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web posted September 22, 2003
Re: Government spending in Brevard County, Florida
Brevard County, Florida is across from the Kennedy Space Center.
There has been an increase in population, leading to the building of new homes and subdivisions. Additionally, the resale of existing homes would be reassessed at higher amount by the Property Appraiser. The result has been more revenue coming in to the County which has been taking place for the last 5 to 10 years.
The County Commission then decided to go on a spending spree. Consequently, there now exists a deficit in which 9.8% of our tax payer funds goes to service the debt.
The commission voted to put forward a referendum as to whether or not the voters approve increasing the sales tax by 1%. Additionally, there is a wish list of entities vying for those dollars should voters approve this issue. Foe example, a botanical gardens would end up getting nine million dollars of taxpayer money, two million dollars would go toward a museum whose one of its employees appears to be the husband of a county commisioner. The wish list is quite lengthy. But this shows an example of fiscal irresponsibility on the part of county government.
As chairman of Citizens For Fiscal Responsibility PAC, we are educating the voters and we are urging them to vote no on November 4, 2003. Why should the citizens reward fiscal irresponsibility? The county has to prioritize.
Re: John Ritter's death
Many of us were shocked, surprised, and saddened at the news of actor John Ritter's sudden death from a heart ailment.
However, on the morning of Friday September 19, 2003, my wife mentioned hearing a report that Ritter was told a year ago about problems having to do with his heart. It was also mentioned that the actor saw a psychic.
I do not know exactly what that alleged "seer" told the almost 55 year old television and movie personality, but it is obvious that the man put some semblance of faith in that psychic, where his future was concerned. That foolishness may well have been the factor which cost the star his life.
No one can honestly see into the future, unless God is the one who gives them the visions of things to come; and in that instance, no true servant of God would dare to charge money to let another person know just what information about the future their Creator has allowed to be made known.
We are blessed with the present to live in, and make the most of whatever opportunities are given us. The future is God's alone, and we are, by faith, to trust in Him for whatever happens; lean on Him to get us through trials, and rejoice when there are blessings. Any other path can only lead to sorrow, and for all those who enjoyed John Ritter's various performances, we are left to mourn his loss.
There are many who will debate the merits or fallacies of so-called psychics; but no one can truly look into tomorrow without the aid of the One who holds today in the palm of His hand. To do otherwise can have tragic consequences.
William G. Smith
web posted September 15, 2003
Re: What to do about Yasser Arafat
The Jerusalem Post's editorial calling for killing--not expelling--Arafat is right on target, even if years too late.
Arafat has been a terrorist murderer for decades and deserves exactly the same fate as bin Laden deserves.
While there has been no shortage of excuses and rationalizations to leave Arafat alone, the fact remains that no solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is possible with Arafat alive. Exiling him would be a mockery of justice and would not stop him from inciting further terrorism against Israel.
Taking him out would not only advance the prospects for peace in the region but would show to every Palestinian terrorist that Israel means business and that the days of moral cowardice and appeasement towards its enemies are over; it would show that Israel will no longer cave in to "world opinion" or to pressure from American presidents.
It is a shame that the Sharon and the Bush Administrations have still not decided to kill the murderer. As long as they remain oblivious to the need to carry out justice, the blood of innocent Israelis will not stop flowing.
web posted September 1, 2003
Re: Howard Dean is no environmental champion
It took a while but many Americans are finally taking note of the former Vermont Governor seeking a bid for the US Presidency. He is slowly taking shape as the strongest nominee for the Democratic Party, and he’s out campaigning like it’s September 2004 instead of September 2003.
With many are hoping for an environmental alternative to the pro-business Bush administration, Dean seems like the logical choice. But hold the presses. This presidential hopeful from the Green Mountain State, doesn’t have the most green of records.
Dean has been critically outspoken about Bush’s stance on the environment. In a July speech in San Francisco, Dean said, “We have a president who seems to regard public resources as gifts to be handed out to special interests...Allowing big timber to denude our forests, the Bush-Cheney administration calls it the "Healthy Forests" initiative."
And that is where Dr. Dean began inserting his foot in his mouth. What he failed to tell the environmentally minded individuals of San Francisco was that he owns an interest in timberland valued at between $100,001 and $250,000.
He also failed to mention the "Champion Lands" deal of January 28, 1999. While governor of Vermont, he approved a state purchase of 107,000 Acres of which 85,000 acres of the timber rights would be sold to investors for the harvesting of the timber. And, all of the property was open to public access. This program is almost identical to Bush’s Healthy Forests Initiative.
Back in February, Michael Colby of Wild Matters ran an article in CounterPunch about Dean entitled, “Meet Howard Dean – The Man From Vermont is Not Green (He’s Not Even a Liberal).” The article discusses Dean’s many blunders on the environment as governor of Vermont. Colby interviewed Annette Smith, the director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment. She went toe-to-toe with Dr. Dean on many environmental issues during his administration. Smith said, “Dean's attempts to run for president as an environmentalist is nothing but a fraud.”
So, before you cast your ballot for President in 2004 just remember that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
Jerald George Barber
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