The most vocal Republican governors in criticizing the pork in President Obamas stimulus package are Barbour, Jindle, Palin, and Sanford. Ironically, they are also the top four beneficiaries of federal spending; receiving more than any other state.
For each federal tax dollar sent to Washington, these states receive:
Governor Haley Barbour (R) Mississippi $2.02;
Governor Bobby Jindal (R) Louisiana $1.85;
Governor Sarah Palin Alaska (R) $1.83
Governor Mark Sanford South Carolina (R) $1.35.
Maybe the taxpayers should publicly demand that these hypocrites return any excess earmarks so they too can contribute to the welfare of our nation. I suggest they receive only 75 cents for each dollar they pay to Washington. That way they would be putting a little in, instead of taking a whole lot out. Something they criticize others for.
Also, the Senate Republican leader has twice as many earmarks in this year‘s budget than the Senate Democratic leader. Interesting is it not?
A handy table here: www.nemw.org/taxburd.htm
Tim Wiley TC
Shop with conscience
If you believe that whoever feels deeply feels for all that lives, then it‘s time to let your spending reflect that view.
Today I was horrified to find items for sale at Oryana Food Co-op which originated in Israel. Israel manages to even outdo the U.S. in human rights violations.
Having a family member who has served as a volunteer in Palestine, we are keenly aware of the human rights violations and degradation of Palestinians.
For those not familiar with Israel‘s less-than-human stance regarding the Palestinians, “Palestine Inside Out, An Everyday Occupation“ by Saree Makdisi would be enlightening. The bare existence of an indigenous people started in 1948 as the U.S. and other colonial powers were determined not to let the Jews into their own countries. Instead, they stole the land which was Palestine and handed it over to Israel. It would be very much like Canada deeding over all of Michigan to someone they didnt want.
Do not spend your money supporting stores which support Israel. Join the boycott of Motorola (HangUpOnMotorola.org) Support the boycott of Caterpillar by businesses. To honor those suffering in other countries, be aware that every purchase of a cell phone, Blackberry, etc. results in personal devastation with mining practices which place little value on human life. Shop with a conscience.
Jerry Young Bear Lake
Power to the people
With all eyes turned to Washington hoping for an economic fix, are we then as individuals absolved of blame or responsibility? Impotent to affect change with our puny input?
The economy is largely a reflection of consumer spending habits we vote with our dollars, and we have exactly the economy weve supported and deserve. We decry outsourcing and blame corporations for moving overseas, but this is the result of consumers shopping for the lowest price. Low prices require cheap labor.
We live so disconnected from the natural world; most are blissfully ignorant of the cost to the earth in extraction, manufacture, and transport for every shiny object at the mall.
We are now three generations removed from the farm, and much of our agriculture is toxic, inhumane, and unsustainable; but most havent a clue how or where their food is grown or processed. By supporting local growers though farm markets we reverse the trend and improve our food and farming.
The imbalance of wealth at the root of so much of what ails us cannot be redistributed by government taxation and regulation, but by informed consumers choosing to support healthy sustainable businesses . . . even at a higher price.
When I shop at my village grocery, I support my neighbors, the store thrives, and money stays in the local economy. If I shop at Sams Club, I support the five Walton heirs (worth $18 billion each) and everyone else gets squeezed. What it saved?
Our problems run deeper than a struggling economy a natural world diminished daily by ignorance, greed driven wars ... we can do better.
Richard Allen Leland
I thoroughly enjoy reading your paper and value the kind of educated insight which surfaces within a number of your articles. However, I was deeply offended and shocked by the recent article, The Value of Vaccination by Rebecca Peterson.
It is my understanding that parents have the right to inform themselves and exercise their freedom of conscience in order to protect their children from bad science. Peterson believes that bad science is being used to dissuade parents from vaccinating their children.
But bad science is also being used to coerce parents into following the vaccination schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics that a vast amount of doctors abide by. The truth of the matter is that this particular schedule consents to injecting a child with an overwhelming amount of viruses in one appointment.
I know that many people argue that we should not be bucking the herd, but the real problem is that we are treating each child as if they are part of a herd rather than an individual child with a unique immune system. I choose to vaccinate my daughter, but I dont believe in burying my head in the sand and blindly following a regimented schedule that does not take into account the unique needs of each child.
Peterson questions, Why is it that occasionally even a vaccinated person contracts one of these diseases? This is in fact a true occurrence, but it is not an occasional one. What is alarming is the recent statistic revealed in Mothering magazine: The incidence of measles cases has risen dramatically from 2007 to 2008 and is at its highest level in more than a decade. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 63 of the 131 new cases of measles from January to July 2008 were among those unvaccinated. The majority of the cases (68), however were among those vaccinated (OMara p. 10).
I can empathize with Petersons concerns regarding unvaccinated children, but I refuse to demonize parents who have the right to decline. So, if it is trendy to be an American who exercises the right to choose what is best for his or her child, then I guess Im trendy. If it‘s hip to be concerned about the vaccination schedule and the recent epidemic of autism, then I guess Im hip. And if its irresponsible to believe in the tenets of this country, then Im irresponsible too.
Peterson argues that, vaccination should be a group decision, not an individual one. This is a frightening statement. Does she understand what this would mean regarding the role of government in our lives?
A responsible parent is a parent who is willing to dissent if it ensures the safety of his or her child.
Kacey Corcoran Petoskey
History lesson II
I found Joe Evanchos letter (History Lesson, 2/23) a bit disconcerting and hope that most of the readers recognize the blinders and rose colored glasses view represented in parts of the text in regard to the free market mentality. I am not at all disputing most of what was written about the Constitutional Convention and the Declaration of Independence. They are the backbone of the formation of our union as we know it today. My beef is with the concept that the government is the problem.
How does one go from applauding the incredible achievements of our forefathers to form this more perfect union to the derogatory stance against that very union today? Guess its not more perfect. Guess it is wrought with flaws? Guess it is overflowing with despicable people and ideas? Sounds like partisan whining to me.
History lesson Joe. Yes, President Lincoln saved us from the ravages of slavery but the president who did more to cause the Civil War in the first place was Franklin Pierce. Pierce supported slavery and heavy alcohol consumption. President Pierce was a direct blood relative of Barbara Pierce. Better known today as Barbara Bush. Apple doesnt fall far from the tree, does it Joe!
Actually Joe, our founding fathers fashioned our government by studying a variety of ideologies from ancient times, so to state that there was never anything like our government in the world is a bit of a stretch.
History, Joe, is a story told by a teller with a perspective representative of his or her personal history. Yours is of course western European Christian in perspective. Others (blacks, women, the Irish, Indians, etc.) might see the same instant in history from a different perspective and tell a different story in a different way. The facts may be the same, but the story may be slanted radically different.
I feel fortunate to live in what may be one of the greatest nations to ever exist on this earth but I do not delude myself into thinking we are more perfect. Or, that the very government that makes us great is the problem. Or, that left to their own conscience, business people will do the right thing.
Change will come from the government by way of voter pressure to do the right thing for the majority of Americans, regardless of race, religion, or social standing. That is the way it was designed to work by our forefathers.
Karl Thomsen TC