Patriotism, justice, freedom, values. Strong words. The Flag. You see it everywhere. These words and the Flag are, or should be, grounded in our Constitution.
The most heroic and patriotic act that everyone can do this July 4th weekend is to read the Constitution. It only takes about 30 minutes. It doesnt sound too exciting - certainly not as exciting as watching parades, waving flags, or going to picnics - but our Constitution is the foundation of our country. Its the reason we celebrate July 4th. The Constitution is not a dusty old document to be ignored. The last Amendment was in 1992.
Before I left for Vietnam over 30 years ago I took an oath to defend our Constitution against enemies domestic and foreign. Today that oath has significantly more meaning for me. I see our freedoms being removed, and our Constitution being violated, by laws with such wonderfully sounding names as The Patriot Act and the No Child Left Behind Act. Article VI of the Constitution says that all treaties that we sign become the law of the land. I look at the Geneva Convention and the Nuclear Nonproliferation treaty and I see direct violations. Even the rights of peaceful assembly, freedom of speech and freedom of the press are being violated.
Enjoy the 4th, and discover the roots of our country. Look for Veterans For Peace in the Cherry Parade on 7/6.
Arnold Stieber Grass Lake
Beauty in the eye...
The zoning board, city and county commissioners have approved the Hall Street site on which BATA will build its new transit center. This is a two-county system, which is unique in itself.
However, Bernard Stover and Donna Folgarelli have chosen to instigate a lawsuit opposing construction of the building. When you consider that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the Stover building (Harbor View Centre) reminds me of the one on Ellis Island in New York, at which many immigrants arrived years ago, now brought to state of the art.
As for the Folgarelli deli building, it is definitely not an aesthetic contribution to the city. My words here are gentle in comparison to Folgarellis when describing the clientele who use the BATA bus system. Im only responding to hers in kind.
The lawsuit will be costly to them; if only they could put their money to better use. BATA will win. You may as well join them, as you just cant beat them.
Jean A. Wilson TC
I am an American citizen who is appalled by the special treatment that the Halliburton company receives from our government. Any reasonable person realizes that having Cheney in the White House and Haliburton getting a no-bid contract in Iraq is a laughable conflict of interest and represents a profound and shocking example of corporate America buying the White House. Bush/Cheney represents greed and American narcissism and I pray to the good God above that Kerry is elected in November, 2004... for our countrys sake!
Please note the following reports:
1. In March 2003, the Pentagon awarded Halliburtons construction wing, Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), a no-bid contract to help rebuild Iraqi oil fields after a possible war there, including advice on putting out oil well fires. The Army Corps of Engineers said that Halliburtons compensation for rejuvenating Iraqs oil industry could be up to $7 billion.
2. Halliburton gouged gas prices in postwar Iraq at the expense of American taxpayers. The military investigated Halliburton and found that it overcharged for gas it imported into Iraq from Kuwait. U.S. taxpayers and the United Nations oil-for-food program are paying Halliburton an average price of $2.64 per gallon, which is more than twice what others pay for Kuwait fuel. The appropriations bill that President Bush signed in November 2003 mandates that taxpayers subsidize all gas importation costs beginning in 2004. Pentagon auditors have asked the Department of Defense to investigate Halliburtons activity in Kuwait, and in December the military ended its contract to with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root to import oil.
3. Halliburton reaps profits while forcing troops to eat in filthy conditions. Halliburtons subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root [KBR] serves 110,000 soldiers in Iraq their meals. For that service, American taxpayers pay Halliburton $28 per soldier per day. But, according to NBC News, Pentagon inspections of mess halls run by KBR are finding a mess in some of them... In the main Baghdad dining facility where President Bush surprised the troops on Thanksgiving, inspectors found filthy kitchen
conditions in each of the three previous months. Complaints filed in August, September and again in October report problems. Blood all over the floor of refrigerators, dirty pans, dirty grills, dirty salad bars, rotting meats and vegetables. In October, the inspector writes that Halliburtons previous promises to fix the problems have not been followed through and warns the company serious repercussions may result, due to improper handling and serving of food.
Mario De Carolis TC
Whiting Hotel days
I enjoyed Mike Moey‘s article regarding the Whiting Hotel (5/27). Its history, as he stated, is most interesting. If at all possible, could you do a follow-up article that would include more pictures, biographies of famous residents, and/or facts relating to its glamorous past?