I just read the Dispatch in the doctor's office and feel compelled to make a few comments.
Before judging the "silliness" of others, the writer should ask if gas is cheaper because it does not have enough expensive cleaners added and it could also be contaminated. I purchased that cheap gas for years, but no more, after just spending $611 on two trips to mechanics to have fuel injectors cleaned. During the second trip, there were five women there with Buick LeSabres all having the same problem and the mechanics are telling us the problem of "dirty gas" is getting worse. Check the Internet and you can find more information on this problem.
I see from the Vox Pop that you still have writers with such low self esteem that they must tear down others to feel good about themselves. It doesn't occur to them that in large cities even middle class people may use public transportation instead of owning a car. Many working people don't have the thousands of dollars required to evacuate. Others want to stay in order to protect their property, and also so they may start rebuilding their homes right away. None of these people knew they were being lied to and that budget cuts made the dikes unsafe. It was the same old problem of "Pay me now or pay me much more later."
If blame is not assessed and if people aren't replaced you then are inviting more incompetence in the future. We have spent billions on homeland security only to find much of it was wasted. People have died because of officials' inaction and changes must be made quickly before another disaster hits.
Independent Katrina probe needed
I am writing to urge you to put into print that there should be an independent comission to investigate what went wrong, both pre- and post- Hurricane Katrina. President Bush, being the commander-in-chief of this country, should be one of the persons to be questioned. The investigation must be independent from the politicians and have its own investigators, budget and subpoena authority.
John F. Jordan Sr.
Five opinions on other viewpoints
I would like to add my two cents worth concerning several letters in the Open Forum and also Vox Pop columns.
First, my comment on the school's Reading Recovery Program. If the school would teach the children to read in the first and second grades we wouldn't need a Reading Recovery Program.
Second, my comments on Planned Parenthood. People should plan to have children or not. If they planned either way, there wouldn't be much need for abortion. It seems like many people think all that Planned Parenthood is, is abortion.
Third, I am a Democrat, not a liberal. I resent people using liberal to describe Democrats. I will admit that some people fit that description, and they align themselves with the Democratic party, but not all of us fit that title.
Fourth, I am a Korean War veteran, Air Force. I spent a year in Korea, I spent 16 years and five months in the Air and Army National Guards, retiring with 20 years, five months total time served. I completed my obligations to the military, and I think that the present administration wanted a war with Iraq before the election of 2000. I support our troops 100 percent, but I don't support the way the war is being handled. President Bush has spent most of his time flying around the country then leading the government. He could take a five-week vacation with the war going on, but cut his vacation short because of Hurricane Katrina. It just doesn't add up to me.
Fifth: Gasoline prices. We have an administration that was financed in its bid for office by Big Oil. It's now payback time. In '73 Tricky Dick froze prices as Opec was taking oil away from our American companies. Another Republican administration.
Ronald M. Frink
Smokers shouldn't have to pay twice
I think all the smokers who have their own health care insurance should get an immediate exemption from the so called "health tax fee" imposed by the state government. If any health problems arise as a result of smoking, the health insurance that they already pay for would cover the expenses at no cost to the state. They shouldn't have to pay twice.
The loony left strikes again
Once again the loony left comes out from under their rock to try to slime President Bush. One person writes in a recent Open Forum letter that, "there was no evacuation plan" in place for New Orleans. On the contrary, there was indeed a plan in place. The Democratic mayor of New Orleans ignored his own plan. The Democratic governor of Louisiana refused for days to release National Guard troops into the city. As far as the "slow" response by the federal government, FEMA is not designed to be a first responder to disasters. They come in afterward and provide logistical support to the local government. Strange that the writer didn't seem to know this. Unless his motives are to blame the president for anything he can because he disagrees with him politically.
Then we are told that we should follow the lead of the French. A country that recently lost 15,000 of its citizens to a heat wave, (made worse by air pollution)! How could this happen in a great country like France? Wow, the French really know how to take care of their citizens. Viva le France!
The left is good at criticizing everything the president does. But a critic is like someone who never actually goes to the battle, yet who afterwards comes out to shoot the wounded. If the liberals want to start winning elections again I would suggest they start coming up with some policies that people might actually want to vote for instead of throwing insults and personal attacks at President Bush. Good luck!
Protecting us from mourning doves
With all due respect to a recent writer and his letter of Sept.13 defending the right of mourning doves to live unmolested in our midst, I feel compelled to differ.
He asserts that these avian marauders are innocent, and perhaps even beneficial, birds. Well, that's his opinion. I can't begin to count the number of times I've been out on a pleasant country stroll when I've been attacked by hordes of these nefarious little buggers. Not only do they amass in large flocks to do their dirty work, but they go for a person's softer and least well-defended body parts. I don't think we need to be more graphic here.
And several times my wife and I have witnessed, beneath our bird feeders, unprovoked mourning dove attacks on innocent squirrels and rabbits. It seems that they're attracted to fur. The results of these attacks are gory beyond description.
I say to the brave hunters who, in the face of all these dangers persist in making our countrysides safer by exterminating these feathered vermin -- "Go get 'em. Blast 'em out of the sky." All of Minnesota will be the better for your efforts.
Lawrence R. Severt
Don't celebrate a cowardly act
I am dismayed by the offensive article in your Sunday issue regarding the dove hunt. Why celebrate the cowardly act of shooting the fragile, harmless and defenseless birds? I'm sure you could find a more acceptable topic with a broader appeal.
Nationally, only 8 percent of our population hunts.
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