KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Urgent: Petition to Urge Bush to Pare Down Inauguration

:: See update. ::

On January 20, George Bush will spend an obscene $40 million from private donors on the most expensive inaugural celebration in history. Please help me stop him—or at least make people think a little—by signing my petition to him before the petition closing date of Thursday, January 13. I must close the petition by that date in order to have enough time to get it to Bush. Please tell absolutely everyone you can think of to sign the petition.

I've submitted the petition to ThePetitionSite.com and am waiting for the organization's reviewers to vet it and assign it an URL. As soon as one is available, I'll post it here.

Here's the text of the petition:

President Bush:

We urge you to replace your elaborate inaugural celebration plans with arrangements for spare, dignified proceedings because:

  • Over 123,000 people were killed by the December 26 tsunamis caused by the massive earthquake in Southeast Asia. The death toll rises by the day. If there were multiple deaths in your hometown, would you host a showy party shortly thereafter? You—and all Americans—are citizens of the world and thus must show respect for the tragic losses of our fellow world citizens.

  • You have pledged $350 million in aid to the nations hit by tsunamis, but your planned inauguration, with nine balls, a youth concert, a parade, a fireworks display, and the official swearing-in ceremony, is expected to be the most expensive in history, costing about $40 million—in addition to security costs. That $40 million could help provide water and sanitation systems, lessening the effects of disastrous diseases that now loom. Surely you, as a supporter of the right to life, have a moral obligation to save lives. You would be a humanitarian if you told your corporate donors that you have decided to use their money to help the survivors of one of the worst natural disasters in recorded history—donors including ChevronTexaco of Concord, California; Ameriquest Capital Corp. of Orange, California; Corporate Capital LLC of New Orleans; Argent Mortgage Co. of Orange; Long Beach Acceptance Corp. of Paramus, New Jersey; Town and Country Credit of Irvine, California; and Golden Eagle Industries of Charlotte, North Carolina. Gold-plated celebrations in the face of such suffering do not become a world leader; a little humility does.

  • The United States is currently spending $177 million a day in Iraq, yet American soldiers lack the life-saving equipment they need to do the job you sent them to do.

  • You are considering asking Congress to freeze domestic spending in 2005 in light of massive federal deficits that have set records, peaking at $413 billion in 2003. It is obscene to flaunt your corporate donations and to wallow in lavish celebrations amid international agony, and then ask Americans to tighten their belts.

President Bush, please do the right thing: Have an inauguration befitting a world leader rather than the ostentatious festivities one might expect of a king out of touch with his subjects.

Here are some news stories that back up the points made in the petition:

A dear friend of mine, when told about the petition, wrote me to say: "Good for you for drafting the petition. The phrase 'pissing up a rope' occurs to me." All of us who sign it may indeed be pissing up a rope, but speaking out is all we have left . . . and if we don't do it, we won't even have that.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this thought provoking request. Think I did, because at first I was in a big rush to sign the petition. Then I changed my mind, and this is the reason. If the (obscenely bloated) festivities were to be canceled or cut back now, many small businesses from caterers to dress shops to limo rentals would take an undeserved hit. Even those tacky street vendors that line the Mall would sell fewer ugly T-shirts. Some small businesses bank on certain events - a local baseball game, an inaugural parade or ball, Christmas. It is part of their business plan. Those withdrawn dollars would not go to the Red Cross, they would dissipate into meaninglessness.

So thank you again, and I agree with you in spirit but not in action on this one.

MD Smith
wishing there were more progressive thinking people in Cody WY

Mike said...

Posted on Left is Right. Thanks.

clearblueskyforus@yahoo.com said...

Dear Editor Mom:

Man, you are cool. You have blurred the line between expressing frustration, setting an example, taking action, and making a difference. You are doing all these and more with your push to petition Bush administration to pare down inaugural festivities.

Out of self-interest alone the cost of these festivities should be cut by 75% or more. Imagine the press that symbolic and small gesture would generate. I mean, Karl Rove is an idiot if he doesn't see the opportunity for great press for his buddy / lacky. If Bush cut the 40 million to 10 million and took the other 30 million and added to our donation for relief efforts What an opportunity! What a no-brainer!

Is there ANY downside to that? Is there any corporation or wealthy private doner (saudis, insurance industry, NRA, etc. etc.) that has the guts to complain and say: "HEY --- I DIDN'T GIVE THAT MONEY TO FIGHT HOMELESSNESS, HUNGER, OR DISEASE TO TSUNAMI VICTIMS! I GAVE THAT MONEY FOR A GIANT GOLD LEAF MOSAIC OF BUSH TO HANG FROM THE REVIEWING STAND!"

I don't think so. I don' think there's one big sponsor that would breathe a word.

The only reason I can think of to go forward with this coronation fisco is that it is the administration's goal to alienate most of the world any chance they can get. If that is their goal, they are doing a heck of a job.

You're onto something here EditorMom. Keep pushing. Right on!

clear blue sky

blog: www.clearblueskyoutwest.blogspot.com

email: clearblueskyforus@yahoo.com

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