Daily News Editorial
Something wonderful happened Thursday in Estherville.
Estherville Lincoln Central fifth-graders made a personal pledge to avoid drugs, alcohol, and tobacco in the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) graduation at Roosevelt Auditorium. In doing so, they promised not only others but most importantly themselves to avoid illegal drugs and to live full, meaningful lives.
If you think D.A.R.E. is just kid stuff, think again. Statistics show that every dollar spent on mentoring programs, such as D.A.R.E., Kinship, and Big Brother/Big Sister later saves taxpayers $5 in our penal system. And with one of every 100 Americans now incarcerated, that’s something we can’t ignore, particularly considering the fact that it costs more to house an inmate in a federal prison than it does to send him to Harvard.
By staying away from illegal drugs, tobacco, and alcohol, kids are taking a stand among their peers and saying they refuse to be bullied into doing what is wrong. Illegal drugs, such as meth, waste lives, ruin families, and destroy careers. They have no place in American society.
By pledging not to drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes, D.A.R.E. graduates are also saying they want to obey the law and to keep their bodies healthy. It’s unfortunate that our legislators don’t have the same integrity and intelligence as fifth-graders and totally eliminate tobacco from all public places, casinos included.
All adults should stand up and applaud our D.A.R.E. graduates. They need to be told that what they have done is the RIGHT thing. By taking the D.A.R.E. challenge, they are not promising to become “narcs” by reporting illegal drug usage (though we pray they will). They are promising to keep ours a clean and safe society, unencumbered by the cancer of drugs.
And just one more word of encouragement for D.A.R.E. graduates.
You will be tempted to smoke a cigarette, drink a beer, smoke marijuana, or worse. When you turn that person down, he or she will make fun of you. Your “friends” will make fun of you. They will call “weird” or “gay” and make you feel left out.
That’s a good time to leave that group of friends and latch onto a new group of friends who were called “weird” or “gay” too.
Then, a short 20-30 years later, when your friends who called you “gay” or “weird” are in rehab or on unemployment or public assistance and you are a captain in the Marine Corps or a CEO and raising a beautiful family with wonderful, God-fearing values, you will know you did the right thing.
You took the D.A.R.E. challenge. And you lived up to it. Congratulations!
Daily News Editorial
Gas and diesel prices are the result of tight supply and high demand. Right?
Then how do you explain the recent spike in gas and diesel prices, with diesel breaking $4 a gallon recently, when consumption is down 2 percent from a year ago.
The answer could very well lie in the Enron loophole.
In December 2000, Congress approved the Enron loophole which allows large traders to set up electronic exchanges that operate without federal oversight or regulation. The result is a dark market that some estimate comprises as much as 75 percent of oil and gas futures trading.
Isn’t it enough that America is held captive by foreign oil?
Isn’t it enough that Detroit has the technology to create fuel-efficient vehicles but instead turns its head at a national fuel crisis?
Isn’t it enough that our entire American way of life is being sacrificed to help pay for transportation costs?
The Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores (P.M.C.I.) of Iowa want consumers to know that something can be done and that the Enron loophole can be closed. They are asking citizens to log on to www.CloseTheEnronLoophole.com and urge their legislatures to support a bill that will put petroleum trading under the same oversight and regulation as other commodities.
The bill is being debated now, and it could be a long time before similar legislation is offered up again.
So vote your dissatisfaction with the current Enron loophole. And do it now.