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11/9/2005 – Editorials

By Richard Peterson

I sincerely regret that I didn’t complain loudly about the dangerous intersection of US 281 and ND 19 north of Minnewaukan. This was an accident waiting to happen and it did.
A young woman died October 27 when her vehicle shot into the air at the intersection and ended up in Devils Lake. It’s probable speeding contributed to the accident, but in my opinion the design of that intersection is the basic cause of the accident.
The rise from US 281 to ND 19 was too abrupt. The rise has been modified, but it’s still far too steep. The rise absolutely must be made more gradual or we’re going to have another fatality at that very dangerous intersection. That may not be the complete answer either.
Drivers coming from the north can’t see what’s coming at them from the south and vice versa. In addition, the intersection is located on a curve so it’s very easy for drivers on US 281 to end up in the wrong lane after crossing the intersection. If the intersection remains as it is a head-on collision is inevitable.
The state is planning to turn old US 281 back to the county. The county commissioners talked about the intersection and I’d really be surprised if they accept the road in its current configuration.
Modifications at this intersection need to be done before we experience another death. Time is of the essence. There should be a chorus of complaints to the DOT.
There are those who accuse me of "Bush bashing." Yes, I am very critical of President Bush because his conservative policies are not good for the average American. His extremely poor judgment is pretty well documented. On top of that, recent revelations cast a great deal of doubt on his honesty.
The most recent example of his incredibly bad judgment is his threat to veto the Pentagon’s budget as long as the McCain Amendment is part of it.
The McCain Amendment precludes the US from using torture to obtain information from people in its custody. The US Senate passed the McCain Amendment by a vote of 90 to 9.
US Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) said his amendment is intended to prevent abuses such as those at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. He vowed that his measure would be "on every vehicle that goes through this body" until it’s enacted into law. "It’s not going away," he said on the Senate floor. "This issue is incredibly harmful to the United States of America and our image throughout the world."
McCain spent years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, so he knows whereof he speaks. If the United States tortures its prisoners, it’s an invitation for our enemies to torture American prisoners of war. Why is that so hard for President Bush to understand?
The White House offered to go along if Central Intelligence Agency agents working overseas were exempt from any restrictions. The CIA is holding accused terrorists at secret prisons in Eastern Europe, The Washington Post reported Nov. 2. Now we’ve got secret prisons! I never thought I’d see the US stoop this low.
McCain said he had "no idea" why the White House was pushing the CIA exemption. That loophole "would be totally unacceptable," McCain said earlier this week, adding he’s communicated that view to Vice President Dick Cheney.
"The enemy we fight has no respect for human life or human rights," McCain said on the Senate floor. "They don’t deserve our sympathy. But this isn’t about who they are. This is about who we are."
Absolutely! The American people know better than to make torture and secret prisons the official policy of the US government. But if they remain silent the Bush Administration might get its way.
Now is not the time for silence. Americans need to loudly stand up for our nation rather than silently standing by while our basic values are being highjacked.
We are not a nation of torturers.
A letter writer to the Grand Forks Herald stated in the Sunday Herald that since the Bush Administration is so much in favor of torture, perhaps it should be used on "Scooter" Libby to get to the bottom of who in the administration leaked the name of a CIA operative to a journalist.
Some people don’t believe that my cat, Sammy, irons my shirts. So I was going to borrow a camcorder and video the young cat in the process of ironing as proof. But before I could get that done, Sammy burned his paw on the iron and as a result he won’t go anywhere near it. He even makes a big detour around the ironing board. I guess I can’t prove it now. You’ll just have to believe me.

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