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Opinion

  • Ten years ago President Bill Clinton told the nation “the era of big government is over.” We don’t know whether he was wrong or telling another big one while wagging his finger at us. In any case, both sides of Congress applauded, which was awkward because they had their fingers crossed.

    However, despite differences, the Clinton White House and Speaker Newt Gingrich’s Republican Congress actually shrank the size of government, produced balanced budgets, and encouraged better than usual economic growth. Gridlock can be good. It encourages compromise.

  • As we noted last week, growth to an area such as ours never pays for itself. It brings on an increase in costs of most everything as we have seen on home mortgages, life-, health- and auto insurance, gasoline – and we must include the food we eat.

  • “It’s either a mole hill from outer

    space or another bank is sprouting!”

     

  • Someone once described the pain of a hangover as a spike driven into the top of his head by some evil force. That’s a wonderfully apt metaphor for the pain of political headaches called wedge issues.

    A wedge issue is an emotionally charged subject of dissent within a political party, which may cause otherwise loyal members to withhold support of the party’s candidate – or something even more treasonous.

  • It took the BBC to dig into what may soon be a huge breaking scandal. It concerns U.S. corruption in Iraq.

    You were wondering where your money was going – right? It certainly wasn’t going to American servicemen and- women, the maimed in body and soul. To the politicos who clothe themselves in our flag, here’s something to think about.

    The Army has gotten rid of more than 40,000 troops since 2001. The claim is “due to misconduct or pre-existing conditions.” That’s government speak for dump the problem on society.

  • No one will argue that the American public has been more than patient when it comes to our government, the oil companies, the futures market, OPEC or speculators or anyone else doing anything to solve our needless oil problems and the resulting exorbitant gasoline prices. Congress talks and debates and the two parties blame each other of not doing what could be done to solve the problem.

    Looks like John Q. Public will have to wake them up.

  • A nonprofit organization, Habitat for Humanity, made the list of the top 100 builders, in volume, in the United States for 2007. The efforts of its volunteers put them number 14 on the list, published by Builder’s magazine. They closed on 5,619 homes in 2007.

    Habitat for Humanity of Marion County contributed to the home count. They closed on 18 homes, most in west Ocala, last year. With more than 1,800 affiliates in the United States, the Marion County group ranks number 27 among other chapters.

  • Emily Dickinson rarely traveled outside of her birthplace, Amherst, or even very far from home. Much of her life was spent in her father’s house and much of that in her room.

    Yet she leaves us a treasure trove of insights and beauty which can illuminate us. This remarkable poet wrote about places she had never seen. The moors and the ocean are two of them. She also wrote:

    The bustle in a house

    The morning after death

    Is solemnest of industries

    Enacted upon earth.

    The sweeping up the heart,

    And putting love away

  • As promised last week, more of the same on current America. Republicans wanted cheap wages; Democrats wanted votes, so nothing was done. Again and again our so-called political leaders have sold out the American public. Each and everyone who votes for illegals must be removed, one way or another.

  • Disposing of trash with minimal impact on the environment is a huge task. Even with recycling programs keeping solid waste from the county’s landfill, the county only has six to seven years left on its capacity.

    Disposing of trash for residents has been convenient, mainly because 18 recycling centers and two drop-off centers are operating 50 hours a week, but costly. The county’s solid waste department has been costing more than the revenue coming in the door – that’s an ouch that cannot continue in the best of times, let alone the worst of times.

  • Politicians are at their dumbest when discussing health care and health care financing. There are rare exceptions, such as Congressman Pete Stark of California and Hillary Clinton, who spent months learning about both care and financing during her husband’s first term in office. That’s not to say her ideas are right, but at least she knows what she’s talking about.

  • The posted price of gasoline on every highway is a daily reminder that government is powerless over our economy, no matter how much it spends.

    In January 2001, Mr. Bush’s first significant presidential act was creation of the National Energy Policy Development Group (NJPDG). It became better known as the Cheney Energy Task Force.

  • Florida’s firefighters have provided both emergency medical and fire rescue services to residents for decades. Now Marion County Fire Rescue (MCFR) will add ambulance transport to its growing mission. On March 18, Marion County Commissioners approved an organizational structure that will enable MCFR to provide ambulance service countywide starting this October when the current ambulance service contract expires.

  • Today’s generation grew up with television and cut their teeth on computers – it’s second nature to them. The “greatest generation” thought radio was an electronic marvel and TV was introduced as a luxury to them.

    Individuals communicate with the suddenness that was once reserved for news mediums and hush-hush government agencies. But the “greatest” and the baby boomers are catching up with all the whiz kids and becoming more computer literate every day.

  • Plainly speaking, our government is clearly out of control in so many ways it’s not even funny. A lot of our real enemies are in Washington, D.C. Their actions daily are causing America to self-destruct. We are borrowing $2 billon a day from our enemy, China, to support our economy so the public won’t know how bad the current recession really is.

    If China wanted America to collapse, all they and the other creditors such as Japan would have to do is to call in our loans and notes. We could never pay up.

  • One of the best known and best loved English hymns is Jerusalem, with music composed by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry and the soaring orchestral score added six years later by Sir Edward Elgar, best known for his Pomp and Circumstance, (Land of Hope and Glory, used at most American graduation ceremonies.) William Blake wrote the sublime and enigmatic words in his preface to Milton.

  • Two guys in an ice-fishing hut on a lake somewhere in South Dakota have been wondering which of them would cast the vote which one decides the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee. Politics makes interesting small talk while waiting for a bite.

    The South Dakota primary doesn’t happen until June. Historically, it’s usually too late to affect the candidate selection outcome. This year’s Florida and Michigan Democratic primaries may be just as meaningless, because the major political parties decided they were held too early.

  • It seems like more and more Corridor residents are having close encounters of a coyote kind. Over the years sightings haven’t been uncommon, but their presence is becoming more of an everyday part of life.

    Until the widening of State Road 200 from a sleepy two-lane road to a six-lane highway, there was a lot of wooded acreage for them to roam. Since then, and now during the building slowdown, more of that scrub habitat is being cleared – evicting prey and predator – and they are running out of places to live.

  • In the continuing saga of America’s best kept secrets, it’s clear what is causing our citizens to begin to worry that we may be facing a recession despite all the reassurances from the government that it’s not going to happen. But still people aren’t getting mad. They should be screaming with rage the way things are all going downhill, but no outrage yet.

  • Greetings from New York, the Big Apple, Gotham City, the place where, according to our administration’s finagling of the EPA, the air is and has been fit to breathe since 9/11/01. Oh yeah? And there’s a bridge for sale here too!

    It was the week before Christmas and tourists in jovial moods were buying goods which used to be beyond their pocketbooks until the Euro and other currencies eclipsed the dollar. At Rockefeller Center a group of Europeans were discussing the air quality as they had been told it was still suspect.