During World War II why did our military leapfrog across the Pacific chasing the Japanese until we gained the final victory? Because Franklin D. Roosevelt knew if we didn't finish them off, they'd attack the U.S. mainland next time.
At the Jan. 14 Democratic debate in Nevada, Hillary Clinton said she would "end the war in Iraq (by withdrawing) and resolve the war in Afghanistan." She didn't mention victory once. Besides, does "resolve" mean appeasement and retreat? We don't know. What we do know is Islamic terrorists will come after us if we don't defeat them. Have our men and women toiled for nothing in Afghanistan and Iraq? My family serving in the military doesn't think so.
Thanks to our military we're also winning the hearts and minds of many war-weary civilians who realize, short term, the U.S. presence is their best hope for stability.
Watch your language on Bush
Whether or not you agree with President Bush, to refer to him as Satan or Hitler etc., is scraping the bottom of the barrel. It seems we have lost all respect for the office of president regardless of who is in the Oval Office. Our freedom of speech has deteriorated to a vitriol of hatred, vulgarities and obscenities. Is this the language you want your children to learn? As for feeding the Haitian people, pray tell me why the U.S. alone should be the only country in the world to feed those whose governments refuse to create jobs and a better living for their own citizens. Oh, no...instead all the blame is heaped on the president without taking into consideration members of our Congress should also take responsibility for their actions. Mexico, is a prime example which Congress has ignored for years and we now have the president of Mexico demanding his poor people be allowed here illegally and who siphons off billions of dollars every year which end up in the coffers of the Mexico government. Mexico has an untold wealth of natural resources yet, the Mexican government refuses to take responsibility for the welfare of their own citizens. Guess who is paying the price...you the American taxpayer! Please keep in mind that Russia and China are waiting in the wings ready to pounce on our country when the first sign of weakness appears because we have drained all our resources helping everyone else. I do not advocate not helping people when they are in dire need but if the shoe were on the other foot how many countries would even lift a finger to help us? By the way, how fluent are you in Russian or Chinese?
Was that Al Gore I saw?
On Feb. 11, International Falls hit a record, minus 40 degrees, while the lakes area experienced a brisk minus 17 degrees. I haven't heard a peep from Al Gore regarding climate chance since we've experienced a few months of winter-like weather; although I saw a guy who looked a lot like him at an ice fishing contest.
It's easy to be an insider
The pages of Minnesota newspapers are filled with reports from caucus-goers who were disappointed by delays, confusion, and alleged control of the events by "insiders", the party faithful. It is the party faithful, often county officers and directors, who plan and conduct, sometimes effectively and sometimes not, the caucuses and conventions which precede elections.
At a recent monthly meeting (always open to the public) of our party's county board, a visitor suggested that the officers and directors constituted a group of "insiders" who ran party affairs with little public input. I suggested to him that "worker" might be a better term than insider. At the time there was a vacancy on our board, and I asked the visitor if he would be willing to serve. I did point out that during the election season when it came time to man telephones, knock on doors with literature and lawn signs, and address direct mail, it was usually the insiders who led the efforts.
The visitor declined the offer to serve mentioning "other priorities." There are many who will come to a caucus and especially to conventions with their parties and excitement. But elections aren't won there. They are won on the telephone and on the streets in all the months before the election. I was pleased to see our caucus turnout reach double the expected 500-600. I hope that many of the attendees will sustain their interest and become "insiders" in 2008. It's an easy club to join.
ROLF WESTGARD is associate chair of the Crow Wing County DFL.
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