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by Ron Cruger
          I wish the United Nations would have taken an immediate and aggressive stance in Getting aid to the earthquake/tsunami stricken nations in the Indian Ocean. The terrible disaster was a perfect situation for the United Nations to show its value to the world. A great deal of confidence in the organization would have grown if the world had seen the United Nations lead the way by bringing immediate relief to the millions of displaced and injured of the area. The United Nations could have immediately banged on the doors of its member countries and garnered millions of urgently needed dollars. Instead, we have a competition between countries for which is doing more, which is donating more dollars. It would have been a wonderful opportunity for all of us to look up to the combined and unified forces of the United Nations. Seems like it was an opportunity for the organization to take charge and regain some believability and restore confidence in its existence.
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          Most super markets have one or two check out lines reserved for customers with 10 or 12 items or less. It’s a nice courtesy to their customers who want to make small purchases and get in and out of the store quickly. Conversely, maybe the markets could establish 40 or 50 item check out lines so those customers with 14 or 15 items could avoid standing behind people with enormous loads. While we’re on the subject, maybe the really thoughtfully managed supermarkets could have “no cell phone” lines, so the more polite customers won’t have to listen to the drone of boring cell phone conversations while waiting to check out.
Randy Johnson ( a.k.a. “The Big Unit,”) flame –throwing pitcher, now a New York Yankee, has negotiated himself into a two year, 32 million dollar contract. Paying a guy 16 million dollars a year seems a bit irrational, if not foolhardy. I’m all for athletes being paid fairly for their efforts, but 16 million for a jock seems out of whack. We pay some of our teachers $30,000 a year to prepare our children for adulthood. We pay the leader of the free world (our president) $400,000 a year and place our lives in his hands.
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          If Randy Johnson were to win 20 games next season, which would have made the Yankee deal a success, he would be costing the New York team $800,000 per victory. Seems like a guy could live on, say, one or two million bucks a year and that would help keep ticket prices affordable. Maybe then, a father could afford to take his son to a ballgame or two during the season.
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          I was wondering what kind of deep, fanatical belief would encourage a young man or woman to allow a few dozen pounds of volatile explosives to be strapped around his or her body and instructed to walk into a crowded area and calmly pull the switch, sending their body parts skyward. What believable promise could cause a young man or woman to drive an automobile containing a couple of hundred pounds of volcanic explosive into an inhabited area and push the button that incinerates him or her, the car and dozens of innocent bystanders. We’ve heard that promises have been made to these gullible young assassins that shortly after their bodies have been disassembled and torn asunder they will go to heaven and enjoy the pleasures of 72 virgins. Hard for me to understand the thought process that permits these voluntary explosive departures from the living.
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          But, after all, it would take more than those promises to get me to endure a root canal.
Estimates are that between 20,000 and 30,000 well-trained terrorists are now actively operating throughout Iraq, according to the Iraqi head of intelligence. These men are reportedly well-organized and trained. Wasn’t it said just before American forces began the current war that the Iraqi people would be lining the city streets welcoming U.S. troops with open arms, throwing welcoming bouquets at them shouting, “Thank you, thank you.” Time has passed. Thousands have died. Cities leveled, Hope lessened. I wonder if there are any flowers left in Iraq to throw.
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