The Ohio Environmental Council applauds the recent call by the Ohio Farmers Union, the second largest farm group in Ohio, for a moratorium on new large-scale animal production facilities.
The council agrees that improvements need to be made in livestock operators' handling of vast quantities of manure, especially liquid manure. Unfortunately, liquid manure leaches through farm fields underlain by subsurface drains causing fish kills and pollution of local waterways.
Similarly, winter applications of manure on frozen or snow covered fields can cause environmental degradation. Ohio can and should do better.
In addition, health concerns regarding pathogen contaminated water and air supplies contaminated by toxic gases should be more seriously considered before factory farm permitting begins again.
Ohio's best natural resource and health professionals should examine policies and recommend procedures that can reduce health risks and reduce water and air pollution.
This would ensure a process that would result in better protection for citizens and the environment.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture has made a credible start in controlling contamination from Ohio's biggest farms after the Buckeye Egg fiasco, but more is needed.
A moratorium of a year or more will allow ODA the necessary time to develop more robust procedures to assure Ohioans that their fisheries and drinking water sources are protected from improper management by the few operators that refuse to respect our natural resources.
Director of Watershed Programs
Ohio Environmental Council
I'm not sure whether I should laugh or cry. The present administration tells us that there is a crisis situation with Social Security.
There wasn't a crisis when they gave away the surplus to the wealthy in a tax cut a few years back.
There wasn't a crisis when the Republican-controlled Congress piled billions of dollars into pork-barrel projects that increased the deficit to a half a trillion dollars.
When Social Security came into being, it did so without a single vote from the Republican Party. And ever since, Republicans have been trying to get rid of it. Now, instead of the government guaranteeing it, they want us to rely on the stock market and business to ensure it through "individual investment accounts."
Now I know what the President means by an "ownership" society. It means that, just like the early days of the Industrial Revolution, the wealthy and the business sector will "own" the rest of us.
And, of course, the rank-and-file Republicans will follow like President Bush was the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
I guess P.T. Barnum was right.
RON J. BORES
We are being led into Social Security changes with the same immediate-danger scare tactics that led us into the war in Iraq. If you repeat it over and over, people tend to believe what is being said. That is what this administration is counting on. Now billions of dollars are being fed into that country with no end in sight.
How many of those tax dollars could be better spent in the United States, on us, the taxpayers, including Social Security?
If we lived in an ideal world, everyone would make enough money to live on, to save, and to grow investments, and there would be no life emergencies. But we live in the real world.
How many "average" young people will have to draw from the fund, or know enough about investments to make wise decisions? There were many people who lost most of their retirement funds when the stock market crashed a few years ago, some are now living only on the money being received from Social Security.
It takes years before most young people can see the future of old age. We have to protect these coming generations. The generation on Social Security that needs every penny to live on should do what we can to protect Social Security.
Life experience alone shows us that we need to be able to rely on something.
As a regular reader of The Blade's anti-Bush, anti-Republican, anti-conservative editorials and columns for comparison purposes and in order to be cognizant of significantly different and perhaps valid points of view, I would sincerely appreciate reading The Blade's detailed concept of what specific, realistic, positive, achievable changes in the current U.S. and world scene at this point would've resulted from a John Kerry presidency and why.
It would be appreciated if, in so doing, only logical, actual, reliable, and verifiable facts and figures - minus political rancor - were to be presented. The current output at The Blade drips with such political venom as to verge upon the psychotic, in my personal opinion.
We've gorged on your interminable diet of political assassination of the conservative hero of the hour; now let's hear all the positives about your defeated hero and what world news would now be like had he been elected - with specific emphasis upon the status of democracy in Iraq.
LOREN L. PACE
Surely Richard Kerger wasn't serious in his Feb. 5 Saturday Essay that the elections in the Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Iraq were models of perfection compared to the presidential election in Ohio in November.
That's outrageous. Everyone knows elections (just like lawyers) are not always perfect, but this attorney went over the edge. He joined the other "losers in litigation" to try to overturn an election but, alas, it didn't work.
I can only wonder if this same individual "investigated" all the "problems" with Ohio's voting when Bill Clinton won? Or, for that matter, would he be this upset had John Kerry been victorious in Ohio? Further, shouldn't he litigate every state, both "Red and Blue," to try to overturn their results as well?
'Tis a sad sight indeed watching these sore losers self-destruct. Their rage and resentment over the results of this election pour forth in every venue, but to no avail. The election is over, and no lawyers in litigation can reverse the results. The majority of American voters chose George Bush.
With the Iraqi elections over and a new democracy taking shape, I wonder if our own elected senators and congressmen will see this newly formed government as a mirror for what they should be: A government really of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Or will it be the other way around, an Iraqi government that will be as corrupt and ethically challenged as our own?
Maybe our own elected officials will be humbled when they see these new government officials at work, realizing that the American people put them there to serve the people, not their own interests, which seems to be to get rich off the American taxpayers.
Maybe they will finally start taking into account what's best for the American people, not what's best for the people who gave them financial support during their campaigns in return for favors that only benefit a few.
CHRIS A. WILLE
The 10 Bush techniques toward disaster: 1. Create a fake crisis in the media; 2. distort the truth with phony "facts"; 3. propose a flawed "remedy" that fits the conservative agenda; 4. call it "reform"; 5. claim benefits that can't possibly happen; 6. call any opponent to the idea "un-American"; 7. hoodwink the middle class into thinking it will help them; 8. use mindless slogans; 9. pay the bills next century, and 10. call the change a victory for righteousness.