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5/11/2005 – Editorials

By Richard Peterson

The editorial on this page points out that our military personnel in Iraq still do not have adequate materials and supplies to do the job they have been sent there to do. Why? President Bush promised they would have all the tools they would need to do the job. Three years later, they are still scrounging for armor for their vehicles.
The American people should be outraged that the Bush Administration continues to let down our troops who are in danger.
The privatization of the war is another scandal. Paying civilians $100,000 a year for doing the jobs privates do for a quarter of that sum might be one reason the military is having a difficult time meeting recruitment goals. The administration’s big business pals, like Halliburton, are raking in the dough hand over fist at taxpayer expense.
Meanwhile, life goes on as usual in the USA. The scandalous behavior of the Bush Administration isn’t noticed at all. After all, it doesn’t affect us.
That’s what’s wrong with the all volunteer military. We don’t feel the consequences of bad judgment, graft and corruption. If it were the kids down the street who were in grave danger in Iraq, there’d be a different reaction and this morally bankrupt administration would be singing a different tune.
The draft served a great purpose. It was a leveler without peer. Although educational deferments allowed many to slip through the cracks, a great number did not. The educated and the wealthy were thrown into the military along with the uneducated and the poor. It’s a major learning experience that serves people well after they return to civilian life. I guarantee that this would be a better country if more people had the experience of serving in the military.
With a draft the civilian population knew people who were serving. Today that personal touch is gone. We have faceless strangers doing our fighting and dying, and as a result the outrage the civilian population should be experiencing is gone.
Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s politically possible to reinstate the draft. Our only hope is that the American people pay attention to what President Bush is doing and hold him accountable. So far, they haven’t done so.
From the Internet comes this stuff about growing old:
A reporter interviewed a 104-year-old woman: "And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?" the reporter asked. She simply replied, "No peer pressure."
The nice thing about being senile is you can hide your own Easter eggs.
Just before the funeral, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked, "How old was your husband?" "Ninety-eight," she replied, "two years older than me." "So you’re 96," the undertaker commented. She responded, "It’s hardly worth going home."
I’ve sure gotten old. I’ve had two bypass surgeries. A hip replacement, new knees. Fought prostate cancer, and diabetes. I’m half blind, can’t hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation, hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can’t remember if I’m 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends. But . . . thank God, I still have my driver’s license!
An elderly woman from Devils Lake decided to prepare her will and make her final requests. She told her pastor she had two final requests. First, she wanted to be cremated, and second, she wanted her ashes scattered over Wal-Mart. "Wal-Mart?" the pastor exclaimed. "Why Wal-Mart?" "Then I’ll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week."
A man was telling his neighbor, "I just bought a new hearing aid. It cost me $4,000, but it’s state of the art. It’s perfect." "Really," answered the neighbor. "What kind is it?" "Twelve thirty."
Morris, an 82-year-old man, went to the doctor to get a physical. A few days later the doctor saw Morris walking down the street with a gorgeous young woman on his arm. A couple days later the doctor spoke to Morris and said, "You’re really doing great, aren’t you?" Morris replied, "Just doing what you said, Doc: ‘Get a hot mamma and be cheerful.’ " The doctor said, "I didn’t say that. I said, ‘You’ve got a heart murmur. Be careful.’ "
Lena’s car breaks down near the junction of ND 19 and ND 30 north of Maddock one day. So she eased it over onto the shoulder of the road. She carefully stepped out of the car and opened the trunk.
Out of the trunk jump Lars and Sven in trench coats who stand at the rear of the vehicle where they are facing oncoming traffic and begin opening their coats, exposing their nude bodies to approaching drivers. Not surprisingly, this causes one of the worst pileups in the history of the highway.
It’s not very long before a sheriff’s deputy shows up. The cop, clearly enraged, runs toward Lena’s vehicle yelling, "What is going on here?"
"Ya, vell my car broke down," says Lena, calmly.
"Well, what are these two perverts doing here by the road?" asks the cop.
"Vell, officer dose are my emergency flashers!"

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