The Surge and the Fool
President Bush wants to send thousands more of our sons and daughters to Iraq (Editor's Note, January 18th issue). This is both too little and too late. The time to put this fire out was at least three years ago. Sending more troops now is like forcing fire fighters to rush into a building that is already too far gone. It can only make the problem worse and get a lot of good people killed for no good reason.
Editor Bruce VanWyngarden has a lot of nerve calling President Bush a "fool" in his last column. The president is privy to facts and intelligence far beyond the knowledge of the editor of a Memphis rag. Who is the real fool here?
When President Lyndon Johnson kept sending more troops into the quagmire of Vietnam, there was a popular song with the following lyrics: "We were neck-deep in the Big Muddy, and the damn fool keeps yelling 'Push on.'" Sound familiar?
Where Are the Others?
Lewis "Scooter" Libby faces trial for obstruction of justice and repeatedly lying (to a grand jury). It seems strange that he would be punished for what his ex-boss, Dick Cheney, taught him by example so well. And why, if the whole administration has demonstrated this ability, is he the only one indicted for it?
What Was There Before?
Much concern has been expressed regarding the massive ice shelf that broke off into the Arctic Ocean in northern Canada. The shelf had been in place for 3,000 years, according to scientists. It has been heralded as proof of global warming.
Admittedly, the weather has been unorthodox for the last couple of decades, and this is certainly cause for concern. And I find it strange that a warm front remained in place for weeks, creating unusually warm weather in the Eastern United States while creating a dam that kept a cold front in the Midwestern and Western states. Is this someway tied to global warming?
I don't know. There is something that I find intriguing regarding the break of the 25-square-mile ice shelf: It is 3,000 years old. That seems to indicate that it was not there before the 3,000-year window. What was there before? The only reasonable conclusion is water.
There is a theory, and that is all it is, that the earth's climate is cyclical, having warm periods which might help explain the oil reserves in Alaska and the oil sands in Canada. I cannot comprehend with my limited knowledge on the subject how these oil deposits could have formed in arctic climates.
Maybe someone has a good explanation.
Until the 110th Congress addresses the inequities in our tax system, we'll continue to further plunge into the abyss of what is becoming irreversible national debt. It appears that this Congress is merely poised to put a Band-Aid on a hemorrhage.
Tax-avoidance schemes have been growing faster than the IRS' ability to crack down on them. The number of companies leaving the United States each year or outsourcing their labor is accelerating at an alarming rate. The loss in tax revenue is becoming almost incalculable -- exacerbated by enormous tax cuts for the wealthiest of Americans.
According to a December 2003 report, the IRS had identified over 400,000 taxpayers involved in tax-evasion strategies that are likely illegal. Now, three years later, the problem is only getting worse.
What has the Bush administration done to solve the problem?
They have declared that outsourcing of jobs is good for America and that tax cuts will reduce the deficit. Further, they have slashed the number of IRS auditors (charged with auditing the tax reports on multi-million-dollar incomes) in half!
Paul G. Jaehnert
Vadnais Heights, Minnesota