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web posted July 26, 2004

Re: Michael Moore vs. the Third World by Bill King (July 19, 2004)

You totally missed the point didn't you?

Sad commentary - I still find it amazing that people like you think that the war in Iraq is just. Afghanistan at least made 'some' sense. It was a known terrorist-training ground that was indeed worth going into in retaliation for September 11, 2001 amongst all the other 'slightly lesser' terrorist based 'hits' that were suffered previously.

To take what Fahrenheit 9/11 was saying and twist it so shamelessly for you to make your radical points (yes - right wing radical) has to be a worse bastardization than you accuse Michael Moore of making.

I feel so bad that the US will have to live this awful mistake down. They are a good and just people for the most part - only with a 'so called' leader that has taken them down a terrible path. So sad.

M. Dalla-Vicenza

web posted July 19, 2004

Re: Cleaning up clean elections by Mark Brnovich (July 12, 2004)

First off, I enjoyed the article as well as much of the other articles posted on your site. Political finance has been a potent issue for some time now. I praise the voters of Massachusetts and Arizona for excluding public funds from political campaigns. I would definitely support such legislation here in Oregon, perhaps even nation wide. I would like to know what you would think of the 'way-out-there' thought of eliminating campaign finance altogether. Public or private. The argument was put forth that those in Congress vote almost right along party lines whether their campaigns were public funded or not. So eliminate the variable. Many people get quite angry when a political agenda of a private organization (i.e. NRA, ACLU, etc.) is instituted, above and beyond public opinion. I do understand the legal, constitutional, and ethical repercussions of such a drastic change, and I am not sure that anything would really change. Some political figures would still get the big money, they just wouldn't have to spend it on silly campaigns. =) I am not certain this is a good idea, I just thought that I would throw it out there for your interpretation.

Thank you and keep up the good work!!
Ron Crump
Portland, Oregon

Re: The utter waste of recycling by Alan Caruba (July 12, 2004)

Even though I recycle, I just got through reading your article on "The utter waste of recycling". It made me think of a similar, yet different, environmental situation in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Before I give a short explanation of our water situation, let me give you some information on our supply. We have two reservoirs (Choke Canyon and Lake Corpus Christi) and a 100 mile $125,000,000 pipeline that supplies water for the region. Lake Corpus Christi receives the most inflow because all three rivers (Nueces, Frio, and Atascosa) flow into it, while Choke Canyon has less inflow but a larger storage capacity (695,000 af). Lake Corpus Christi's capacity is about 241,000 acre feet. The pipeline supplies about 45,000 acre feet. Each acre foot is about 326,000 gallons.

Corpus has been placed under a regulation of releasing water from the two reservoirs built for storing water. These reservoirs supply water for about 500,000 people. The "reasons" for releasing water are to restore the rivers to their nature flow and provide the bays and estuaries with inflows that provide nutrients for fish and shellfish.

Sounds reasonable, but the shocking part of this is the amount of freshwater that we are required to release each year! The releases have been mandated for about 10 years now. Before then, no such thing existed. Under the current situation we are required to release 138,000 acre feet a year. This is around 57 per cent of the storage capacity of Lake Corpus Christi and more than 3 times what the pipeline supplies. And we are required to do this every year. Can you imagine spending $125,000,000 to construct a pipeline and then release 3 times what it can supply???!!!

To get a better feel for the amount of water we have to release, multiple 138,000 acre feet by 326,000 gallons per acre feet...this is almost 45,000,000,000 gallons of fresh water released each year!

We came out of a drought a couple years back so no one seems very concerned about this because the lakes are full and we are even above normal rainfall. But in the summer of 2001, Lake Corpus Christi only had 25 per cent of capacity. If we do not conserve the water in the lakes, then we will return to the dreary days of '01.


Eric Moller
Corpus Christi, Texas

Re: Muck ado about nothing by Terry Graves (July 12, 2004)

Like most Vietnam veterans, I had hoped the disgraceful spectacle of war protestors venting their hatred of government figures and policies on individual soldiers had been banished to history, like the fading memories of that distant war. Fading, that is, until resurrected by the Manchurian Candidate, that contentious liberal contender who has gratuitously ripped the scab from a national wound in furthering his own ambitions. But then, who better to do this than the man who made that wound so grievous in the first place?

According to Robert L. Jamieson, Jr., a columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, a young soldier in Bainbridge Island, Washington, Jason Gilson, a 23 year old veteran of Iraq, was booed, jeered and mocked by parade watchers, and even the parade announcer, in that very liberal, very politically correct Kerry enclave. Jason, you see, had the unabashed temerity to carry a Bush poster while marching in a Fourth of July event. That's right, a soldier was booed by Americans, in a parade celebrating the birth of this nation, simply for carrying a poster supportive of his commander-in chief. And yes, he was called, "baby killer," perhaps the most despicable epithet hurled at veterans upon their return from combat.

For me, that was the one that truly hurt, the one that got through to me because yes, I had seen dead babies, dead not by our hands but by those of a ruthless enemy who killed anyone even suspected of supporting the South Vietnamese regime or the Americans. And yes, babies died in the arms of their mothers. My most haunting war memory is that of a young mother and her tiny infant son, lying sprawled in the dirt path at the entrance to their hamlet, their midsections horribly ripped open, probably by an AK-47 on full automatic fire. That sight fired me with an unbelievable anger and a desire to inflict a similar fate on their killers, but, as always, the enemy had retreated into their jungle hideaways and we did not find them that day. Unfortunately, such events were not rare and I am sure there are many veterans who carry memories of similar and even worse atrocities.

So imagine, if you will, the feelings of today's soldiers, returning from the current war in Iraq where they have witnessed comparable scenes of death among the innocent, hearing some politically correct, liberal jackasses, so effete they'd never lift a finger to protect themselves, much less their country, scream curses and insults at them for exercising one of the very freedoms that these warriors have been fighting for. Imagine, young Jason hearing that most wounding charge of all, "baby killer" hurled at him by those obnoxious jerks whose very lives he served to protect.

If John Kerry has an ounce of steel in his spine, which I seriously question, he should immediately and without a moment's equivocation, denounce this behavior by his followers on Bainbridge Island and direct all his antiwar supporters to cease and desist before this kind of behavior spreads. A more likely response will be a sanctimonious pronouncement that his followers support the troops; they just don't support the war. I, for one, am sick of this sophistry, this liberal tap-dance of denouncing the war while still proclaiming support for the troops. It is nothing more than a disingenuous artifice they employ because they know their true, totally anti-militaristic views are unacceptable to most Americans, including many Democrats.

One need not be Mensa to deduce that if you oppose the war then it follows you want the war to end, now, without resolution, without victory. You are against the successful prosecution of the war; you do not want to win; victory is not your goal. Regardless of how nuanced your thinking may be, how, in God's name, can you oppose victory by the troops while piously contending you support them? This is such a transparent charade that sometimes the antiwar leftists just can't maintain it, as demonstrated on Bainbridge Island. That is when their true feelings are revealed and we see them for what they truly are, unchanged from their hateful, spiteful ways of the 60's and 70's. For this, we can thank the Manchurian candidate, whose ambition has unleashed these lying, leftist, phonies upon America once again.

Several weeks ago, I wrote a piece about how the citizens of Northwest Florida had pulled together to build a handicap accessible home for SSGT Justin Tuller, a double amputee veteran of the Iraq war, and his family. That community had a parade and they cheered their veteran. Given a choice, I'd rather live among those folks in Northwest Florida than those on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

I think most Americans would.

Russ Vaughn
327th Parachute Infantry
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66

web posted July 12, 2004

Re: Voter education and other things

I have to comment on the issue of voter's lack of education. I have never heard so much inarticulate opinions expressed on radio call in programs, C-span, and other venues relative to just what the parties and candidates stand for in this campaign.  Nor do I hear any understanding of the issues in historical context. Every four years we forget the reason we voted and what was actually accomplished. So I'll express my own opinion. 

Please do not vote if you don't know what your candidate or party stands for or if you find his hair cut more interesting than his views. Substituting education of the issues for the 30-second to two-minute hits is not being informed. Madison Avenue arrived in politics with the Kennedy campaign in 1959 in my recollection. I don't even listen to the pundits and I won't listen to "party strategists". There was voter fraud even then and before. Republicans did not invent this. The Near Eastern and Middle Eastern and African despots are playing the shell game with regard to WMDs. The story is not finished and this is not the time to desert your party if you are Republican. The Democrats are not going to end the war. 

What I hear is demagoguery and it isn't coming from the conservatives.The previous administration nearly destroyed the capacity of this country to respond to national defense.The Janet Renos nearly destroyed the FBI/CIA's ability to communicate. Educate yourselves on the issues and the persons. The 911 movie by the modern day "Rasputin" or should I say anarchist Moore does nothing to enlighten and everything to confuse and fabricate in the best of propagandists tradition. 

Thanks for the space to print my views. 

Julie Them

web posted July 5, 2004

Re: Minimum wages and economic theory by Christopher Coyle (June 28, 2004)

Mr. Coyle's article was well written and intelligent. Thankfully there were no charts or graphs. Since the minimum wage is so popular as a vote getter why not a maximum wage. A counter balance if you will. Starting January 1, 2005 the minimum wage would, by executive order, go to $15.00/hr. While the maximum wage or salary or what have you would be set at $100/hr. The lesser will increase by ten per cent a year while the greater will decrease by the same proportion till the two meet in that happy future of equality. (Details to follow.) If you think President Bush's mental health screeners should visit my home first, consider the many other insane notions now accepted as normal everyday thought. ESR is always worth going to for news.

Robert Chamness

Re: Filthy mouths and bad attitudes by Carol Devine-Molin (June 28, 2004)

In response to Carol Devine-Molin's 6/28/04 article on the triviality of the Vice President Cheney's infraction of the Senate rules, I am at a loss as to which is worse, the immature, self-indulgent and undisciplined lapse of the Vice President or Ms. Devine-Molin's attempt to excuse the inexcusable.

Yes, we all know that politicians of both parties are vocal and that they all know and USE all the earthy language that English affords them. Most of them though have the good sense to use this language in private and while venting.

While the articulation of profanity of any sort is not something to admire or encourage, it is something anyone living under the pressure and constraints of modern American life can understand, condone and forgive. Irrespective of the generalities, Ms. Devine-Molin should remember her mother's injunction that Johnny doing something wrong does not make that action acceptable.

Cheney's action is different though, it is a direct violation of the rules of the Senate, it was public and it was confrontational. This was not just a tired man blowing off in an unattractive manner, but the Vice President of the United States behaving like a soccer hooligan on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Ms. Devine-Molin's idea that employing profanity while conducting business in one's official role is a beltway issue demonstrates how completely out of touch she is with real work place issues. Can you begin to imagine what your reaction would be if your child's teacher spoke to her this way?

What sticks in this democrat's (yes, small d) craw is the Republicans' incessant calls for civility combined with their tolerance of their top level spokespersons and leaders behaving in the manner the Vice President has just chosen.

Nothing is worse than a double standard. The Vice President must be held accountable to the minimal standards of work place decorum.

Robert Chapman



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