Rep. Marcy Kaptur's vote to release funds meant to close the Guantanamo Bay prison was the correct choice.
Gitmo doesn't house convicted terrorists, it houses suspected terrorists who were put in legal purgatory by the former Bush administration. Closing it would actually save taxpayer money and, more important, it would remove the scab that it has become on our Constitution.
It is appalling to see Democrats join Republicans in the political lunacy that transferring these "suspects" to a high-security federal prison poses a threat to a local community. A prison in Montana has offered to take the prisoners in order to create more jobs. Evidently people in Montana have common sense, and are more concerned about having jobs than they are about some politically misguided and manufactured threat designed to keep Americans scared.
It's time these suspects got their day in military court and their cases heard, as that is what a civilized society would normally do.
As Ben Franklin so intelligently pointed out, "Those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither."
I read a column by Dan Simpson today in The Blade. He was a foreign service officer for 35 years until he retired. His articles are always so interesting and well written.
Mr. Simpson tells us that we should cut down on our overseas expenditures, which are primarily on war. We are watching our national debt soar to a new high of $11 trillion.
Then he goes on to tell us about an editorial writers' meeting he attended in Washington. One of those speaking was Richard Holbrooke, who is a special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mr. Holbrooke said that the U.S. is obliged to provide for a democratic and secure Pakistan and we need another $7.5 billion in U.S. aid on top of the $11 billion the country has already received. Mr. Simpson does not believe this and neither do I.
Then I went to Page One. There was an article that stated that the Social Security fund may dry up by 2057. Do we take care of our own citizens or do we just keep pouring money after money into a losing cause?
Why not put this money into the fund for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid? Stop the wars and use our military to protect our own borders and bring all of our service personnel to be home with their families.
I don't always agree with Mona Charen, but her May 18 column about the epidemic of children born to unwed parents was worthy.
In essence, more and more American kids enter this world today with parents who are not prepared to support and care for them. That is tragic. However, when Ms. Charen speaks of "narcissistic young people," she mainly targets the unwed mother.
Well, what about the narcissistic unwed father, the type who is happy to sleep with as many young women as possible, to make empty promises, to refuse to use contraceptives of any kind, and who, rather than help to pay for his child's existence, would rather "bow out" and let the state, funded by working people, financially take care of his progeny?
In my opinion, what is truly needed, for both sexes, is not narcissism but pride. Pride helps males and females respect their own bodies as precious, too precious to share with just anyone who happens to come along. Pride also helps a person want to give his or her children the best possible parents, ones who have a plan to take care of them, with love and with the necessary resources.
Children who could choose their own parents would undoubtedly select two folks who are ready to take care of their every need and who will both participate in their upbringing. This is very simplistic advice in a complex world but if more folks would adopt such a plan, there would be fewer children born in less than ideal situations.
In regard to your May 16 editorial, "Rethinking nuclear power," isn't it kind of inconsistent to push for building another horrendously expensive nuclear plant with, as was stated, Michigan being in a "ferocious recession"?
Where is the money coming from? Wall Street has hinted not to come begging because this investment is too risky. Is the government printing more money that our children and grandchildren will have to pay off, together with the high costs of keeping all the piles of nuclear waste safe from irradiating the environment?
I suggest we start with a wholesale campaign of energy conservation. An unbelievable amount of electricity is being wasted. And then we can repower in a reviving economy in an efficient way with energy from sun, wind, and water, with a bit of biomass thrown in.
Lion's Head, Ont.
Concerning your May 18 editorial, "A tempting tax target," you state that you find the idea of a special tax on college students "a bad idea, primarily because it unfairly singles out a particular group."
I find this statement particularly hypocritical, considering The Blade has long advocated and even pushed for increased taxes "on a particular group." I am speaking, of course, about tobacco users and those who drink alcoholic beverages. Or are they not "a particular group"?
Try as I might, I cannot find one good rationale for believing one "particular group" should be subject to targeted taxation and another shouldn't, particularly in this instance. In all three instances, the students, the tobacco users, and the drinkers, the activity is a voluntary and legal one.
If you are implying that college students shouldn't be taxed vis a vis smokers and drinkers because one is a "good" activity and the other two aren't, then I find your statement not only hypocritical but elitist as well, since that also carries the implication that smokers and drinkers are not in the same class of citizenry as college students might be.
The sad thing is that I agree with the philosophy behind this editorial. We as a society should not be targeting "particular groups" for additional taxation. And this applies especially to college students who are getting double-whammied with ever-increasing fees and tuition and ever-increasing costs to borrow the money to get that education while looking at a job market that precludes them paying back that cost without financial hardship.
Ron J. Bores
Editor's note: In regard to taxation, college students by themselves are indistinguishable from the general population. Smokers and drinkers are engaged in behavior that contributes to well-documented public health and safety problems and the costs of dealing with them.
When you purchase a gasoline/electric hybrid car, you pay extra for the dual engine system. Even though you will get better miles per gallon, it will probably take many years for the car to start saving you money due to that initial extra cost.
One thing I've never seen mentioned is the cost of replacing the batteries in these vehicles. They will not last forever and I would expect the car's owner will be paying a pretty penny to replace the batteries.
This would mean that it would take even longer for a consumer to start realizing a savings by purchasing a hybrid over a straight gasoline engine car.
We need to be more caring about our environment, but we don't need to be fooled by hidden costs. It will do nothing but make consumers more mistrusting of automakers than they currently are.
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