Letters to the Editor
I hope to let my children be what they will be as long as they be it with good manners. For there is no civilization without courtesy, and civilization is our greatest treasure.
On Halloween, I was appalled at the behavior of so many children. It seemed that in every direction, there was yet another spoiled and poorly-mannered child within our midst. I know that my own child is in no way perfect, but I do hold to the ideal that she will, at most times, be polite to those who are her elders and to the ones who show their generosity on Halloween. I believe this to be true, as we have brought her up with strong morals and a solid foundation in manners, even at the tender age of 5.
I am often embarrassed and appalled at the lack of manners that even my peers bestow upon others in our society. Most aren’t even familiar with the word “etiquette.” Ask a teenager what the word means, and they shrug indifferently the same as when asked the name of our politicians.
In order to have a functioning society, manners are a necessity. Ask yourselves why there are so many ill-behaved children out there. There was a time when parents would be embarrassed by the actions of their child, and in the process of being so, they’d correct their child before it could become a habit.
I apologize for lecturing, yet I feel compelled to say something. When you are trick-or-treating with your own easily-influenced child, and you see others demanding people to “Give me candy, I’m in a hurry!” Or pushing past your child at a door and rudely cutting in (all within earshot and eyesight of their parents), you have to ask if the parent is happy ignoring the actions of their own child, or if they are purely ignorant to the teachings of simple etiquette?
In this ever changing, liberated world, maybe it’s time to go back in time slightly and teach our children basic politeness and social skills.
On Monday the 6th, I went to Jimmy’s 66 gas station on Grand Avenue. The woman there filled my tank for me and cleaned my windshields. When I told her she didn’t have to, she told me, “That’s what we’re here for.”
It was just an unexpected nicety, and I just wanted to thank the woman and Jimmy’s 66 for great service.
I would like to first say a few words about the great character of Steve Beckley, the Caverns owner. He is an enthusiastic environmentalist. He has been known to employ many of the valley’s homeless and disabled. He donates on a regular basis to local programs such as YouthZone, and has footed the bill for many charity auctions and events. As the former weekend manager of The Caverns restaurant, I can tell you he is a man of great character.
I was, however, appalled to see the article in the paper about the restaurant’s lack of staffing, resulting in early closures and limited hours. It is my firsthand opinion that he made his decisions based on the advice of people who know nothing about restaurants, and decided to limit hours of operation based on the theory that they would never have local support. The week the new hours were announced, three great and highly qualified servers, who happen to be moms during the week, were cut from five shifts a week to two, and decided to seek other employment. The following week my direct supervisor was let go because the restaurant was now too small to support his salary. Lastly, I was forced to leave as my hours were cut more than half.
Don’t be fooled. The decision to limit the hours of the restaurant was not based on labor shortages, it was in fact the direct opposite. Labor shortages occurred because the restaurant hours were so severely limited.
The Glenwood Caverns has never been willing to be consistent enough in menu, management or hours to ever be successfully staffed.
“You’re doing a heck of a job, Bushie!” says Osama bin Laden in his latest video release. OK, I’m making that up.
Just before the 2004 election Al Qaida Productions LTD put out a video from Osama that gave a nice bump to the George W. Bush approval rating. What will we see this time?
What is definitely weird is how the Osama-Bush relationship has grown so symbiotic over the years. Recently, George W. gave a speech to some like-minded right-wingers, in which he quoted Osama over and over. I think he was making the point that because Osama was so happy with the graduate school for terrorists that the Iraq war has become, that Iraq must be considered the central focus in the Global War on Terror. This proves that right-wing audiences are surprisingly comfortable with illogical and self-contradictory rhetoric. However, what is good for Osama bin Laden should not be good for the United States.
I keep asking myself, “Why hasn’t Osama been captured?” It has been five years since 9/11. It has been thirteen years since the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Osama was a collaborator of the earlier bombing as well.
It seems the Bush Regime, the Afghanistan government (such as it is), and the Pakistan government have agreed to make a mountainous and cantankerous section of Northwest Pakistan a “do not disturb” zone. You don’t think … ?
The United States had a good chance to grab Osama in Afghanistan right after 9/11. The problem was, they never really sent anybody over there that could catch him. “We’re coming to get you!” they kept saying. Well warned, Osama got out of Dodge. Later, Bush said something like, “Osama? Who? Actually, I don’t really care that much about him.” Say what?
These two guys have a pretty good thing going. Bush keeps being the “war president,” and Osama stays the big cheese in Al-Qaida Land (which is getting to be bigger and bigger). You could almost say they sort of need each other.
At the beginning of this year, I was flown to Colorado by CARE supporters to review a dog bite case and evaluate a Katrina dog that had bitten CARE’s director. I won’t go into all the findings, but I will say the whole situation, in my professional opinion of more than 30 years, was the fault of Yajko and CARE’s director, and not the dog.
Now, 10 months later, Ms. Yajko’s dog is involved in a far more severe bite on a child, yet I haven’t heard CARE demand the dog be dealt with to protect public safety, as they did with the Katrina dog. I guess being affiliated with CARE automatically gives you a “get out of jail free” card.
Ms. Yajko said, “We forget that dogs are animals, they cannot tell us to back off when they feel threatened, and they will use their teeth.”
This is rubbish! Anyone who knows anything about canine behavior knows that all dogs (with few exceptions) will always give physical indicators they are stressed or feeling aggressive. This has been confirmed through numerous studies for more than 20 years. Yajko’s remarks are amateurish at best.
I am glad Ms. Yajko is admitting full responsibility. Just based on her own statements, this bite could have been prevented had she acted as a responsible owner. At least, in this instance, she didn’t try to hide her culpability.
This also makes me wonder, since Yajko is CARE’s trainer and kennel supervisor, how many other dogs has she sent out that were also detrimental to public safety. After all, if she can’t control or read her own dog, how effective a trainer and kennel supervisor can she be? She can’t.
Judging by his last two letters, Mr. Gerbaz seems more concerned with the morality of individuals holding public office than the platforms and policies of the political party they belong to. If morality is an issue, he should ask himself which is worse for America, a president who cheats on his wife or one who takes the country to war on false pretenses?
Trying to defend his position, Mr. Gerbaz resorts to labeling as “Bush haters” those who disagree with the current administration’s policies. What a ridiculous accusation. While I detest some (but not all) of the policy decisions Bush has made, I certainly don’t hate him for it. Mostly, I find his befuddlement amusing, sort of like a puppy unaware that the tail it is chasing belongs to itself.
I believe Bush is sincere about fighting the “war on terror” and truly wants the best for America. Unfortunately he’s just a puppet. It’s those pulling the strings, whom Mr. Gerbaz blithely calls “a group of people, belonging to some project” that we need to be concerned with. They’re the ones writing the policies which Bush naïvely enacts, making him an unwitting accomplice in promoting an agenda that endangers American lives and the future of our democracy.
This “group of people” which includes the current vice president, secretary of defense, and world bank president, has held positions of power through the last three administrations (see http://www.newamericancentury. org/statementofprinciples). They’ve influenced American foreign policy in ways that undermine our national interest in favor of their own financial interest. Regardless which political party wins the White House in ’08, the insidious PNAC will no doubt still be pulling the strings.
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