Phil Gramm, the Republican ex-senator from Texas, suggests we stop whining, that times are not as bad as we think. He should have that rattlesnake bite taken care of.
The stock market has gone into the dumper and thousands of people are out of work. The war in Iraq has gone badly ever since it was declared, and much of the world hates us. You can't drink the water or breathe the air. Airlines are going broke and gasoline costs more than $4 per gallon.
Some banks are on the brink and groceries cost more and more each week. America's automotive industry is in deep trouble and personal bankruptcies are at an all time high as are mortgage foreclosures.
The Iranians have double-dog dared the United States and there is no end in sight to the troubles in the Middle East. While much of the world is starving, corn is being turned into ethanol.
If these are indications that times are not so bad as Mr. Gramm suggests, then we should stop worrying and be happy, as a certain song suggests.
Just remember that all of this happened on the Republican watch. Do you still need reasons for voting Democratic this fall?
John J. Burkhart
Kaptur should have gone to ANWR too
Rep. Marcy Kaptur did not go with the other congressmen to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Not going on this trip provided her the opportunity to criticize those who did.
How can a person in her position make an intelligent decision and not take a few days and visit that area? She would then have been in a position to evaluate and see for herself. Why did she not go? Was it because she would have to report favorably on what she saw and learned?
The majority of the people who live in the village of Kaktovik, near ANWR, support drilling for oil. It would help their economy and provide a win-win situation for all in trying to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
Miss Kaptur's statement that this trip was a junket and public-relations stunt makes her look very foolish and immature for a person in her position.
James R. Bard
Latta trip shows he's looking out for us
Three cheers to Rep. Bob Latta for traveling to the Arctic National Wildlife Refiuge to see just exactly why all those leftist media and Al Gore, save-the-planet-at-all-costs types are so against drilling there. Just maybe he is looking out for us for a change.
With low-income and fixed-income citizens slowly going down the drain from high oil prices, there doesn't seem to be anyone in Washington who thinks there is an urgency to fix the problem. We are tired of the old rhetoric of alternative energy being the answer when it is curently cost-prohibitive.
Sure, we should continue working on alternatives. But Bob, if you think you will get fair coverage in The Blade about your trip, forget it. And you won't get a peep from the three major TV networks since the anchors are with Barack Obama in the Middle East.
Alaska tour a waste of taxpayer dollars
So Rep. Bob Latta went to Alaska. What did he hope to accomplish there besides wasting tax dollars on another needless junket and racking up frequent flier miles on the taxpayer's dollar? Where is the financial responsibility? There is nothing he can learn there that he doesn't already know here.
When the average Joe is having a hard time affording gas to go to work, much less take a vacation, our elected officials are off hither and yon spending our money like drunken sailors. Where will the next globe-trotting "fact-finding" mission take him? I say, stay put and attend to the matters of your district. Alaska does not need you any more than it needed the Exxon Valdez.
Time for Congress to make decision
Now that President Bush has lifted the ban on offshore drilling, Congress has a decision to make. Does it continue to give credence to left-leaning environmental groups (the minority), or does it listen to the American public (the majority) and follow the President's lead? Our "energy dependence" upon Middle East countries is America's new form of terrorism.
I contacted both Rep. Marcy Kaptur and Sen. Sherrod Brown on energy issues and received the same bogus response from both: We need to invest in alternative energy sources, open up the national reserves, and not worry about offshore drilling. They claim that offshore drilling will not produce any measurable results for years to come.
I don't know if they think we are all stupid or what, but if we start drilling today, of course we will not get oil to market immediately. It will take years. But I plan on being around for years. In the meantime, we can address the issues of alternative energy sources to help supplement our dependence on fossil fuels.
Do they think we believe that if we discover a car that can run on wind power next week, it will be brought to market overnight? It will take years for it to be brought to market and then more years to bring the cost down to a point where people can afford it.
As for the national reserves, what a joke. We have about a two-month supply.
Barack Obama "scoffs" at John McCain's suspension of the gasoline tax, claiming it will hurt highway funding. I ask, what good are highway funds when nobody can afford to drive?
Shortsighted answer will have bad results
The fire gets a little hot and all we hear from some is to build more nuclear reactors, drill in more offshore sites, and, in further searches for oil, desecrate a pristine northern wilderness. Let's play on the public's fears and squeeze every last drop and dollar from the soil before we begin to explore alternate sources of fuel and energy.
We've fought hard to keep our environment clean and pollution free. Has anyone forgotten Chernobyl? Do you understand the extent of the environmental disaster we call modern China? Are we to choose jobs over conservation and the risk of permanent damage from pollution?
Think hard about the direction we are going and the paths that shortsighted individuals would like us to take. Don't let the sign say "Humans: failed experiment." These are serious times and careful choices need to be made to thwart potentially fatal consequences.
East Streicher Street
Bush response left much unanswered
President Bush once again blamed Congress in general and Democrats in particular for the gasoline crisis. He lifted the ban on drilling in protected areas and urged Congress to do the same.
Had the President made himself available for questioning, he might have been asked: 1) Why haven't oil and gas companies developed resources on the 68 million acres of federal land and continental shelf where they already hold leases? 2) Do you believe that oil and gas companies should receive tax relief and government subsidies given their enormous profits? 3) If drilling takes place on these protected lands and waters, how long will it take to produce enough to reduce prices? 4) Are you considering reducing the Strategic Reserve to increase supply? 5) Does it bother you that the oil and gas companies complain about environmental restrictions on drilling when they haven't been willing to use their profits to develop properties they already hold?
Unfortunately, there was no opportunity to ask these questions.
Edward J. Nussel
Glaston Oaks Court
I'm a first-rate whiner and never have I so thoroughly enjoyed that status and laughed so hard as when reading Reg Henry's column in The Blade on July 17 offering a whiner's apology.
Way to go, Reg. Even the most ardent, Bush-loving, dyed-in-the wool Republican might want to join our esteemed group after reading his tongue-in-cheek column.
Virginia M. Nichols
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