In my mind, I see Dick Cheney, red faced and screaming. "You can't handle the truth!" and I'm left wondering if we're hearing every excuse to make war on Iraq, but the real one. The Bush administration's policy of secrecy causes speculation and distrust, so I do both. I wonder if:
With the world's oil demand likely outstripping supply in about 10 years from now, is the Bush administration planning for 30 years from now? By then we will be running our cars on hydrogen, but what about our military. Can we divert our fighter jets, bombers, ships and tanks to hydrogen? Is the pentagon asking these questions? Are they thinking that as the world's oil becomes a relatively scarce commodity, our national defense will require that we control it? And what if some other part of the world has huge reserves that we don't know about, making them the super-power of the future? Could it be that the real reason to go to war is rooted firmly in speculation?
As the world is forced to move away from its oil economy we will all go through tumultuous times of change. Old models of thinking find it difficult to deal with change. When Donald Rumsfeld told the county that no one in his circles could have anticipated terrorists hijacking commercial jets and flying them into buildings, he was probably, unfortunately telling the truth. He was too focused on star wars to see what he should have been preparing for. I worry that the same kind of limited thinking sees war as the only answer to the challenging times ahead.
I am a 30 percent disabled American veteran with over 20 years active service.
I have been paying my own disability for over 35 years.
The current president of the United States promised during his campaign to support the service man and veterans. He has not done so.
The people in the Pentagon do not support us on concurrent receipt.
Both houses of Congress give lip service to concurrent receipt and avoid passing it as it might affect their pork barrel projects.
We give away enough money to governments which are not our true friends to pay for concurrent receipt for every disabled veteran with over 20 years service and have money to burn.
I think it is time for all the major veterans organizations to link together; do it over a period of say six months, publish it jointly in their magazines, with a questionnaire with each copy, to allow the disabled veterans to express their opinions in the form of a request and protest. When these are received, get together and tell the President and Congress, a separate copy to each one, that we demand our just dues.
Any other government employee can use his veterans service to enhance his government retirement and still collect his disabled VA pension.
Why can't we?
Everyone is too busy protecting his own turf and filling his own pockets to protect the serviceman.
But yet the politicians send more and more young men and some not so young into harm's way without taking care of their needs thereafter.
I urge you to publish this in capital letters and let every disabled and other Vet have his or her say.
P.S. Also publish how each and every congressman voted on this subject.
Otis W. Lael
MSGT, USAF, Retired
The last thing we need
A recent Open Forum writer hit it on the head when he described the superstore Wal-Mart is proposing to build on the Baxter bypass as having the "architectural appeal of a porta-potty." This area is growing because of our quality of life and scenic beauty. If we build too many ugly, generic buildings with acres of parking lots people will not want to live here or visit. The location of the proposed superstore would mean that visitors and Baxter residents would be greeted by a warehouse type building and a massive parking lot, possibly the largest in the county. The city and county will have to pay increased costs for highway maintenance, snow removal and police protection, not to mention the additional costs to the taxpayers of supporting the employees with families who will require public assistance due to the low wages many will earn. Traffic will get worse for all of us. It seems like a very high price to pay in return for one more store selling socks and underwear.
Wal-Mart is asking for special permission to build their store as it does not fit Baxter's current zoning ordinance. We can, and should not give them that permission.
Gas operators praised
I have read in the Vox Pop several people talking about gas prices. I have also spoken out previously about gas prices. I want to say thank you to the people responsible for pricing gas in the Brainerd area. They have shown courage by holding the price while others are raising theirs. Do you know that 30 miles to the south of us the price is 10 cents per gallon higher? Sixty miles to the south the price is 15 cents per gallon higher. I am all for bashing the price setters when they got it coming but lets give credit when it's due.
Bring it on Wal-Mart!
Build it and they will come! I believe competition is good for the consumer.Bring it on Wal-mart! To the people that don't like Wal-Mart just don't go there.If the present Wal-Mart pulled out of Baxter who would hire all the employees. Oh is K-Mart, Menards Or Home Depot locally owned?
Charles R Dufour
That'll fix 'em
How's this for a great idea to give Wal-Mart the comeuppance some think they so richly deserve: Let them build their huge store, and, after having paid out millions to the hundreds of tradesmen/women and local suppliers involved in this vast anti-environment, anti-labor, anti-diversity of choice, anti-ad infinitum, project,we, the consumers, will just boycott them into bankruptcy! That'll fix 'em, by golly.
I am sure my plan will be a huge success because once we educate the un-educated masses to the perils that we educated few understand, they will stay away in droves!
Fifty Lakes and Destin, Fla.
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