The Baytown Sun (Baytown, Tex.), Vol. 85, No. 74, Ed. 1 Tuesday, February 21, 2006 Page: 4 of 10
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THE BAYTOWN SUN;
Tuesday, February 21,2006
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Theater of the Absurd
and do it with urgency, while using
funds from even non-citizens who ^ | (
— Victoria Advocate
HOW TO REACH US
Wanda Garner Cash, Publisher
Sandy Denson, Business Mgr.
David Bloom, Managing Editor
Doyle Barlow, Sports Editor
Danielle lynch, News Editor
Lifestyle, Lifestyle Editor
PICKING DF ANYTHING ON
Gene Lyons is an Arkansas Democrat-
Gazette columnist. E-mail him at gene-
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(5 6 J.
Wanda Gamer Cash
retired Managing Editor
was a I
Wayne Oxedine, Production Mgr.
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Jane Howard Lee
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George W. Bush,
(‘ Dick Cheney,
7 , Senator
come to our city, I ask that you share’
that plan. Until then, I ask for your
support and the support of every
voter in the great City of Baytown to
vote for the CCPD as well as the
FCPEMSD so that services to our
citizens can continue to improve,
along with our city.
Roger A Park, president
Angle Pagel, Advertising Director
Janie Halter, Circulation Mgr.
seemed to suggest that President Georgi
dropping, quite a trick in 1789. Every his-
torical precedent he claimed took place
before Congress enacted the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act in 1978, set-
ting up a secret court to review wiretapping
warrants specifically to prevent the govern-
ment from spying on political dissidents as
the FBI had done under Presidents Johnson
In essence, the Bush White House pre-
tends that the congressional resolution giv-
ing Bush the authority to use force against
Dist. 2 Rep.
Dist. 14 Rep.
Dist. 29 Rep.
. • -L> l
New CCPD nothing
like the last one
While I understand the gist of your!
editorial regarding the CCPD, I
strongly disagree with your stance.
I feel that it is very wrong to base
your opinion of this CCPD based on
the last one. You are correct in that
the police department needs new
officers to match the growth of the
city. Even the 10 officers that will be
hired based on the new CCPD will
have to be supplemented in the near
future based on projected growth and
the numerous calls for service we
I would argue that this CCPD is
nothing like the last one. In that era,
we needed a new radio system, a new
jail, a new courthouse and quite a bit
of updated equipment to make us a
much more modem department. This
was accomplished but as you said,
the CCPD was voted down when up
The money then is much different
than what is subject to go to the
department if this CCPD passes.
When you say that the last CCPD
failed because of lack of a clear plan,
that may in part be true. If you say
you want a clear plan, then the plan
would be the continued growth of the
police department, commensurate 1
with that of the city. i
The police department is dedicated
to providing quality service to the cit-
izens of Baytown and that requires ;
money. This is a necessity to properly
serve the city and it is a necessity ;
So Mr. Bloom, if you know of a ;
way that we can fund more officers, (
was violating the FISA law? It seems highly
unlikely they would.
Contrary to easy rhetoric, the Valerie
program are similarly preposterous, proving Plame leaks investigation provides no useful
precedent. It’s about protecting a whistle-
blower, Ambassador Joe Wilson, from retri-
bution for pointing out that the administra-
tion had used bogus intelligence about Iraq.
Is it really Al Qaeda the White House
wants to fight? Or have domestic opponents
become the preferred enemy?
Meanwhile, where are the conservatives?
The real ones, I mean. Recently, former
Republican Rep. Bob Barr, one-time House
Same old ‘hating’
I would like to comment on Ms.
Murrah’s “Miserable Conditions” letter
that ran last week. I do not know Ms.
Murrah’s background or information
source, but I do know where her com-
ments originated. I have heard them
proselytized for many years. The .
remarks are meant to incite dislike for ’
commercial breeders and rhetoric is .
meant to inflame not inform. ,
I have been heavily involved in the
commercial kennel industry for over
40 years. That same old “hating” has
been around a long time. It started
when the “show crowd” saw their ’
share of the commercial dog industry ■
start to dwindle in the 1950s. Up to ■
that point they, the “show crowd,” were
in the driver seat and all their puppies
were selling for extraordinary prices.
In order to protect their share of the ,
market, they began to lambaste every-
one that was not in their show clique.
I agree with Ms. Murrah, that there
are some substandard producers in the
commercial dog industry. To say all are
substandard in incorrect. I have trav-
eled all over the Texas, Arkansas and •
Oklahoma buying dogs with my father.
I have seen the terrible conditions
some are raised in. I have also seen
many, and in my opinion, the majority
of producers, especially in the last 20 ,
years, produce puppies in clean ken- ,
nels, with top breeding stock, afford-
ing excellent veterinary care.
I have taught Agriculture for 24
years and if you do not take care of
your stock, you will not be in business
long. The majority of breeders today
feed a good quality feed, vaccinate and
worm all stock and perform all the ani-
mal husbandry techniques that benefit
the production of healthy, quality pup-
If we did not have reputable com-
mercial kennels, puppies would still be'
non-affbrdable for the general popula-
tion. If it was left up to the “show”
click the majority of the public could
not afford a dog due to the high cost.
So please, the next time you here i
that tired old argument, just chalk it up;
to “hating” or naivete.
Dick W. Nrkay Jrj
the perpetrators of Sept.
11 also enables him to set
aside any laws he deems
inconvenient and to put
the U.S Constitution on
indefinite hold. And that
even if Congress intended
no such thing, the presi-
dent’s powers as comman-
der in chief trump the Bill
of Rights. It’s as tortuous
and inside-out an argu-
ment as it’s possible to imagine — to all
dent as an elected military dictator.
Nobody’s against spying on Al Qaeda
within the law. Nobody.
The Bush administration, however,
appears hell-bent upon provoking a constitu-
tional confrontation. That’s the only obvious
conclusion to draw from what The New
the enemy is presuming that we are engaged York Times reports is “a rapidly expanding
:-----i.:_j -------__ r>.., ..... criminal investigation into the circumstances
surrounding ... (its own) article published in '
December that disclosed the existence of a
highly classified domestic eavesdropping
Does the White House intend a Politburo-
style purge of individuals within the nation-
al security agencies who place their loyalty
to the Constitution above their fealty to
George W. Bush? Would federal courts
enforce subpoenas compelling editors and
reporters to testify about whistleblowers
already know and weakened national securi- who leaked information that the president
ty not at all. The only damage was to the
White House’s political interests.
Gonzales’s legal justifications for the spy
only something else we already knew: that
in exchange for a fancy title and an office
filled with expensive leather furniture, you
can find a mouthpiece to argue damn near
anything. They practically had to tear White
House lawyers off President Nixon’s leg
before he embarked upon that helicopter
ride into the sunset.
At one point, the attorney general even
seemed to suggest that President George
Washington had authorized electronic eaves- impeachment manager against President
:-----~ 1 ion c------Clinton, put this question to a Conservative
Political Action Committee convention: “Do
we truly remain a society that believes that
... every president must abide by the law of
this country? I, as a conservative, say yes. I
hope you as conservatives say yes.”
The Washington Post reports that Barr
was greeted by stony silence. '
’ * wl
FWlhe Texas Legislature and other elected
I officials have more than one reason-
JL able way available to reform the
state’s antiquated, inadequate and
inequitable tax system. But one - a state per-
sonal income tax — would work better than
any other, although it, too, has flaws.
. Likewise, Congress has more than one
reasonable away available to reform the cor-
ruptive influence of deep-pocket special-
interest money on the political process and
the operation of our national government.
But one — public financing of campaigns
for all federal office — would be the most
comprehensive and most effective in remov-
ing special-interest money from federal pol-
itics and governance, although it, too, has
The depth of the special interest pockets
boggles the mind of the vast majority of
Americans, those who earn enough to con-
sider themselves middle class and those who
Consider the following, blurb on the
http://www.publiccampaign.org Web site for
Micah L. Sifry and Nancy Watzman’s book,
“Is That a Politician in Your Pocket?
Washington on $2 Million a Day”:
“Every day corporations and other wealthy
special interests pump another $2 million
into the coffers of our elected officials in
Washington and their party committees. For
their money they get an estimated $160 bil-
lion a year in tax breaks, subsidies and other
sweet deals. That’s $160 billion lifted from
taxpayers’ pockets - or about $1,500 per tax-
payer per year!”
This book came out in July 2004, before
the full extent of the last federal campaign
cycle fundraising and spending was known.
Campaigns for federal offices in the 2004
cycle raised more than $2 billion, according
to the Washington, D.C.-based Center for
Responsive Politics (http://www.opense-
crets.org Combining the primaries and the
general election, the presidential campaigns
alone raised more than $867 million, with
campaigns for the U.S. House of
Representatives not far behind at more than
Campaigns for the U.S. Senate lagged a
bit, raising only $488 million.Out of a U.S.
adult population of 220 million during the
2004 cycle, only a minuscule handful of
Americans contributed money to campaigns
for the presidency or Congress, the center
reports: 0.52 percent gave $200 or more,
while 0.12 percent gave $2,000 or more.
Thus, individually, very few Americans had
any real impact on the outcome of the vot-
ing or on the governmental decisions the
election winners subsequently made and are
Congress is looking at a variety of reform
measures in the aftermath of the Jack
Abramoff-Michael Scanlon and Tom DeLay
scandals. Some make good sense. But none
— individually or collectively — would
remove the corruptive influence of deep-
pocket special-interest money and return the
political process and the national govern-
ment to the people who are supposed to own
it. Public financing of campaigns for federal
office is the only comprehensive way to do
The longer the Bush administration
remains onstage, the more it resembles the
Theater of the Absurd. Consider this
exchange between Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del.,
and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
about the National Security Administration’s
unconstitutional eavesdropping on American
Gonzales repeatedly criticized the press
for exposing Bush’s “domestic spying pro-
gram,” terminology he found objectionable.
Gonzales insisted the stories endangered
American security. Biden pronounced him-
self confused. He asked the attorney general intents and purposes establishing the presi-
to explain, “How has this revelation dam-
aged the program?” Did he actually believe
“that these very sophisticated Al Qaeda
folks didn’t think we were intercepting their
No. Gonzales didn’t believe that.
“You would assume,” he conceded “that
in some kind of surveillance. But if they’re
not reminded about it all the time in the
newspapers and in stories, they sometimes
Laughter broke out in the cheap seats.
Alas, the CIA has long had in its posses-
sion an Al Qaeda training manual from the
1990s warning would-be terrorists to be
wary of U.S. wiretaps, and to take evasive
measures. The New York Times’ revelation
of NSA’s warrantless spying on American
citizens told the enemy nothing they didn’t
Here’s what’s next.
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Cash, Wanda Garner. The Baytown Sun (Baytown, Tex.), Vol. 85, No. 74, Ed. 1 Tuesday, February 21, 2006, newspaper, February 21, 2006; Baytown, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth1191979/m1/4/: accessed December 10, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Sterling Municipal Library.