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Opinion

  • 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.

  • Since the hurricanes of 2004, property insurance in Florida has been in a flux, with significant price increases, major insurance companies dropping policies, and the state-backed Citizens Insurance Company becoming the largest property insurer in the state.

    During a special session last year, legislators thought they had taken steps to secure rate relief when they passed a bill that increased the state’s Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, thus providing major private insurance companies cheaper reinsurance through the state fund.

  • A skeptic is someone inclined to doubt accepted conclusions. Concerning the endless saga of the President Kennedy assassination we’ve always been skeptical, but for not for the usual reasons.

    Recently Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins released the contents of a safe left behind by Henry Wade, the DA who prosecuted Jack Ruby, who shot Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who killed President Kennedy back in 1963.

  • Since it is two weeks before the next primaries in Texas and Ohio we have time to discuss a subject that is important to the welfare of our citizens and country. The American people are largely living in the dark when it comes to what Congress is doing behind closed doors.

    This always shows up after the fact of a bill, treaty, etc., is already approved and signed, never giving the public a chance to offer an idea or opinion before the fact. Congress and the administration even lie to the public about our two current wars.

  • Recent headline No. 1: “Teachers may feel pressured to omit evolution.” Recent headline No. 2: Lawmaker (says) “Call evolution a theory.” Both headlines introduce stories about things gone goofy in public education.

    The first headline’s story was primarily anecdotes about teachers caught between a state requirement to teach evolution and their fears of backlash from young-earth creationist parents and students.

  • Take one writer with bronchial pneumonia add one husband with double pneumonia and you have a recipe for a tremendous lightening of the wallet and much sickness. Ten pills alone cost $120. How on earth does someone with limited income cope and get well with this type of gouging?

  • Now we know the direction the county’s ambulance service will take. But the avenues mapped have yet to be traveled.

    At Tuesday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting the vote was for merging Emergency Medical Services Alliance personnel with county fire services. When Barbara Fitos spoke at the Jan. 14 State Road 200 Coalition meeting, she addressed the benefits of such a marriage, and three other commissioners were apparently of similar mind.

  • In an October column we did a mini seminar on the sub-prime mortgage mess. During the late, great housing boom, mortgage companies and banks were borrowing low-interest money, lending it to home buyers, then selling off bundles of mortgages to dumb investment banks, not-so-smart hedge funds, and other cocky high-rollers.

    Things may be darker than revealed so far. New York and Connecticut are investigating whether lenders were slipping in “no document” and “exception” loans, which made the bundled mortgages even more risky for investors.