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Opinion

Publisher's note: A very wise man wrote these words in November 2004. They are still important to remember today.

Buckle up, America!

According to reports by our deadline Wednesday, it appears that our incumbent president, George W. Bush, may have been re-elected.

If so, we've given a vote of confidence to a President that ...

• Misled America into a war that we didn't need to fight.
• Has not changed abortion laws in the first four years of his presidency.
• Has created the largest deficit in U.S. history.
• Has launched a pre-emptive attack on a third world nation, costing the lives of more than 1,000 U.S. soldiers and killing an Iraq coalition estimate of 100,000 mostly innocent Iraqi citizens.
• Has done very little to lower health care or provide affordable insurance to our citizens.
• Has taken no action as the economy dragged and jobs were outsourced to foreign nations, with the large companies receiving tax breaks.
• Has conducted a secretive administration that has been less than honest with the American people, yet has been intrusive in the personal lives of its citizens.
• Has done very little to protect the environment.
• And most of all, has left the American people divided more than ever after promising to be a uniter four years ago.

If the president had done just half of what he said he would do in the first four years, we probably wouldn't be so pessimistic.

But if, as the Bush supporters chanted at their convention, "Four more years" is what we'll get, then we expect a bumpy ride for the next four years.

So buckle up America and hang on.

— Gary L.Gooder

The “Tragedy of the Commons” is an environmental term coined by ecologist Garett Hardin back in 1968. The basic premise and dilemma is that when a resource is shared, or held in common, it can lead to depletion, since those utilizing it have a greater incentive to profit from its use rather than to conserve the resource.

A similar dilemma seems to be in place when it comes to government spending. With the national debt north of $15 trillion and climbing, there doesn't appear to be any serious effort to change the mindset that the wealth of the country is a “commons” that can be strip mined at will. Tapping into government money is like a communal ATM machine if you have the right pin number.

Read more...

Initially, I lacked interest even reading about the current Chickfil- A controversy, let alone writing about it. However, as the headlines kept popping up and I heard more people discuss it, it became apparent that this story has (chicken) legs to it. Also, it's a good test of the adage that “all publicity is good publicity.”

Recent published remarks by Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy supporting “traditional” marriage has triggered a media feeding frenzy, pitting gay rights activists against conservative and religious activists. The situation is perplexing. There is nothing particularity newsworthy about Cathy's stated views. As a devout Southern Baptist, why would remarks opposing gay marriage be a surprise? It would be headline material if he took the opposite position.

Read more...

Under the blazing Arizona sun stands an encampment of military tents filled with some 2,000 people. They battle the heat by positioning themselves in front of a few large fans, but they are of little use when temperatures reach 145 degrees. Stun fences surround the perimeter, with four Sky Watch Towers bearing down on the occupants. Facial recognition software and K-9 units keep track of the people moving about.

For the residents of Tent City Jail, their time behind bars is an exercise in humiliation: They are forced to dress in pink underwear, they “work seven days a week, are fed only twice a day, get no coffee, no cigarettes, no salt, pepper or ketchup and no organized recreation.” They work on chain gangs, and have to pay ten bucks when they want to see a nurse. This draconian treatment is not reserved for hardened criminals. In fact, most inmates in Tent City are imprisoned for less than a year for minor crimes, or are simply awaiting trial.

Read more...

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