No To NAFTA And Political Elite
The Clinton administration and past presidents are striving to gain passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement. This marriage of the U.S. with Canada and Mexico may well benefit multi-billion dollar conglomerates and bankers, the ultra-wealthy and political elite, but it is not in the best interests of the working men and women of the United States.
The adoption of NAFTA and its side agreements would set up at least 32 new international government bodies under three broad departments. This is the minimum number required by NAFTA, and some bodies would be empowered to create additional subgroups and advisory committees at will. Anything that takes this much control can't have much to do with "free trade" and plenty to do with globalizing government control, regulations and bureaucracy. And which of the three participating countries do you guess is going to pay for 32 agencies and contingencies? Oh! That must be where all our new jobs are coming from!
The United States would be surrendering our sovereignty to international appointees. We would be allowing ourselves to be governed by laws not passed by our own elected officials. These regulators won't need to be responsive to voters, workers or taxpayers. . . .
NAFTA is not in the best interests of the United States. More than 2,000 pages of law cannot result in freer trade. Making our citizens subject to international laws and courts at the sacrifice of our right to free trial does not spell freedom. Forcing our people to compete with Mexican wage rates for jobs cannot improve our unemployment situation. Requiring all U.S. government agencies to seek, accept and award purchase contracts to the low bidder, be they Mexican or Canadian, is a complete reversal of our past "Buy Made in U.S.A." policy. It would actually be against the law to choose products made in the United States over foreign products if they underbid us on government contracts.
NAFTA is about our sovereignty, liberty and destiny. It is about whether we hand down to the next generation the same free and independent country we inherited, or whether 21st century America becomes a subsidiary of the new international economic order.
Now is the time for us to speak up. Advise your senators and congressmen and the president that we are against NAFTA because NAFTA is against us.
Dawn E. Knox
I am very concerned about the situation at Route 140 and Meadow Branch and Royer roads. I feel that this area warrants a stop light. There have been a number of accidents already this year. A number of school buses go through this intersection each day, and I fear for my daughter and for the other students.
The theory of the intersection, in my opinion, seems to be designed for a stop light, with cars going straight and turning sitting side by side on both roads, effectively blocking each other's view. Visibility at this intersection is poor. Many drivers become impatient in waiting for a break in the traffic, and take a chance trying to hit a gap. With the future growth already starting on Meadow Branch Road, and the continuing growth in the Greens, any kind of foresight would suggest a stop light be put into place.
A meeting was held at the Meadow Branch Church of the Brethren on Sept. 15 and attended by persons representing a number of groups. . . . My sense of that meeting was almost unanimous support in favor of a stop light and opposed to a "jug handle" scheme. Other than one comment I can remember, the only ones opposed to the stop light and in favor of the jug handle were the only two whose vote counts, the district traffic engineers who are going strictly by the book and not taking into consideration future expansion.
We would like to see a stop light placed at this intersection; a reduced speed limit which would be enforced, and a "prepare to stop when flashing" sign with flashing lights timed with the stop light. . . .
I hope that the governor, the secretary of transportation, the director of the State Highway Administration and the district engineers will consider the grass-roots support in favor of putting a stop light at this corner and act quickly to rectify a dangerous situation.
J. Melvin Fike
Lisa J. Fike
Thanks for allowing the family of Elizabeth Peregoy -- her son, Quentin Peregoy, and brothers Elmer and Woodrow Lippy -- the means to express our gratitude for the many condolences sent from the friends and former pupils of our beloved mother and sister upon her death, Oct. 23.
The loss is real, the grief is real, but, then, so are the memories: May we share a few of them with you from the brothers' view?
Elizabeth was eight years older than I and 12 years older than Woodrow. This disparity in ages automatically gave us a second good mother.
But true to the recalcitrant nature of young boys, Woody and I fiercely resisted Elizabeth's efforts to imbue us with the social graces, particularly table manners, brought from that uppity Towson State Normal School.
Elizabeth started teaching fourth grade at Manchester Elementary in 1932, a year of such brutal economic times that when Dad applied for a state highway job, he was told it wouldn't be right for two members of the same family to work for the state. Elizabeth gave from her meager teaching salary to keep the family going.
. . . "Ippie," as she was known to close family and friends, bought me my first long-pants suit, which separated me forever from those despised knickers.
One Christmas, my parents decided that Woodrow should have a violin, just as his older brother. Woodrow, on the other hand, (predating the script to "A Christmas Story" by some 58 years) harbored a passionate desire to receive an air rifle. Imagine his surprise when, on Christmas morning, he spied an elongated-appearing gift under the tree that looked joyously like his heart's desire. None of us will ever forget the look of dejection on his face when he discovered that the contents of the package required that he practice it with Mozart and not tin cans.
He had his second Christmas in January.
Many years later, Woody and I played a violin duet at Elizabeth's wedding. I was lousy; Woody was lousier. Any talent he might have had was blocked by a long-smoldering resentment against the stringed beast.
Hundreds of Ippie's students must remember "Gaylorde," her dog of questionable lineage who napped under her desk, well-adjusted to academe, and later to become school mascot. Gaylorde's face ultimately adorned a T-shirt used for a fund-raiser.
My brother and I realize what happened to our family happens to everyone's. We are all engulfed in that majestic, but inexorable rhythm of life.
We remember the cold fear that gripped us when Elizabeth almost lost her life in 1930 in a sledding accident. Perhaps she caught a brief look at wondrous things when the doors were cast ajar by the accident. It is with great regret that on Oct. 23, the doors were flung wide open for Elizabeth Lippy Peregoy.
She was greatly loved. She will be greatly missed and fondly remembered.
The writer is a member of the Carroll County board of commissioners.