...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Thursday, August 21, 2003
      ( 8:47 AM )
Even Nature Hates Bush?
(...or is something more sinister afoot?)

As some of you may know, the President is visiting Oregon today. His big fundraiser (expected to bring in $1 million) at University of Portland is going to be protested by an expected crowd of upwards of 5-20,000 people. There is even a demonstration blog set up. You may think that's quite a protest (W's Daddy called Portland "Little Beruit" after he tried coming here). But his other stop was to be in the Deschutes National Forest so he could "stump" his "healthy forest" initiative (which we all know follows the traditional Bushian logic of: in order to fix something, we must destroy it!). But in the exact area where he was set to have his forest speech, the forests have burst into flames!

Two wildfires are now burning out of control in the very location that Bush was expected to speak from today. So now he's going to have to do his thing from eastern Oregon, in Redmond.

But that's not the end of the story. At first look, the fires look intentionally set. But by whom??? The AP is reporting that some high-placed environmentalist organizations (and not lefty ones - more like the Sierra Club) are questioning whether it's just coincidence that the fires were set right when the President was coming to talk about preventing forest fires by cutting down the forests...

Bush's forest initiative isn't only opposed by environmentalists, it's also opposed by forest fire fighters and residents of small towns here in Oregon. They feel the money should be spent on clearing old, dry brush and thinning new trees, rather than the Bush plan of clearing out old growth. The "Healthy Forest" initiative is, in a word, a gift to loggers. Shocking, I know. And now suddenly, right on the eve of a speech set to show that Bush himself is more powerful than Smokey the Bear and he alone can prevent forest fires if only allowed to pass his distorted, hairbrained legislation - the trees are aflame. Political arson just to help the President? Could pro-Bush forces be so uncaring, so cruel? Were those rhetorical questions?

I will update today on the ongoing events surrounding the visit. It's looking right now like these fires were not accidental. The FBI has been called in. The question is, will we ever know the truth?

Cheering on Oregon bloggers who are standing up today for that truth...and to show that this President is not a president of the people, but a chicken President of the rich and one who blows more smoke than the forest fires.

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