I do not believe President Bush or Secretary of State Powell, in his Feb. 5 presentation at the U.N., made the case that Iraq poses an imminent threat to the U.S.
In his speech Powell produced a lot of evidence to show that President Hussein is a bad man who may have bad weapons. I hope we will not let Mr. Powell distract us from the possibility of a peaceful resolution through continued inspections.
In a speech on Feb. 7, chief weapons inspector Hans Blix said "successful disarmament of Iraq was possible without Baghdad's active cooperation, but it would be faster with Iraq's help" (Vienna, Feb. 7 (Reuters)) Even if Hussein continues to play games, we can win without war.
An article by two international policy experts backs up Blix's statement. In Foreign Policy magazine (January-February 2003) John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt argue that Saddam Hussein can be contained. "Today, Iraq is weakened, its pursuit of nuclear weapons has been frustrated, and any regional ambitions it may once have cherished have been thwarted. We should perpetuate this state of affairs by maintaining vigilant containment, a policy the rest of the world regards as preferable and effective. Hussein needs to remain in his box -- but we don't need a war to keep him there."
I know that Hussein is a terrible man. I know he plays games. And it's possible he still has some weapons. But all that was true in the 1990s, when inspectors destroyed nearly all of his weapons and put an end to his nuclear program. According to most reports, 95 percent of Hussein's weaponry was destroyed at that time. Then the inspectors were pulled out. Let's go after that last 5 percent. Let's push for tough inspections and win this one without war.
Timothy Q. Moore
C-I needs Wal-Mart
I would like to voice my opinion on the need for the Wal-Mart superstore in the area. We need one in Crosby-Ironton. You can't even buy a pair of socks in town. There is one grocery store, one hardware, one drug store and a couple gas stations. There is a great need for a store that offers the many things that a Wal-Mart superstore would offer to our community.
Not only in the retail aspect, but in the jobs it would bring to the people in the community. Wal-Mart has many good things to offer our community. There is plenty of land available for a store and it would only help the people and the economy. There is much traffic and visitors to the area along with the summer residents that have moved into the area. Considering the Crosby-Ironton area for a store of this type would only help the area and the people and save them many trips to St. Cloud and Duluth and Minneapolis for their shopping.
For those of you who equate the arrival of a super Wal-Mart to Baxter with progress, I have to ask: Where is the progress in minimum wage jobs? Where is the progress in offering health care that's too expensive for most employees to afford? Where is the progress when the jobs you destroy outnumber the jobs you create? Where is the progress when the impervious surfaces created by the footprint of your store and parking lot will add massive amounts of storm water runoff that will transport automobile emissions, trash and even fecal coliform into our lakes and rivers where we swim and fish? Where is the progress in constructing a 200,000 square foot building that has all the architectural appeal of a porta-potty? Where is the progress in having another generic big-box retail store that is only accessible by car and that will only offer consumers what we can already buy somewhere else? Where is the progress in destroying a community's sense of place? Sure, Wal-Mart offers "low, low prices," but they come at a high, high cost.
If that's progress, what's next for Baxter's future a sweatshop so we can put our kids to work? Hey, if it creates jobs and gives us inexpensive things to buy, why not?
The straight scoop
Last Friday (Feb. 7, 2003) The Dow Industrials closed at 7,864.23 and was reported it was the lowest close since Oct. 11 when the close was 7,850.29. Why was it not reported that the close on December 31, 1997, was 7,908.15? To me it is a five-year low and not a three-month low.
President Bush ran on a campaign that we were in a recession and he could enact a tax cut and bring us back to better times. When will they appear?
Also the government reported that the jobless rate was down to 5.7 percent in January from 6 percent jobless rate in December. There was only a small blurb that the government changed the way it figured the jobless rate this year.
Come on financial re-porters, give us the straight scoop.
I read the Echo article on how the DNRs new rule on turtle harvesting will hurt the economy of Nisswa. It will probably have a similar impact on Longville.
The DNR Fisheries needs to answer some important questions.
Minnesota state law (MS 14.22) says the DNR needed to inform Nisswa and Longville of it's intent to change the law on turtle harvest. Turtle racing in those towns is not exactly a secret. Why didn't Fisheries contact those towns?
Minnesota law (MS 14.69) says that agencies must make rules based on facts. The Fisheries admits there is no data that indicates painted turtles are in trouble in Minnesota. Minnesota is blessed with hundreds of thousands of acres of protected wetlands where painted turtle harvesting is prohibited thus it is highly unlikely that painted turtles are in trouble in our state.
I would suggest that the cities of Nisswa and Longville ask their attorneys to investigate using MS 14.45 to overturn this arbitrary and capricious rule. I would also suggest contacting legislators to let them know how this arbitrary rule will hurt their economy.
Turtles have touched the lives of thousands of Minnesota children. Many of us are still filled with a sense of wonder when we hold a turtle. They are an important part of our ecosystem and should be given all the protection needed to insure they continue to thrive but there is no evidence that painted turtles are in trouble in Minnesota.
This is just one more example of how DNR Fisheries has abused the rule-making process.
Sen. Coleman said he'd like to go to Africa to get a firsthand look at the devastation of the AIDS crisis. I would like Sen. Coleman to visit Minnesota and get a first hand look at the economic crisis in our state caused by President Bush and his crowd, including Sen. Coleman.
To put Sen. Coleman (junior senator of less than one month ) on the Foreign Affairs Committee was as lame as putting Mary Bono on the House Judiciary Committee. Leave foreign relations to those of both parties who have the gravitas to serve with distinction.
Lastly, Sen. Coleman, please learn how to pronounce the name of your adopted state. It's Minnesota, not Minnesoter.
Is there media bias?
Why is it, that when some of the news media refer to pro-abortion people, they are called pro-choice, but when referring to those against abortion, they are called anti-abortion, instead of pro-life?
Isn't some of the news media biased?
Plutonium in space
The recent Columbia space shuttle explosion was a horrific happening, as was the Challenger disaster of Jan. 28, 1986.
Now NASA is reported to have plans to launch two Mars Exploration Rovers from Florida in May and June. These launches to Mars would be powered by radioactive materials, including deadly plutonium.
According to the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space (www.space4peace.org), NASA has admitted there is a 1 in 34 chance of a launch vehicle accident.
It has been estimated that plutonium is so toxic that one pound scattered around the Earth's surface could cause lung cancer in all the planet's inhabitants. Plutonium can also cause leukemia, liver and bone cancers, and birth defects.
Found in nuclear weapons and nuclear power reactor wastes, plutonium has an estimated half-life of 24,000 years.
Surely the Columbia and Challenger tragedies would pale by comparison to the possible deadly consequences of the massive contamination of the Earth and its inhabitants from a Mars Rover plutonium accident!
There's a very good reason why plutonium is named after Pluto, "the god of hell." Will NASA and the Bush Administration display the courage to heed that warning and cancel these dangerous launches?
Elaine Jensen Chesley
I fail to understand, the confusion people are having over, President Bush's budget and plans. To me, it seems simple. -- Why do you think President Bush is giving most of the beneficial tax breaks to big corporations and wealthy individuals?
No. 1 is, it will benefit himself and other Republican friends who contribute large amounts of monies for campaigns like the 2004 one coming up.
No. 2 is, where are new jobs coming from? As our Reservists, and regular troops are called to duty job openings are created, not counting all the other service industries which supply this massive war effort.
No. 3 is, why do they raid Social Security and other government programs? To try to balance the huge deficit created by terroristic acts, white collar crimes, and a massive war effort, not only created to destroy but rebuild foreign nations' economies while we U.S. citizens plunge trillions in debt, for a legacy of warmongering in democracy's name, not counting funding pet Republican projects.
Stephen D. Luoma
I read with interest John Ward's column about the "gutless coward" who expressed his decidedly strange opinion of educators in the Brainerd School District. I also read Mr. Miller's response, and have to admit that I agree with both of their opinions -- although I think that Mr. Miller makes a stronger case. Vox Pop does fill a need; a need to fill this newspaper with content. I can only imagine the glee the publishers of this paper had when they heard the "terrorist" comment and fantasized about the amount of ink that they could use up with rebuttals and editorial page columns about needs served. My only regret in all of this is that I could not resist participating in this journalistic bottom-feeding.
Life in a small town
I did not realize that the Vox Pop column was to express religious opinions. I am pro-life, therefore I am definitely pro-choice. I am a woman with a mind, not part of good breeding stock.
When I retired to Brainerd I had my pro-choice signs on my vehicle. My daughter warned me of small town mentalities (she also lives in a smaller town). I laughed it off until the windows of two Planned Parenthood Offices were shot out. These people were of a similar religion followed by Osama bin Laden, "If you don't believe in what I do, you deserve to die." I believe most terrorists believe that their religion is the only true one.
Sue G. Kowal
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