Referring to front page of 10-26-05 "Name of every American killed to be read at area events" as well as its accompanying article "Steady rise defines scope of U.S. troop deaths in Iraq."A few weeks ago you also "front-paged" an article and picture (again front page) "children killed in Iraq." (embarrassingly, this was published the day one of my brave, strong Marine grandsons came home to Crosby from Iraq, and told us how great changes are going on in Iraq!)
I think it's high time the Dispatch publishes news on the side of America, rather than Jane Fonda!
Yes, we grieve with each loss of husband, father, son. But to be consistent, mention the names of the 2,500 killed in the Battle of Normandy, the names of the 10,000 in the Bataan Death March, and how about Iwo Jima, and Pearl Harbor. Could the reason be that it was democrat Franklin Roosevelt at the helm, and not President Bush?
We have worse diseases in America than infected birds and mad cow disease - it's called "dead between the ears!"
Bush takes on the bird flu next
Our president said that he would get Bin Laden. Our president said that he would make Iraq a free and safe place for its people. Our president said that he would help the people of New Orleans. Our president said that he would return honesty to the White House. Our president said that he would stop Big Oil from taking advantage of us. Now our president says that he is taking the bird flu seriously. I don't know about you but I will sleep better tonight!
Examples of greedy oil executives
I just read that Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell had over $19 billion dollars in profit for the third quarter. I have a little trouble getting my mind around a number that big so I looked at it from another angle. If you distributed that profit to the citizens of Minnesota how much would we get? There are 5 million people in the state and the average household contains about 2.5 people so there are close to 2 million households. Do the math. Every household in the state would get a check for $9,500.
That's how much profit those two oil companies made in just three months. I guess the CEO of Exxon Mobil is earning his $100 million dollar per year compensation. That $100 million would be enough for 3,000 families to have an income of $30,000 per year and CEO Lee Raymond would still have $10 million dollars per year to get by on. Does the word greed ring a bell here? Speaking of greed, our Congress has determined a $223 million dollar bridge to an island with a population of 50 (which is already serviced by ferries that run only half-full most of the time) is more important than rebuilding roads and bridges destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The amendment that would have diverted that money to help rebuilding efforts was defeated in the senate 82-15. Both our senators voted against the amendment. How can our legislators justify this kind of greedy pork while the House Agriculture Committee, on a party line vote, approves budget cuts that could cut off school lunches and breakfasts for 40,000 children? Has our country gone so far down that road that we'll never be able to get back? It's a bleak-looking future.
'Adopt-a-Soldier' program set up
Last year, 152 soldiers from Company A, 194th Tank Battalion were deployed to Iraq, and they are due to return soon. The 194th Family Readiness Group is in the process of planning homecoming ceremonies, and the American Legion wants to add to the soldiers' welcome home through its "Adopt-a-Soldier" program, by offering complimentary one-year memberships for each soldier, providing them access to the many veterans' programs and benefits available through the American Legion.
We are asking the Brainerd Lakes community to help us. Are you willing to assist? If so, please consider donating all or part of a $26 membership for soldiers from the 194th. Checks may be made payable to American Legion Post 255 (memo: "Adopt-a-Soldier"), 708 Front Street, Brainerd, Minn., 56401.
Friday, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day, a day set aside each year for Americans to remember and honor the brave men and women in our armed forces who have served our country in the past and who continue to serve today.
Our Brainerd Lakes area has a long tradition of support for the 194th:
""More than 20,000 persons are expected to line the streets of Brainerd for the mile-long parade that will mark the opening of the city's homecoming celebration for Col. Ernest B. Miller and members of Co. A. 194th tank battalion." (60 years ago (1945) Brainerd Dispatch, October 21, 2005)
Thank you, in advance, for your generosity in support of the soldiers from the 194th!
Dr. Charles Extrand
Brainerd American Legion Post 255 member
The blight of unreason
There is a blight upon humanity, that I think is best referred to as unreason. That blight nullifies reason, as it amplifies the evolutionary animal responses of fear, hate, and the need for security. And with the nullification of reason and the heightened need for security, then greed becomes seen as an attribute, and so, we have society recurrently led by greed, such as we have today.
And in times like these, the evangelists of all religions assemble followers from those lost in unreason, and the greedy ascend to positions of power. In the past, greed has hurried its own demise, by its dependence on economic and social darwinism, and the evangelicals by their embarrassing hypocrisy. But then we have never before had the power of immediate annihilation of the world, so in the past, humanity had time for, a slower and quieter process of reason to surface and calm the raw human emotions, that have evolved with their animal roots. Emotions that are, too often, supported by rationalizations that make them seem for a time like reason.
The world of humanity, seems to be in dire need of, more of the thought of the liberal religious, agnostics, and atheists that understand that man is an animal, and his emotional reactions are nearly immediate, and without moral judgment when not supported by rationalization. Considered thought takes longer, and can still be confused with rationalizations but normally contains reasoned morality.
And in our world of unreason, we no longer have humans, that might reason, but evil unreasoning enemies.
Dennis G. Gordon
Patriotic songs and political rhetoric
Last Saturday evening there was a gathering of progressives at Breezy Point. We sang patriotic songs ending with "The Star-Spangled Banner." We sang a capella, neither words or music were available, and it sounded really good. We listened to some very good political rhetoric from announced candidates the youngest of whom was still a teen. There is still hope for this country despite what we hear from Washington and the Flat Earth Group which still bemoans speed limits as unnecessary government regulation, but believe that there should be an observer on all sexual acts to make sure they are done in the correctly prescribed manner and don't violate presumed moral authority. Personally what goes on in private between consenting adults doesn't really interest me all that much. Any thing coerced from a position of power is wrong, whether it is sexual in nature or not. We however didn't spend much time discussing the president and his cronies however or whatever their schemes. Pretty much we just had a good time and tried to get home before this old man's bedtime.
Stop the barbarism in Iraq
There's an old chestnut that goes something like this, "How can you tell when a politician is lying?" Answer, "When his lips move." Seven more American soldiers died yesterday making it the fourth worst month of the war. At this rate by Christmas day about 155 families will hear that dreaded knock on the door. And for what? An invasion based on a pack of lies and those suspected of lying are many: Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz, Libby, Powell and others, not to mention the lapdogs in the press and the right wing radio gas bags. Yet we see letters to the editor saying things are going swimmingly for the Iraqi people when the truth is there is little or no electricity, no fuel, few food rations, little potable water, no sewage disposal, and no security.
There is terror, fear, death and destruction everywhere. Another big lie is that invading Iraq was part of the war on terrorism. Lt. Gen. William Odom (U.S. Army, ret.), chief of Army Intelligence (1981-85) and director of the National Security Agency (1985-88) said in a speech recently, "Our invasion of Iraq has made it a homeland for al-Queda and other terrorist groups. Indeed, I believe that it was the very first time that many Iraqis became terrorists. Before we invaded, they had no idea of terrorism."
How many body bags will it take before we put a stop to this barbarism? For the sake of our children, how many?
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