Bullying among kids in school is very real, as stated in the front-page item in your June 28 newspaper. But bullying is not confined to the schoolyard. It’s very much a way of life in the adult world. National companies move into small towns (2,000 to 6,000) and put local businesses out of business. One case in point, right here in our parish, is one business that already has one location and is trying to get zoning approval to put a second store right next to well-established regional outfit.

A Fortune 500 company in town strong-armed local trailer park owners into having to go through them to get contracts with FEMA for Katrina victims. At least one owner (after going through the Fortune 500 firm for one of his parks) told FEMA if they wanted his other parks, they would have to deal directly with him, and FEMA did.

Probably the most well-known bullying cases stem from the IRS. Some people are afraid of them as if they were a den of snakes (some even describe them as such). With the IRS, you are guilty until you prove otherwise. Some people look at most government agencies as bullies. This includes the Supreme Court, the Justice Department, the environmental and wetlands departments, etc.

The federal government collects our money through taxes, then sends it back with strings attached (spend as they say or we don’t get it back). This is like the bread winner of the house bring the paycheck home, giving it to the spouse, who says this is how we will spend it and you have no say so. If you lie to a federal agent, you can get jail time. If a federal agent (including the president) lies to you, it’s just politics.

Isn’t this country in a mess? But I don’t know any other place I would want to live. As we used to say in the Army, there are three ways to do anything, the right way, the wrong way and the Army way (the government’s way). We need to do as John Kennedy said: “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”

R.H. Pulliam