Al Gore and the Democrats keep clamoring for a new campaign finance law.
Why? Too much power by special interest groups? Everyone of us is a member of one or more special interest groups. It is obvious therefore that what the Democrats hate are the "evil" special interest groups that support Republicans. Their proclaimed tolerance of diversity is missing.
Who would believe that those who violated the present law will obey a new law? Only the naive or closed minded.
What we need is:
1. People, organizations, politicians and party leadership that will obey the law.
2. A federal Justice Department that enforces the law regardless of party affiliation of the one charged with violating the law. Right now we have neither of these requirements. Merely changing the campaign finance law will not produce adherence to requirements 1 and 2 above. What we need first is a change in administration of, and attitude toward, the rule of law in Washington D. C., and we need it fast.
There is another thing I would like to see changed. An immediate (within 24 hours) reporting of any and all contributions, identifying the contributor, on the Internet. This must include both "hard" and "soft" money and services rendered without pay. (This includes the news media) It will then be a readily available public record of who is giving what to whom. The general public will then have full visibility into campaign finances and the feeling we are being fooled or cheated should end.
Ralph E. Kant
Sing for Christmas
Now is your chance to have some fun and help others to have fun too.
Starting Monday, Oct. 16 there will be practice sessions each Monday at the First Congregational Church basement, 5th and Juniper streets at 7 p.m. to learn Christmas songs in chorus style to be sung at churches, rest homes, the malls, Fleet Farm, Target stores, Home Depot, schools or whoever wants us to brighten the holiday season. All male singers who would like to be a part of spreading joy through music for Christmas are urged to come.
We hope to have 30 to 40 voices trained to sing together, so that if a few can't be there every time it won't affect the quality of entertainment.
This is not a membership drive as such, it is just getting together to sing for the good of the community. However, if you enjoy it you can always become a member of the Northcountrymen Barbershoppers by joining our chorus.
For more information on this seasonal group, please call Bob Nicholson at 828-3465.
Obesity on the rise
Prevalence of obesity among Americans shot up almost 6 percent from 1998 to 1999 according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published in a Journal of the American Medical Association. The increase is part of an alarming 60 percent rise in the past decade. More than half of Americans are overweight, according to the CDC, and nearly 20 percent of these are severely obese.
A number of extensive, reputable studies have shown that obesity is a precursor of diseases that account for more than a million premature deaths each year. Among these are heart disease, stroke, cancer and adult-onset diabetes. Overweight children are twice as likely to suffer from heart disease in later years.
Clearly, obesity has become the greatest preventable threat to our nation's health and welfare. Yet it is practically ignored in presidential debates, party platforms and media reports.
The leading causes of obesity are consumption of fat-laden meat and dairy products and inadequate exercise, particularly during formative childhood years. Consumers must learn to replace these foods with wholesome grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits, to undertake a regular exercise program at the earliest age. Parents must insist that their children's schools introduce wholesome food choices, and the USDA must stop using the National School Lunch program as a dumping ground for surplus meat and dairy commodities.
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