Backward agendas abound in Washington

In response to Ben Damron's anti-Clinton letter, he reminds us that we must look forward, not back, to fix the system. Such a progressive notion is being implemented now with the Department of Homeland Security that President Bush can't wait to sink his teeth into. Amazing the speed with which he's created a whole new never-before-seen solution to the problem of securing our homeland, without even a full investigation into what caused the problem in the first place, just like magic.

But this terrorism prevention program looks to be about the only new development coming out of Washington, and even that contains rollbacks on hard-fought battles for employees' rights. Of course, Bush's USA Patriot Act syncs us up with where we should have been in 1984, according to our buddy George Orwell.

His proposed solution to our education problem is to get back to segregating the sexes in the classroom, a mighty leap of about 30 years backwards. His proposed solution to our chronically ailing economy is another round of tax cuts, while shifting appropriations from domestic to military concerns eerily reminiscent of the 20-year-old Reagan-era arms race & skyrocketing deficits.

The most concrete proposal from the White House that remotely concerns our individual health is a long, stressful dip back into the '60s for that ever popular smallpox vaccination program.

And backwards we go, further still, with stock market indices traipsing back nearly a decade. Individual retirement plans are reset to almost zero, back where we started when we first set them up for ourselves.

And, since we have oil on the mind alot lately, our automobile fuel efficiency has regressed to levels we'd reached five years ago.

The discount rate hasn't dropped under 2 percent since the late '50s. Unemployment numbers today remind us of the early '70s. Incomes slipped back into Clinton era figures (though you'd never guess it looking at CEO and Congressional compensation packages), and the poverty rate conjures up the Nixon era for some reason.

Speaking of the Nixon era, is that another Vietnam careening towards us at breakneck speed?

Yes, we've been here before. It's such a nostalgic time we're living in. Too bad our rivers and streams, forests, air quality, trust in both corporate & government leadership, and especially our optimism of the good old days will never revisit their previous states under this new progressive conservative agenda.