Voice of the People
Americans must stop the infighting
The first right of people and all nations is self-preservation. The task of maintaining the nation is more complex than the individual duty of self-preservation, for the nation must seek to command the attachment of a community of all citizens as well as to preserve itself from external violence. The critical war of words within our parties constitutes the greatest threat to government, for it represents that our government is losing the basic attributes of political authority within our country.
We should have a shared ideology that gives fellow citizens a sense of communal belonging and recognizes interlocking values, interests and beliefs. Ideology may be the product of many different forces. Sometimes it is associated with ancient customs and beliefs or religions.
We should at this stage of our country ignore the talk and critical downgrading of each other, political or otherwise. We cannot neglect at our peril the task of strengthening the ideological attachment of our citizens to our country. Civil education should be counted among the essential functions, for it is primarily through systems of education that citizens learn their duty.
Uneducated voters a threat to America
I came to the United States from my native Costa Rico a few years ago. I studied hard to take the test to become a naturalized citizen of America. I did well and was able to vote at the Nov. 6 presidential election!
Powered by my new knowledge of this America, I asked others, native-born Americans, many questions as we stood in line at the polls.
For example, I asked one handsome couple, "What about Benghazi, Libya?" The lady replied, "I don't drink them rum drinks! They give me a headache."
Then I asked a young college-age kid, "How about the fiscal cliff?" He said, "I saw that at the Grand Canyon. It's no big deal."
They all voted.
Have I studied too much?
Ohio fire plan will harm box turtles
In my opinion, Wayne National Forest doesn't value box turtles. It has EPA permission to fall burn 609 acres in Lawrence and Scioto counties.
This will destroy for a year the leaf litter turtles need to survive. Turtles hibernate burrowed shallowly in dry soil under this insulating cover of leaves. They will freeze without leaves. In summer they survive by crawling under leaves to regulate temperature and humidity.
Box turtles have a home range about the size of a football field, so 609 acres, nearly a square mile, might have a population of several hundred. They will die from a year's loss of leaves. If some double up on another's unburned territory, both can starve sharing limited food.
Box turtles are declining throughout Ohio and are listed as potentially threatened, fast headed for threatened and endangered, at risk of disappearing entirely.
The Wayne burns are using National Fire Plan money. This money was intended for fire problems in the dry coniferous forests of the west, which have natural fire intervals of about 30 years. The humid broadleaf forest of the Wayne has a natural fire interval of over 400 years. It doesn't need fire. Fire is catastrophically damaging. It can take 100 years or more to completely recover to conditions the day before the fire.
My suggestion is that if someone likes box turtles, that they tell the Wayne not to burn the leaves turtles need to survive.
One can tell Ohio's Division of Forestry the same thing about prescribed fires in Ohio's state forests. Last year 90 acres of state forests were burned. Shawnee State Forest alone has a five-year plan to burn 8,000 acres and a 10-year plan to burn 30,000 acres. The resulting loss of so many box turtles would be unconscionable.
Barbara A. Lund