Voting is patriotic; what happened to everyone?
I read with disgust Tuesday's election returns. Where in the hell was everyone? Did anyone but me notice that some of the local school levies, always a hot-button issue for most people, had fewer that 30 people vote on them?
Participation in the electoral process is always low, but in the time of war when everyone is playing patriotic by waving their flag and singing God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch we can't find time to do the most patriotic thing of all, vote? In Afghanistan, the people would love to be able to vote on their leaders and if they were able to we quite likely wouldn't be at war with them now.
Today is Veterans' Day and there will be parades and celebrations all over the Valley. I urge everyone to participate in at least one of them, and then, by all means, register to vote then exercise your franchise and let your voice be heard.
A wise politician knows about credit cards misuse
Vicky Sherlock's recent scandal involving her credit card usage reminds me of the movie "Dumb and Dumber." Ms. Sherlock's claim that it is nothing more than her adversaries' looking for an advantage to beat her in the next election is, at best, insincere and more likely an indication of her ineptitude.
If, in fact, potential political opponents are scrutinizing her every move in order to gain an advantage, then Ms. Sherlock, should have been aware of this and erred on the side of being overly cautious -- especially given the political atmosphere of the Mahoning Valley over the last few years.
Then, to top it off, much of the scandal surrounds her boyfriend, Leo Jennings, a supposed political consultant. Even the most inept of political consultants knows that credit card usage is easily tracked and could jeopardize a candidate's prospects for reelection. Just ask former Commissioner Brian Shipley of Mercer County.
Maybe the ethics commission report will clear Ms. Sherlock of any wrong doing, but it certainly can't wash away the incompetence.
Why aren't businesses flying the American flag?
There has been an overt exhibition of patriotism in our country after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Flags are everywhere, flying from cars, homes and businesses. School children are again being exposed to the symbols of freedom and the United States of America. But there is one place I've noticed a scarcity in the exhibition of our nation's symbol, the display of the flag, and that is in the businesses, national and multinational, where we buy our products as consumers, e.g. grocery stores, drugstores, gas stations, take out foods, fast food, convenience stores.
Is this because of some mandate from corporate headquarters? Will overseas sales suffer because of the adverse public relations? Are they afraid to offend someone? Do they expect the terrorists have an outside chance of victory and fear retribution? Perhaps they don't want to make a stand with us by taking sides? Do they only want to continue with "business as usual?" What can they be thinking? Do they think this threat from bin Laden and other terrorists will just go away? I will answer that for them: No, they will not.
We spend money keeping these businesses profitable, and they appear fearful that they will offend someone. Who? Where are they living? Are we in this thing for the "long haul" as President Bush has told us or are we only in it if there are no downside risks?
Look around you and see who has been with us. Encourage those that are not with us to show their patriotic colors. Now is the time for overt expression and unity not timidity in the face of this cowardly threat. Some of these businesses don't display our flag outside, but have it for sale at a profit within.
Make them aware of what we expect from them and remember our dollars speak volumes.
I feel we are all of us patriotic but need to be reminded sometimes.
JOHN E. SAKAS, Jr.