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Over the summer of 2010 I began to ask myself, "what do you do if two of our Rights, as citizens of these United States, are diametrically opposed?" I came to the only viable conclusion: you compromise. Our great Nation works when there is compromise.

Right now most of you will agree with me that our political system is broken. What we currently have is: the politics of destruction; special interest groups who have the power and money to dictate policy; politicians who must spend their time raising money for the next election instead of doing the People's business; and, there are those who are so concerned about getting re-elected they cede their responsibilities to the citizenry to those groups making the loudest noises and the greatest threats.

The attacks that we were inundated with during the this election cycle belittled the democratic process. Shame on everyone involved. And, shame on the political obstructionists who are more interested in gaining and maintaining power than doing the people’s business. During these very difficult times all of us should be supporting our President. The challenge for all of us is, how do we improve upon this imperfect union that we call the United States of America? One thing I know for is not by dividing us.

I can remember when I was sixteen years old there was a day when my father called out to me, "Jackie, come quickly. You have to hear this. It's Winston Churchill. Come listen." I raced to the radio and for the first time heard a recording of Churchill's speech to a Nation standing alone against the greatest evil the world has ever known: "...we shall defend our island no matter what the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; and we shall not surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until in God's good time, the New World, with all it's power and might, steps forth to the rescue and liberation of The Old."

That day my hero was born. Where are our heroes today? jkt

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Drill Baby, Drill

Republican legislators have just come out with their recommendations for balancing Ohio's budget, including the recommendation to "allow drilling on state-owned lands to help fund the Ohio Department of Natural Resources".

My friend has a farm that abuts part of the Wayne National Forest. For years her daughter, Amy, and I rode horses there. To begin, the trail led upwards. Enveloped in a canopy of trees we rode higher and higher. At the top, our horses waded through flowing water at cliff's edge. We watched as it cascaded downward to the forest below. I imagined us as time travelers, riding into primeval forests untouched by man.

Onward we rode through meadows and woods. No sounds did we hear but the stomping of hooves, the swishing of tails and high-spirited snorts as we leaped over fallen trees and washed out gullies along our way. Every so often my horse, Trisket, would dance a little jig then come to a halt, spooked by shadows falling across our path. Then off we would go again, into the unknown, awaiting the next adventure just around the next bend.

Then one day the drillers came in. They downed trees and bulldozed over the top of the waterfall, literally putting a stop to the flow of water. They ruined that land with their machines and their drills.

Our parks and public lands are an integral part of the fabric of our Nation ( see Parks, Our Natural Heritage 09/05/10).

Do not let the Republicans and the gas and oil exploiters destroy our public lands. They have been set aside for future generations and should not be violated.