Free Speech Letters 6/7/11

A differing view on levee system, corps
The articles about the flooding all seem to lay the blame on the Corps of Engineers. Maybe they have dropped the ball and must take responsibility for some of the problem.
But, as one writer noted, “The Mississippi floods, big time”.
So, maybe it would be more productive to look at the problem from a different viewpoint. The ongoing problems we see year after year (to one degree or another) happen because the river floods and the cities and the people are in the way of the flood!
So, maybe stop laying all the blame on the government, in the person of the Corps, and lay part of the blame on those people who, regardless of how many times the river floods and how many times they lose everything and how many times all of us pay higher insurance premiums because the insurance companies want to spread the loss, keep building right up to the edge of the river! After all, the river has no place else to go but up and over the banks when the floodwaters hit. The people could get out of the way, and the cost to move entire cities would probably not be as high as trying to put a bandage on the problem, year after year.
Maybe, instead of trying to control the river with levees and such, the thing to do would be to try to take the water away from the river. Maybe we need a series of canals and cisterns to control the floodwaters. That would have the additional benefit of perhaps allowing us to store the water for when the weather is dry and the land is in drought.
And maybe the government would be the logical entity to build such cisterns and canals. Maybe the Corps, but maybe not. Maybe local contractors could do the actual building, which would bring jobs to the areas along the river.
Of course, that would cost a lot of money. But add up the cost of maintaining the existing flood control system, providing aid to flood victims, increased insurance premiums (which, in the end, we all pay for), the loss of life and property and the constant bickering about who is at fault, and maybe some other productive way to deal with the floods would present itself.
It just seems sad that here, in the best country in the world, we spend so much time laying blame, and not enough time offering solutions for our problems. I’m not an engineer and people will probably find my ideas laughable, but at least I think about what else might help, instead of bashing those who are doing the only things they have ever done. Isn’t that the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result?
– Dee Lightner
New Paris, Ohio
Good Thai downtown
You did not miss the boat, there is still good Thai food to be had at the Yummy Burger/White Lotus at Third and Patterson. I work downtown and eat there often. While I still might rate Siam Pad Thai slightly higher, the White Lotus offers quality Thai food at a good price.
– Jamie McQuinn
Dayton, Ohio
[RE: “Siam Pad Thai” by Tom Baker, 5/31/11]

You know you have won the race…
You know your country has won the race to the bottom when it is headline news that a fast-food chain is hiring 50,000 workers nationwide and 900,000 apply.
You know your state has won the race to the bottom when it is headline news that a fast food chain is hiring 2,000 people in your state. This after your governor has thrown away 16,000 jobs that would have created something more durable, lasting and beneficial than a Big Mac.
You know your city has won the race to the bottom when the mayor proclaims a “McDonald’s Employment Day” in the Birthplace of Aviation and such giants as Frigidaire, NCR and Delco.
– David L Richards
Huber Heights, Ohio
True music fans
There was a small, but energetic, turnout for this show, which was one of the very best I have seen in recent years. An ego-free affair dedicated truly to the love of hard rock and heavy metal. Joey Belladonna and the band interacted with each and every fan prior to the show and this felt like family from the first note. With a set chock-full of Anthrax classics and some great tributes to Ronnie James Dio (as well as one hell of a heavy metal medley totally off-the-cuff based on fans’ T-shirts), this was a genuine treat for fans of MUSIC as opposed to any trend or scene. Fabulous.
– Gogmagog
[RE: “Front Row: Joey Belladonna at McGuffy’s House of Rock” by Gary Spencer, 5/31/11]

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