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Tallahassee Democrat from Tallahassee, Florida • Page 6

Tallahassee, Florida
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Promoting democracy since 1905 Tallahassee Democrat PATRICK E. DORSEY President, Publisher BOB GABORDI Executive Editor MARY ANN LINDLEY Editorial Page Editor 599-2178 I KNCW VJMAX WGH VALUE YOU PLACE ON PERSQNAL LCtfAUY, AND Yaj WONT FiMD CITIZEN MORElOfAL ToYCOTHNNfcUROLD IS VINE 6 paw, golly 6AMonday, May 22, 2006 hww.TAI1AILSSEE.cmi ymi WWSA Our Opinion r5-OOt ISTfHCkEfcTMNN WPTEK ANP FWAILY HELLO? Of. Xf 1 UWE MOO LET THAT OZY (5ENERM- cue. Don SGieir sogMs Drilling fight underscores urgency Moderate Democrats: endangered would remain 100-150 miles offshore. When the governor endorsed the compromise last year, he came under severe criticism from other opponents, who said he abandoned the bipartisan coalition that had long rejected any changes in federal law.

money he could be saving for the general election. Why? Primarily because he supports the war in Iraq and is not afraid to stand up and say so. "What a colossal mistake it would be for America's bipartisan political leadership to choose this moment in history to lose its will and, in the famous phrase, to seize defeat from the jaws of the coming victory," Lieberman wrote last November in a Wall Street Journal op-ed after returning from a trip to Iraq. President Bush cited Lieberman's remarks in speeches he made to drum up support for the war. Shortly after, Lieberman warned his party that unreasonable partisan division could aid our enemies.

"History will judge us harshly if we do not stretch across the divide of distrust to join together to complete our mission successfully in Iraq," he said. "It's time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be the commander in chief for three more critical years, and that in matters of war, we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril." The remarks incensed not only many fellow Democratic members of Congress, but also hard-core liberals who vent their hatred of Bush in the Opponents can't afford to relax after last week's failed congressional attempt to end a ban affecting large areas of U.S. waters now off limits to drilling for oil and natural gas. If anything, the effort to end a moratorium that opponents say could bring drilling just three miles from shore should be seen as a shot across the bow the message being, "You won the battle, but the war's not over." By a vote of 279-141, the U.S. House on Thursday rejected appeals to lift the decades-old oil drilling moratorium, which many coastal states, including Florida, rely on to protect tourism and marine ecology.

In addition, House members voted 217-203 to restore language to an overall bill that extends the ban on natural-gas drilling in the same waters. It is hoped that the bipartisan alliance of political leaders who helped turn back this latest scheme to substantially open our coasts to drilling learned two important lessons from their success Thursday: Despite differences of opinion on the extent to which they'd compromise, a united front is crucial to fending off attempts to turn over coastal waters so close to shore to oil and gas companies. With no end in sight to higher fuel prices, no one should expect political pressure by drilling supporters to wane over time; just the opposite. If opponents expect to keep the moratorium intact, their strategies must include practical alternatives other than simply saying "no." Gov. Jeb Bush, who wrote to U.S.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert last week opposing the end of the ban, has suggested permitting some drilling in the eastern Gulf. Under Mr. Bush's plan, oil rigs Letters to the Editor WfiCML 517 PAT OUPHANTUniversal Press Syndicate overheated blogosphere, where political discourse knows little civility. In Connecticut, several anti-Lieberman Web sites have sprung up, including and Moreover, anti-Lieberman rants on the Internet have triggered out-of-state donations and volunteers for the campaign of Ned Lamont, 52, a cable TV executive who is challenging Lieberman for the Democratic nomination.

Even if Lamont fails, as is likely, he is helping to set a tone within the party that independent thinkers who stand on principle are not welcome. Several Connecticut newspapers have supported Lieberman, saying it would be a shame for the state to lose a senator with his experience and influence. Lamont, who is strongly against the war, retorts, "Experience and influence is great as long as you're on the right side of the issues." Meanwhile, Lieberman is stuck explaining his Iraq stand. "I am not saying that there cannot be or should not be dissent about the war," he told the Hartford Courant. "I'm saying it should not be for partisan reasons.

I wish I clarified that." Contact Richard Benedetto at companies. Pas De Vie's rates up there with them in many aspects, both artistically and technically. It is refreshing to see a company that is truly dedicated to the "Dance of Life" and not the commercialization of dance, for true art is in the discipline to perform well and the imagination to make it beautiful. If you haven't had a chance to see any of their performances, look for them in the Christmas season with their version of The Nutcracker, or in their spring performances of Spotlight on Dance.

You will walk away "wowed" by the talent and return, as I do, every year. MARK WHEELER Why does northeast merit its own paper? What's up with the new feature in the Tallahassee Democrat, the Northeast Chronicle? It seems a bit elitist, snobbish and unwarranted. Because of the horrific traffic congestion, I rarely visit the northeast side of Tallahassee unless I really have to. In my view, there is nothing special about the northeast side of the city. Well, Fresh Market, maybe.

I would suggest deleting this feature or give other sections of the city equal attention. On second thought, deleting the feature entirely might be the best option. EDWARD WATERS Zing by mail or at JAY WINKLER Circulation BARRY BARLOW Advertising Some questioned his motivation. But Mr. Bush was right to anticipate the possibility that circumstances and political winds Gov.

Bush had shifted and might continue to do so. Any smart field commander has a backup plan for strategic retreat to avoid annihilation. U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Monticello, who represents much of North Florida, is a co-sponsor of legislation that would permanently protect the state's coasts from drilling.

It would make permanent a current ban on offshore leases and cancel existing leases in Florida. He correctly called the efforts that failed Thursday "reckless." But Mr. Boyd and other drilling opponents should be prepared to back away from a "no, hell no" position that may in the future be politically infeasible. He and others, including the governor, have called for developing more alternative, renewable sources of energy. State lawmakers created an independent board to advise them on comprehensive energy policy, and approved a year-round tax rebate of up to $5,000 for homeowners who purchase solar-energy products.

Such efforts may forestall or even prevent drilling closer to our coasts. Which is why pursuing them aggressively is nothing short of a state and national emergency. Zings! should I have to choose? English is the language of the land, our Founding Fathers and the people who made this country great. No need to disrupt the lives of our National Guard; just stop hiring illegal immigrants. They wili go home at no expense to us.

Is it not amazing the amount of possessiveness we Americans have for land that was manipulatively stolen and then forcibly built by slaves? Bill admits to smoking pot but swears he didn't inhale. George admits to eavesdropping but swears he didn't listen. If pregnant women won't drink one perfectly natural glass of wine, why do they cover themselves with harmful chemicals such as hair coloring, makeup, nail apparati, and think nothing of it? Zing! stopped coloring its own hair after the Sun-In spray fiasco of '92. Write P.O. Box 990, Tallahassee 32302, or e-mail

We hear and read a lot about the disappearance of centrist or moderate Republicans. But that moderate breed is becoming endangered in the Democratic Party, too. Case in point: Connecticut Democratic RICHARD BENEDETTO Sen. Joe GANNETT NEWS Lieberman, service who is fight- ing to survive an intraparty challenge from activist liberals who don't like his middle-of-the-road stands, particularly on Iraq, and want to punish him. This is the same Lieberman who six years ago was the Democrats' vice presiden- tial candidate on the ticket with Al Gore that won the popular vote, but not the election.

And it is the same Lieberman who two years ago ran for the Democratic presidential nomination, only to fall by the wayside to the more-liberaUohn Kerry, a fellow senator from neighboring Massachusetts. This year, Lieberman, 64, is up for re-election to a fourth term in the Senate. It should be a breeze. But liberals are fighting hard to deny him the Democratic nomination, forcing him to campaign harder and earlier and spend Local soccer fans miss out on 'Goal' I noticed that "Goal: The American Dream" opened in theaters around the country the week before last. It did not open here in Tallahassee, though.

I could not help but wonder if we would be waiting for it if it were a movie about American football rather than what it is a movie about European football, otherwise known as soccer. Hey, movie-theater booking agents, we play soccer in Tallahassee, too! RACHEL SUTZ PIENTA Crawfordville Military retirees should have equal health care I recently received an mail from Rep. Allen Boyd informing me how hard he was working to ensure healthcare benefits for veterans, I'd like Boyd to share my response: Dear Rep. Boyd, You know I wouldn't mind paying a reasonable increase in TRICARE premiums. What has me upset is that as my representative, you literally don't tear into guys like Gen.

Pace, who publicly sheds tears over "his Marines" that is, Letters to the Editor P.O. Box 990 Tallahassee, FL 32302 BILL TAYLOR Operations JEAN BUFORD Human Resources until they are out of uniform. It irks me to no end to know that guys like Pace have no future stake in the TRICARE battle. As general officers, they fall under an entirely different health-care system, so it's no sweat off their nose. You want to have an impact? Propose a bill in Congress to change the healthcare system of general officers to the same health-care system that covers retiring staff sergeants.

I think that would go a long way in solving the problem. DEE C. CHRISTENSEN Major (retired), U.S. Army Pas De Vie ballet: consistently splendid On a recent weekend, I attended the Pas De Vie ballet performance at the FSU Main-stage. Once again I was delighted, to say the least, and by the responses I heard from others in the audience, they thought the same.

The Spotlight on Dance was a mixture of difficult classical pieces, staged brilliantly by Artistic Director Natalia Botha. It included original works that had imagination, complexity and grace. She and Ballet Master Charles Hagan have mentored and developed our local talent well. My family and I have been ballet fans for many years and seen performances by some of the world's finest professional With Us Poetic Why are the phone solicitors with their spiels, so galling? Is it business or profession? Or is it a calling? I There no such thing as Canadian geese. They're Canada geese; check it out! To the Zinger who claims the Bible is a work of fiction: I know the author and believe me, you are walking on dangerous ground.

He has ZING! Readers' opinions stated succinctly. powers you can't fathom and I wish he'd start exercising them. When are the planning geniuses going to figure out that we don't need wider intersections? We need overpasses for the future. I believe Slick Willie came closer to getting bin Laden than Dubya has. "For English, press Why Interact: Share Your Opinions Letters should be 150 to 200 words, and include your full name, address and telephone number for verification purposes; only names will be published, and e-mail addresses unless requested otherwise.

We may condense letters and edit for grammar and clarity. Editorial Board PATRICK E. DORSEY President, Publisher MARY ANN LINDLEY Editorial Page Editor BOB GABORDI ERIKA D. PETERMAN BILL BERLOW MARK HOHMEISTER Executive Editor Associate Editor Associate Editor Associate Editor E-mail Other Officers, Directors SCOTT LaFURIA Controller JAY HORTON TOM TOMASI New Media Marketing.

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