As the election looms ahead, a candidate's position on laws governing the treatment of animals has become a weighty issue for many voters. In observance of World Farm Animals Day on Oct. 2, animal, consumer, and environmental protection groups will hold vigils at the national and all 50 state capitols to memorialize the suffering of animals raised for food, and expose the devastating health and environmental impacts of animal agriculture. The focus of this year's World Farm Animals Day is on raising candidates' awareness of, and demanding reforms to factory farming practices.
According to a 1995 survey conducted by Opinion Research Group of Princeton, 93 percent of Americans oppose farm animal suffering. A 1999 Peter Hart Research poll found that 85% of Americans oppose raising farm animals in tight confinement. Numerous studies have demonstrated that animals experience many of the emotions that we do, including joy, affection, sadness, sorrow and pain.
Candidates for public office would be wise to pay attention to the words of Mahatma Gandhi, the world's foremost moral leaders and champion of humane farming, whose birthday is honored on World Farm Animals Day. Gandhi said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
Politicians aren't perfect
Who says politicians aren't real people? They all are. Look at the mistakes they make and the way they act.
Like anyone else wanting to win something, they will change to please the people. The change isn't always good, and it will hurt people, but as long as they are winning they will do anything to stay ahead.
And of course like little kids bickering over stupid little things and nit-picking over everything, you have adult people wanting to run our country! Kind of ironic, but this is always the way it has been.
You always know politicians are real people after they leave office, most of the time you never hear from them again. You never hear from them because they just go back to their normal life, back to work and back to the family. No one really cares about them anymore.
The mistake thing shows that they are not perfect, by a long shot. And, all one side is trying to do is pick out the imperfections of their opponent, proving that they used to have normal lives and make normal mistakes, but now their mistakes will be unlawful or immoral.
It's just kind of crazy that we choose one of these guys to run the whole country and make decisions for us.
With the presidential elections coming up this year I hear a lot of people talking about how important it is for me and other young adults to vote. However, I am not convinced that the various candidates are making a valid effort to win young adults' votes. So far the major topic for the presidential candidates are prescription drugs and how they are going to be paid for. That doesn't affect me at all, along with a good portion of the other topics they talk about. I will admit I don't watch a whole lot of news, but most people my age don't either, and a lot of the news I do hear about the presidential candidates is mostly negative. I am getting sick of hearing about the Republicans using subliminal messages in ads, and Gore saying he is against violence in entertainment when he has been on boards of movie companies that have made violent films. I feel like I can't trust either of them so why should I vote?
License to kill
Is an unborn baby a child or a "lump of tissue?" The world, sending out mixed messages, seems too confused right now to distinguish the difference. When does a baby become human; when its heart first begins to beat, when its body has fully developed, when its head pokes out, or when the mother says it is? Everyday abortion is killing hundreds of innocent living human beings while we stand by, watch, and say it's okay, as long as a doctor kills our children, it's okay.
In Queens, N.Y., November 1997 a 15-year-old girl named Nancy Martinez gave birth to her baby girl while sitting on a toilet. She later described to the detective how she let the baby fall into the water and watched as its tiny arms and legs thrashed around until it drowned: she was charged with murder. Columnist George Will put it best when he said, "If as soon as the baby's skull appeared, Martinzez had opened a hole in the skull and extracted the brains, the most she could be charged with is practicing medicine without a license."
Many children living today are without arms or legs because as "just a tissue" they survived an abortion. I believe the human race has given abortion doctors a "license to kill" innocent living children. Is this something you want on your conscience?
The downtown bells
"Hear the tolling of the bells --
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace of their tone!
For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats
Is a groan.
And the people -- ah, the people --
They that dwell up in the steeple,
And who, tolling, tolling, tolling,
In that muffled monotone,
Feel a glory in so rolling
On the human heart a stone ..."
-- From "The Bells" by Edgar Allan Poe
Perhaps Mr. Poe was insane after all. But after working in downtown Brainerd for two years, I can empathize with what may have driven him over the edge. I refer to the bells clanging out Muzak up and down Laurel Street on what seems like an hourly basis.
With an organ grinder's consistency, the downtown area is treated to such hits as "The Theme from Ice Castles" played on bell chimes at surprising decibels.
I am a fan of many kinds of music, and it may be true that one hasn't lived until hearing Gordon Lightfoot converted to this medium. But the problem, as I see it, is one of concern for those poor souls who may not share my, or others,' appreciation for the classics. If you're close enough in proximity to the center of town, even a double-paned window affords no protection. I have heard of some people driven to distraction in their work, and of usually mild-mannered account executives entertaining homicidal fantasies whenever this music commences.
Let's look at it this way. If at 10 a.m. each morning I was to set up an electric guitar on the Courthouse steps and proceed to hammer out "Frankenstein" by the Edgar Winter Band, I would soon be taking my three meals a day in the county detention center. (I hear the peach cobbler is excellent!) There are those who wish no less for the culprit pushing the play button on those chimes.
High gas prices
I feel that gasoline prices have been ridiculously high lately. Why is it that the United States insists on purchasing oil from overseas when, I feel that there is more than enough oil within our country's border? With gasoline approaching $1.60 it makes it hard for a college student like myself to afford gasoline for my vehicle. Is the government realizing that these outrageous prices are hurting the average American? Is OPEC looking out for the world or are they capitalizing on a so-called oil shortage? Is there anything the U.S. government can do? Is there anything they will do?
Vote for Walz
Dale Walz would restore integrity to representation of our area. We really need someone we can trust to do what's right. Dale Walz understands the need to tell the truth and will give us quality representation that's always in our best interest. Please vote for Dale Walz for state representative.
Act of kindness
I'm writing to share an act of human kindness that made a sad situation easier to bear. About three weeks ago, a young woman pulled into our driveway to give us the bad news that she had accidentally hit our cat on her way to work that morning. As upsetting as this news was, I was very impressed by the fact that she had the courage to come by and tell us in person. I don't imagine there are too many people out there who would do that just for an animal they don't know. But she did more than that. She first stopped to see if he possibly was only hurt, and when it became clear that he was truly gone, she checked around to see who he belonged to. She said she was concerned that there were children in the family who would be upset to come home and just find him lying there. When a neighbor told her that we did in fact have kids, she took the time to find a box and put him in and brought him with her until she could personally bring him to us. As anyone with pets knows, these little creatures are part of the family, and to lose one is heartbreaking to say the least. This particular cat wandered into our yard about a year ago and soon won over all of us, including the other two pets, with his distinct personality. Since he meant so much to us, it was a great comfort to know that someone cared enough to do all that she could, and for complete strangers. So we would just like to say, "Thank you, Marisa, for being the courageous and compassionate person you are. It does truly make a difference."
Roger and Cindy Carlson and family
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