Nothing you have written has made me as angry as your editorial concerning Sen. James Webb's short conversation with President Bush titled, of all things, "Respect the office."
George W. Bush has so trashed the office of the President, and shown so little respect for both the office and America's democracy, that asking anyone to show him respect is outrageous. You obviously have not yet accepted the reality of what he has done to our country.
Rather than criticize Senator Webb for not letting the President off the hook, you should be criticizing the President for evading Mr. Webb's comment, "I'd like to get them out of Iraq."
If the President were honest and had even an ounce of empathy, he would have said something kind to Mr. Webb instead of a curt, arrogant, "That's not what I asked you."
Your first response to the issue is also misleading. To say that "plenty of people criticize George W. Bush and poke fun at him in public arenas - that's called democracy." suggests that Mr. Bush is like our other presidents. But he isn't anything like our other presidents. He is the most isolated and cowardly president we have ever had. He has not once faced a hostile crowd in the United States since eggs were thrown at his limousine during his first inauguration.
To paraphrase Paul Krugman's recent column in the New York Times, any college that gives George W. Bush an honorary degree loses all hope of having any honor.
We are hearing much talk about mega-farms, also called CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations). These are locations where many thousands of animals are contained in buildings in very tight facilities. Currently a CAFO is being proposed in Ogden Township.
The "Right to Farm Act" was put in place some 35 years ago to protect family farms. The intent was to protect a farmer from urban sprawl. Today, it is being used against local farmers to allow corporate farming. This is a gross misuse of the intention of this act.
The proposed dairy would place 5,000 cows on a 200-acre parcel. The manure generated from one cow each day is equivalent to 23 people. This translates to placing the entire population of Lenawee County on this parcel, without the benefits of any sewage treatment.
I was born and raised on a farm, and I love farming. To allow these CAFOs to happen is disappointing and disgusting. Many of the existing CAFOs in both Michigan and Ohio have pending and continuing violations for discharge of manure into our water.
Animals are allowed to be "composted," and we are told by the Department of Agriculture that this practice is an acceptable way to dispose of dead animals. Try doing that with your dead cats and dogs and you would be arrested for animal cruelty!
Corporate farming must not be allowed to continue to use the Right to Farm Act as a shield to hide behind. New laws and new rules must be put in place for this type of operation. I urge those who are proposing this facility to reconsider, do the right thing, and not force themselves where they are not wanted.
Freedom to farm is not freedom to rule.
The environmentalists who are warning us about global warming being caused by human activities are probably correct, at least partially.
However, George Gamow, of the University of Colorado, in his 1958 book, Matter, Earth and Sky, presents a different scenario. He writes "that there were at least four (and probably more) consecutive advances and retreats of glaciers separated by long interglacial stages of much warmer climates, during which the present climatic zones were shifted by as much as 20 or 30 degrees of latitude toward the poles."
Mr. Gamow postulates "that we are now living during the receding stage of the last glaciation period, and the climate of the earth is becoming warmer and warmer as geological time goes by."
When are people going to take their heads out of the sand and face reality? Not only are factory jobs being outsourced, we are also outsourcing our money in the form of the cash spent by folks who care to gamble.
Now we see that smokers and the money they spend are being outsourced to neighboring states because of the inane anti-smoking law.
Employees of businesses that will be affected by this law will be laid off, fired, or sharply curtailed in their working hours.
Even one of America's greatest supports this law. Please bear in mind that many Blade readers are also smokers. Those who are so very much anti-smoking when they dine out have a choice of nonsmoking eating places as well as bars. When is Big Brother going to stop being one?
San Paulo Drive
At first glance, Mahjabeen Islam's recent letter seemed to make some pretty good points. But if you look at the police report, you will realize her skewed view through the prism of Islam is remarkably incorrect.
First, Ms. Islam said praying is "obligatory" in Islam, required three times during times of travel. But one of the imams, Didmar Faja, chose to wait until he returned to Phoenix to pray. All of the other imams were on the same flight to the same place at the same time, so why couldn't they wait to pray as well?
She also seemed to have a problem with the way the imams were removed from the plane: "in handcuffs with the presence of police dogs." According to the police report, the dogs were present to sniff the bags belonging to the imams. Is this not acceptable when suspicious activity was reported? I would expect and hope for the exact same thing to happen to anyone being removed. Ms. Islam then cries discrimination because of how the men were treated.
Well, the next time I see six men - white, black, brown, yellow, red, or purple - "cursing U.S. involvement with Saddam," as the police report says, "praying very loud," as the police report says, asking for seat belt extensions when they are not overweight, as the police report says, and sitting two in the front, middle, and back, like the police report says, what should the police do?
I think they did the right thing and I hope things are handled the exact same way next time. What if things had been handled this way the morning of Sept. 11, 2001?
C. Paul Chambers
The Democrats were quick to point fingers at the Republican Party for not revealing the Mark Foley scandal, but now it appears that a key Democrat (Rahm Emanuel, head of the House Democrats' campaign committee) also knew of the incident well before the election. Back in October, Mr. Emanuel said that neither he nor any of his staff knew of the e-mails sent by Mr. Foley, but recently his aide revealed that he had information on the scandal back in 2005.
I guess the Democrats aren't as clean as they appear and are just as "corrupt" as the Republicans.
A recent Forum letter asked, "What will these prudes do next?" How funny that this gentleman compared a smoking ban in public places to an activity generally engaged in by people in private. Activities of discretion and activities with blatant disregard for someone else's right to a healthy life do not a good analogy make.
When I am trying to eat my dinner in a restaurant and someone is smoking, it is affecting my health directly in a negative way. So unless this gentleman plans to engage in this activity in a restaurant or bar, I don't think he will have to be concerned with sex being outlawed by any of those health-conscious prudes.
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