I couldn't agree more with the July 7 editorial regarding the Michigan PC Police, aka Michigan's board of education and its attack on Indian nicknames. Oops, make that Native American, not Indian.
Once again, the demon of political correctness has reared its head. Somewhere along the line, many Americans have become self-appointed experts on the imaginary constitutional right not to be offended. Unfortunately some of these same people end up in offices of power and try to enforce this false birthright. It's so easy for these PC Police to stand on the good side of the line and point at the bad guys.
However, the problem with the line of political correctness is that it is constantly moving closer. Once the extremely offensive voices have been silenced, the line moves in to silence the moderately offensive voices.
Before they know it, the PC Police look down and find the line has moved past them and now they are being pointed at over some activity or opinion that offends someone else. By that time it's too late for them.
Maybe all these offended people need to take a look at the big picture. If the biggest battle they have to fight is over being offended, they should just sit back and enjoy life; they've got it made by that point.
Somehow the PC Police, or as George Orwell put it, the Thought Police, have to be stopped before everything is on the banned list because someone is offended.
Personally I refer to them as PC Nazis because they are trying to create a mentally pure society to fit their mold of perfection. And if the term PC Nazi offends them, too bad. Sorry if the truth hurts.
MARK J. HARRELL
I read the June 25 article, “Conflict expected over Great Lakes water.” Fifteen years earlier The Blade printed an op-ed piece I wrote regarding fresh water. Ironically, all of the issues that were discussed in that column apply more so today.
The value of fresh water now exceeds the value of oil and gasoline. Today, if you visited any service station in the nation, it would cost you more per gallon to buy bottles of fresh water than it would to buy a gallon of gasoline.
The Great Lakes represents the largest source of fresh water in the entire world. In most of our lifetimes, we will probably find a way to become less dependent on fossil fuels, but we will never become less dependent on water.
The demand for fresh water will continue to increase to the point that the Great Lakes will experience greater economic benefit from the proximity of our fresh water than all the oil-rich nations in the world do from the oil.
We cannot become complacent in our efforts to protect this valuable resource. There will be ever-increasing economic/political pressure on the Great Lakes states and Canada to allow access to the water. Not only should we protect our economic right to the Great Lakes, but we must also be mindful that in mismanaging this resource, we could disrupt our entire ecology and weather if the Great Lakes' water is overly harvested.
I would recommend that The Blade educate the public and the elected officials as to the importance of managing this resource.
BRIAN W. McMAHON
Your July 5 editorial, “90 days to get it done," discussed the so-called Israeli-Palestinian breakthrough. Palestinian militants have evidently pledged to not attack Israelis for 90 days. No mention is made of Israeli “targeting” of militants, nor of widespread Israeli demolition of houses, and economically choking checkpoints and closures.
Militancy by either side is in a word counterproductive. Israeli and Palestinian families and their children alike have a right to expect to go out the front door of their homes without worry about their survival.
The road map to peace will not succeed unless the Palestinian people see up front the prospect of genuine peace and restoration of the land taken by Israel in the 1967 war. The return to the pre-1967 boundaries, subject to minor modifications agreed upon by both sides, is in theory American policy.
The major problem is the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories. Despite the well publicized dismantling of a few unauthorized outposts, settlement building continues.
The prospect of the Palestinians achieving their goal of 22 percent of what was Palestine is remote. The new Palestinian prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas, does not have the power to control Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the al-Aqsa Brigade.
Israeli Defense Force withdrawals from northern Gaza and Bethlehem mean little as the IDF has actually tightened control in the adjacent areas.
The militants on each side have the power to disrupt any progress toward genuine peace.
JOHN G. MERRIAM
Steve Pollick's article about Lake Erie walleye fishing and what Ohio and Michigan plan to do in the coming years to preserve it was interesting as well as informative.
I was dismayed though that nothing was stated about restrictions on the Maumee River, in that at no time in the entire fishing year do thousands of trophy-class walleye come in contact with so many anglers in such a short period of time.
It can be argued that the walleye fishery can sustain itself without restrictions on the Maumee, but any angler can tell you that during dry springs when the Maumee is low and spawning possibilities are great for walleye, anglers literally form gauntlets across the river, walk all over prime spawning gravel and accidentally and incidentally snag thousands of fish.
As a concerned angler I would favor the closing of the Maumee River to fishing at the Maumee/Perrysburg bridge upstream to the Waterville bridge from April to the second week of May every other year. The walleye fishery would receive a tremendous positive shot in sheer numbers alone. Let's face it, our native fish can use all the help they can get against the onslaught of exotic aquatic foreign invaders that are here because of our own mismanagement!
I know some local area shops would not like this but in the big picture it would only prove to benefit the entire fishery, and possibly shift the focus of sustaining our walleye fishery to one that thrives.
I pose the question to all of the Republicans out there who believe that George W. Bush is still the right man for the job.
All of the Republicans were waiting with saliva dripping out of their moral mouths to impeach President Clinton for sexual exploits he lied about.
But where is the same Republican outcry when their President apparently sent U.S. citizens to die for a fight he lied to the nation about in his State of the Union address?
According to recent reports, the Bush Administration used false information in his speech even though he was told beforehand that the information was bad.
So, as an independent voter, I am waiting for the Democrats to justly step up and impeach the President.
I am also waiting for the Republicans to apologize to the citizens.
Those who circled the wagons to protect a flawed president whose social agenda took priority over things presidential now flay President Bush with non-constructive, mean-spirited criticism for making the tough decisions their own leader had neither the time nor inclination to address.
The sidelines are crowded with critics throwing their darts.
The electorate tells us that's where they belong.
EDWIN F. DURIVAGE