Bush's 'people' contribute to president's low ratings
Politicians, pundits and media people have been wondering lately why President Bush's approval ratings have been dropping. I, for one, have never been so apprehensive and insecure about the direction of this country under the leadership of Bush and his people.
We have just been put on a high security alert against possible terrorist actions abroad. So what does Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld do? He orders the deployment of 12 Black Hawk combat helicopters and dozens of elite Rangers to Morocco. Why? These helicopters and men are to be used in a movie being filmed in Morocco. Is this guy crazy? It wasn't that long ago that the Pentagon sent the Pacific Fleet's largest aircraft carrier from San Diego to Hawaii for the movie premier of Disney's movie "Pearl Harbor."
Remember the submarine that sank the Japanese fishing vessel? It will cost the taxpayers over$40 million to recover that fishing boat. Maybe the presence off the 16 civilians on board was a distraction. Twelve of those civilians were Texas oilmen who were donors not only to the Bush presidential campaign but also donors to a foundation of which Bush senior is chairman.
Pentagon spending is out of control, priorities are screwed up and Rumsfeld was the wrong person to be the secretary of Defense -- especially at a time when he is asking for more money than is available. He wants to scrap all the stealth bombers which cost the taxpayer over $100 billion . In addition, an internal Pentagon study reveals that the missile defense system that President Bush is pushing is pretty useless. It just doesn't work, but no big deal. It's only money.
And, speaking of money, it will cost us over $30 million to get a letter from the IRS telling us that the check is in the mail. Couldn't they add that money to the refunds or put it to better use?
Last but not least, the White House sent $43 million to the Taliban, the ruling body of Afghanistan which has the worst human rights record and is the home of billionaire Osama bin Laden. Supposedly this money will be used to bribe the farmers there from growing poppies. It's only money.
Judge, prosecutor don't take cruelty seriously
It appears that Nathaniel Danley, the man responsible for leaving his dog chained to a doghouse and starving her to death, isn't the only person who did not take his crime very seriously. Mr. Danley's lack of concern and ignorance was not surprising.
However, Campbell Law Director Brian Macala and Judge John Almasy appeared not to give much credence to Mr. Danley's crime by agreeing to the paltry sentence, despite petitions signed by close to 650 persons, myself among them, asking for the maximum sentence.
Why the light sentence? The cruel nature of the crime cannot be disputed. The dog endured a horrible death. And it could not have been Mr. Danley's attitude in court, which was far from remorseful, but angry and indignant.
Then the judge agrees to a five-year period for him not to own another animal. How about never, Judge Almasy? Why was there reluctance in that courtroom to hold this man accountable for what he did by giving him a stronger sentence? There was a trusting, loving breathing companion animal involved here that was treated like a piece of garbage.
Those of us who are dedicated to loving and caring for animals (and there are many of us out here) were relying on the court to send a message to Mr. Danley and others like him that it is not acceptable to treat another living creature that way.
We were sorely disappointed. The dog deserved much more in life than she got and a more justified sentence for the man who caused their death. The sentence was a joke. The dog suffered from it. To those persons involved in the plea bargain and sentence, shame on you.
MARY ELLEN RHINEHART