The Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. Between the parades, family picnics and community celebrations - capped off with fireworks - we celebrate it in a uniquely American style.
I like it, too, because it reminds us again of what is truly great about this country. In the midst of all of the celebrations, we are reminded of our freedom, equality and opportunity for all, the fundamental ideals that have provided us with prosperity and security for over two centuries.
I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful holiday. I also hope you will all take time to consider the sacrifices that have been made over the years on behalf of our freedom, and those that are still being made by our military men and women and their families. We must never forget the price they are paying while serving our country.
State Rep. John Ward
Why the world hates America
Friends and acquaintances have returned from trips overseas with one report. They hate America. This has bothered me as I consider America the finest country in the world. Why do they hate us?
Unlike some contributors to this space I do not believe it is due to one man. We all are to blame. Like so many experts I see the problem, but I have no solution.
How do you make up your mind about another nation? Since I havent traveled to foreign lands to get acquainted with other nationalities I make my decisions based on information from those who do. I read accounts in various media, listen to the radio, TV. Others make up their minds about us through the same process.
Put yourself in the place of an Aussie, Frenchmen or Chinese for example. Try to see us through their eyes. What visual and audios would you be viewing of America? How do the magazines depict the typical American girl/woman? Is marriage revered? How does the film industry portray America? I think you get the point.
When the computer was just beginning to be used to grind out numbers, someone coined the phrase, Garbage in. Garbage out. Thats exactly what we, you and I, are exporting around the world, Garbage!
With the exception of those few foreigners that come and see what America is like the rest of the world is seeing America from what we send them via our media. Is it any wonder some call us the Great Satan? I am ashamed of the garbage we send out over the airwaves, here in America as well as around the world. That composite picture is not me, or my neighbors, but that is how you and I are seen.
Senate bill ignores tough choices
Both the Washington Post and the Brainerd Dispatch (A Mixed energy Bag, June 26) give mild approval to the Senates new energy bill.The bill increases mpg standards for cars and light trucks by 40 percent, requires a big increase in biofuels like ethanol, and funds coal plants which will attempt to capture and store carbon dioxide (IGCC).
Actually, the bill will do little to limit green house gas emissions or reduce our dependence on foreign oil and natural gas. With cars that get better mileage, our drivers will simply drive more, use as much gas, avoid public transport and increase traffic congestion. All those extra traffic jam tailpipes will be spewing out more pollutants.
The bills biofuel requirement will use over half our corn crop, send food prices higher, erode our soils, and stress ground water supplies. Cellulosic ethanol is still a technology dream. Using so-called agricultural waste to make ethanol will also require increased use of natural gas-based fertilizers to replace the soils waste nutrients.
Its not clear that IGCC coal plants will reduce noxious emissions. As energy expert, Steven Jenkins, testified at the Florida Public Power Commission, I have heard many people apply the term CO2 capture ready to IGCC without really understanding what is involved, both technically and financially, to implement these significant changes. Just because people call it CO2 capture ready doesnt mean that it is.
The cost for the proposed Mesaba IGCC coal plant for the Minnesota Iron Range region is a rising $2 billion without fully implementing carbon capture capability.
This Senate bill is another attempt to avoid the politically unpopular hard choices, especially carbon taxes. Those taxes will force economical vehicles, and the use of energy efficient public transport systems which can be funded by those taxes.
ROLF WESTGARD is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.
Thanks for chance to buy medal
I want to thank Rep. John Ward and others for allowing me to purchase (for only $19.95 including shipping, handling and tax) a medal honoring me and other vets for our World War II service. The honor of being allowed to do this and the generosity is absolutely overwhelming.
World War II U.S. Navy
Poor justification for experiments
A justification used for experimenting on human embryo stem cells is that the embryos are going to die anyway.
Im not positive about this, but wasnt that the same excuse used to do medical experiments on Jewish people in concentration camps during the Jewish Holocaust?
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.