned from the banking industry because he had “engaged in personal dishonesty,” and had “willfully breached his fiduciary duties.” And, of course, he is appealing that judgment.
Contrast this with the same day report on Anthony Essex, a Los Angeles black bank executive, who, horrors, “exaggerated his income” to obtain a home loan of $121,500. He was booked for this crime on eight fraud charges. He will have to pay the bank $63,000, spend six months in jail, serve 640 hours of community service and be on five years probation when he leaves jail.
Obviously, Essex had the wrong father. Meanwhile and more glaringly, George (“kinder, gentler”) Bush announces part of his plan to meet the current rising deficit is “by relying heavily on reductions in Medicare and other health benefits.” The President balanced his announcement by “denouncing angrily a House subcommittee’s refusal to fully fund his space exploration initiative and declared the American people want us in space.” He went on to “challenge those who would tackle the nation’s social ills before proceeding with a renewed exploration of the heavens.”
I wonder which sector of the “American people” Bush is talking about? If he were to conduct a poll tomorrow stating that given an option of voting $10 billion (an arbitrary figure) to explore Mars or spending that same amount of money to help feed our homeless, provide more treatment centers for alcoholics and other dopers, leave our Medicare budget untouched and provide better care for our indigent elders, I am certain that the voters, cynical, befuddled and uncaring as they often seem to be, would overwhelmingly choose the second option.
What is the point of solving the problem of putting even a regiment of space travelers on Mars when our own domestic problems, typified by violence and dope dealing and illiteracy, are unsolved?
I do not expect an answer. Just asking.