I find it interesting that President Bush's approval rating, while still good, is declining and that the decline is being attributed to his foreign policy and/or lack of it, in the Middle East. Anyone who believes peace is negotiated, contractual, or external doesn't comprehend its definition.
Peace and/or peacefulness is a state of being from within a person, not from without. It occurs when one sees not what one lacks, but what one possesses. It comes from realizing that true power comes not from controlling our environment or others' lives, but controlling our own responses to our world and others' behaviors. Peace is compassionate, self-assured, and loving.
Many religious and political groups teach hate and intolerance. These groups preach their perceptions of truth, promoting misunderstanding and disdain for other ideologies and peoples. To perceive truth is not the same as to know it. Knowing truth comes not from living by past traditions, but from the place within each human soul that is God.
Some simple truths: We are all humans, born equally, by the miracle of a universal energy named many names by different people. We will survive as a species only with the help of each other. We can choose hate every day and continue to destroy ourselves, or we can choose love. It's a very simple concept.
Walt Whitman wrote:
I dream'd in a dream I saw a city invincible to the attacks of the whole of the rest of the earth,
I dream'd that was the new city of Friends,
Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love, it led the rest,
It was seen every hour in the actions of the men of that city,
And in all their looks and words.
We are capable of making peace a reality. All we have to do is choose.
During the tax season, everyone's attention turns to the tax burden that weighs heavily on us all. Republicans promise tax cuts but run up the defense budget and the national debt for our children. Democrats oppose tax cuts and favor funding social services and reducing the national debt.
But here are ways to reduce the income tax burden that both Democrats and Republicans can support.
1. Reduce federal subsidies for meat and dairy products that contribute to the deaths of 1.3 million Americans annually.
2. Tax these products to compensate federal and state governments for their costs of treating the victims under the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Last December, U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher estimated that diseases associated with obesity alone were accountable for 300,000 deaths annually and a national cost of $117 billion. Extrapolating this equation to heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and other diseases, which have been linked conclusively with consumption of animal fat and meat, brings the annual number of American deaths to 1.3 million and the associated national cost to around $500 billion. That works out to roughly $5,000 annually per household.
The concept of taxing animal fat and meat may sound radical today, but so did the idea of taxing alcohol and tobacco products at one time. At least 17 states plus the District of Columbia have enacted taxes on soft drinks or other junk foods. Taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for consumers who choose to harm their health and their family's health.
Mark Twain said that nothing is certain except death and taxes. However, one can be delayed and the other reduced by avoiding the consumption of recognized health hazards like animal fat and meat. Taxing these products would encourage consumers to make informed purchasing decisions.
The new ballpark is great - except for one small problem. The netting near Monroe Street is not high enough. Recently, one of our players hit a home run over the netting onto Monroe.
All we need is for that to happen again and hit a car's windshield and cause the driver to panic and get into an accident, perhaps causing injury or death.
The fence or netting needs to be high enough all around the park to stop that. Or close off traffic while a game is on. (That's not going to happen.) May the powers that be please do something about this.
The Blade has run editorials disparaging opponents of the new Mud Hens stadium. I expect you would consider me one of the nay-sayers since I have noted that less than one in a hundred residents will go there on a regular basis and the majority of us will likely never attend a game. Also I am not among the handful of merchants and parking lot owners who will benefit from the new structure.
But I am among the majority of voters that voted against using public money for this purpose. Not that it matters to our county commissioners what the voters want. If it did we wouldn't have to subsidize SeaGate Centre every year.
Since the stadium has already been built, I hope it is successful. By all accounts it is a grand facility. As well it should be, because it cost more than twice as much as any other stadium in the league.
I do think, though, it's too early for gloating.
Portside too, was full for a few days after it opened.
JOSEPH E. PFLAGER
Wow! That is some big - nope, gigantic - billboard Commissioner Sandy Isenberg has on display near Fifth Third Field. A stranger to Toledo might get the impression that President Isenberg was the only one responsible for our new stadium. We Toledoans know differently, of course.
Once she said it was an “also.” Then she said, “We needed a new stadium.” Seems the commissioner couldn't make up her mind. Anyway, methinks that Ms. Isenberg's billboard (paid for, they say, out of her campaign money) is the first in a long series of ads a la Ray Kest for her continuing as president/commissioner.
What's next? A run for mayor?
DORIS E. MEEK
Ohio's working families who are struggling to make ends meet in an unstable economy can rely on one thing: affordable electricity from coal. Because coal provides nearly 90 percent of the state's electricity, Ohio consumers pay less for this reliable electricity resource.
Now, the results of a new study from Penn State University indicate that low-cost electricity generated using coal benefits Ohio's economy as well, and that's good news for all Ohioans.
Access to affordable electricity that is generated using coal means jobs and income –- both of which are important to me and my family. According to the study, electricity from coal will be responsible for as much as $16.2 billion in increased household income and 465,000 Ohio jobs in the year 2010.
That's especially important when you consider that low- and fixed-income households are disproportionately impacted by an increase in their energy bills. And electricity bills would go up if environmental regulations aimed at reducing the use of American coal are enacted.
Ohio's working families don't have to choose between affordable, reliable electricity and a clean environment. Thanks to an abundance of coal and the technology to use it cleanly, we can have both.
E. LEE ISON
When I was a young boy, I used to leave my neighborhood for an adventure at Camp Miakonda to learn about the wilderness. It appears, under the current leadership of the Erie Shores Council, that they now want to teach scouts how to turn a wilderness into a neighborhood. Boy, some adventure.