WASHINGTON -- Feeling, evidently, flush with (other people's) cash, the Senate has concocted a novel way to spend $3 billion: Create a new entitlement. The Senate has passed -- and so has the House, with differences -- an entitlement to digital television. If this filigree on the welfare state becomes law, everyone who owns old analog television sets will get subsidies to pay for making those sets capable of receiving digital signals. If you think America is suffering an entitlement glut, you may have just hurled the newspaper across the room.
The remaining members of Company C of the 1-151st Field Artillery of the Minnesota National Guard are back in their homes today in west central Minnesota. As one soldier said Monday, it is "a dream come true." The company is made up of soldiers from Morris, Madison, Ortonville, Montevideo and Appleton. We would like to say welcome home to each of these 146 returning soldiers. They went to Iraq, they served and completed their mission. For that, each soldier is to be commended. Three soldiers of this unit did not return: n Sgt.
Rural Minnesotans have an excellent opportunity to improve our highways by voting "yes" on the proposed constitutional amendment in the November 2006 election. That's why we're perplexed by the decision of Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities to oppose the measure (West Central Tribune, Nov. 19). If the amendment is approved, all money collected from the existing 6.5-percent sales tax on the sale of new and used motor vehicles would be dedicated to highways and transit. This was the intended purpose when the tax was enacted almost 30 years ago.
SAN DIEGO -- In most U.S cities, public officials are commonly referred to as "the honorable" this or that. But here in San Diego, they're often referred to simply as "the defendant in the above named action." The U.S. attorney's office, the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission have separate and ongoing investigations into the city's pension scandal, which resulted in a nearly $2 billion shortfall in the municipal employees' pension fund. Six former members of the pension board have been charged with corruption and are being prosecuted by the district attorney's office.
Murtha, Murtha, Murtha, Murtha, Murtha, Murtha, (Lieberman), Murtha, Murtha, Murtha. That's about how news coverage has gone the past several weeks concerning Rep. John Murtha's call to withdraw from Iraq versus Sen. Joe Lieberman's call to stand fast. And the media wonder why newspaper circulations are dropping and why Fox News dominates television ratings over the networks and other cable programs. It's not that Murtha doesn't deserve airtime to voice a point of view many Americans share.
The celebrity rush to save the life of convicted murderer and gang founder Tookie Williams may be the best argument yet for eliminating the death penalty. Dead, he's a martyr; alive and confined for life, he's just another nobody. I have no wish to further elevate Williams in the public eye, but the circus surrounding his Dec. 13 execution date forces reflection. First my bias and other disclaimers: I'm a relatively recent convert from the slow-gas-leak solution to death row crowding to a reluctant capital punishment opponent.
After reading a very interesting letter written by Mr. Graden West, published in the Public Forum on Nov. 28, I would like to say that I most heartily agree with his comments on separation of church and state. Anyone with a minimal knowledge of history must realize what happens when the church controls the state. Whenever we Americans are engaged in war, we become more spiritual and tend to look to our spiritual God for answers and we become more churchgoing. Billy Graham often mentions his one true, living God and is anxious to join him in heavenly paradise.
I was driving in a funeral procession recently, and I just wanted to say thank you to the kind, respectful people that pulled over to the side of the road to let us pass. I grew up with the understanding that pulling over was the right thing to do. If you are driving down the road, and see a procession coming towards you, pull over, show some respect for the departed and their grieving families. If you already do, thank you for your consideration, I'm sure many people are grateful. Becky Hahn Pennock
The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Department has taken its effort to find local scofflaws to the Internet. The Sheriff's Department decided in October to start posting a listing along with booking photos of the "wanted" individuals. Sheriff Dan Hartog said his department is hoping its new Web page will help computer users play a role in tracking down wanted citizens. The posting of the county's "Most Wanted" list utilizes several attributes: * Growing Internet usage * Quick update potential * Easy information accessibility. The new site is already working for Kandiyohi County.
SAN DIEGO -- President Bush was talking tough recently during a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border. At least it was someone who looked a lot like President Bush. I have my doubts. It sounded more like Pat Buchanan. This is the same George Bush who, while he was governor of Texas, defended bilingual education and still delights in addressing Latino audiences in Spanish. And here he was talking about how immigrants had "an obligation to learn ...