Letters to the editor

Published: Sunday, December 1, 2002 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, November 30, 2002 at 9:27 p.m.
Comment crossed the line Last week's news item about the high-ranking official in the Canadian government labeling our president as a moron is very disturbing to me.
The fact that their prime minister passed the incident off as a mere freedom-of-speech issue makes it even more disgusting.
While it is a known fact that Canada's present administration is more of the liberal persuasion and preferred to be associated with our previous administration should not give them license to be disrespectful to our president.
It is also known that 87 percent of their exports are consumed in this country. I cannot think of any of them that are non-alcoholic in their content or are really needed here.
Some of my better friends are former Canadian citizens, but as a whole, I think the aliens who contribute the most to our society might cross the border from the south.
You may consider this as freedom of my speech.
Bill Samples, Gainesville Support opinion with facts This is in response to The Sun editorial (Nov. 26) "Red-face test."
I hope the editorial commentator is not being paid to write, "Hopefully, it will not pass the legality test either."
That hope is built on nothing less than wistful notions about how things, according to the writer, ought to be.
Instead, it should be an opinion based on the scientific data associated with risk/benefit factors, which will weigh those two factors for the case supported by The Sun against the one backed by the Bush administrators and their presumed competent advisers.
I cannot believe The Sun would state that "it has been estimated" that power plants kill 9,000 Americans every year while contributing to 170,000 asthma attacks.
Who said that? What is the data base? Nobody alive today seems to understand how it was when the vast majority of our citizens had no electricity and how this lack adversely affected their lives and longevity.
What price in lives should we be willing to pay for electricity for every citizen?
In a calculation alongside, consider the risk/benefits of automobiles. Also consider freedom from terrorism. All these things are joined at the hip.
It might be that an honest risk/benefit analysis would support your opinion on power plants.
However, The Sun puts forth no compelling rationale to overturn science or to retard national security.
I read the editorial as an advocate's position and not one based on a reasonable deliberation of the facts.
John Graham, Gainesville Editor's note: The health impact estimates cited in the editorial came from a study done for the Environmental Protection Agency by Abt Associates.
Helping hand may inspire homeless to stop drinking I would like to thank Harry Averell for his thoughtful letter on alcoholism among the homeless and say that I agree with his views.
We sometimes have those who go out with the HomeVan, and we give out information on programs that are available to all who are interested.
I don't blame homeless people who drink in the sense that I don't think the disease of alcoholism makes them unworthy of receiving food, warmth and friendship.
Among homeless people, alcoholism is often accompanied by mental illness or other severe disabilities, and it can be very tough to beat.
I see homeless people coping with their alcoholism with great courage and grace, and it inspires me.
All of us who volunteer with the HomeVan hope that the support and friendship we extend will inspire someone to put down the bottle.
Arupa Chiarini-Freeman, Gainesville Column lacked reality basis I read Ron Cunningham's column (Nov. 24) in which he implied that FDR would have been uncomfortable (as opposed to Richard Nixon and George Wallace) with Confederate flag-flying in Georgia.
We are all familiar with the current debate. It is odd that although some states claim the flag represents their "heritage," the fact is that they trotted out this symbol to use as a logo only after Brown vs. Board of Education. It had nothing to do with heritage and everything to do with resistance to civil rights legislation.
But what also needs saying is that when push came to shove, FDR, Nixon and Wallace were hatched from eggs of the same old bird.
There is a trace of reverence in Cunningham's allusions to Roosevelt, as if somehow he carried social justice to some mythic new plane. The facts prove the opposite.
Roosevelt was going to Warm Springs, Ga., for years, but no one ever proposed the slightest remedy for segregation, voting rights or anything else in the way of racial equality.
Sounds like FDR is Cunningham's hero. Perhaps he can tell me what could be more corrupt, more cruel, more blind to human rights than a president who would force a boat full of human cargo escaping Hitler's ovens, anchored off the coast of Florida back to the Nazis and certain death.
This is something the likes of Ronald Reagan, George Bush Jr. and George Bush Sr. would never do in a billion years.
FDR's legacy was much like Clinton's: lots of slick talk, little action, not making waves and getting re-elected.
Historians also disagree about whether his contradictory and dubious economic policies - many a continuation of what Hoover had begun - had much to do with ending the depression.
Roosevelt's elevation to national sainthood is an absurd, popular mythology.
Kal Rosenberg, Gainesville Stop manufacturing guns C.M. Brown, William Page IV and Frederick Fey, in their letters (Nov. 13) further illustrated the messianic worship at the altar of rifle-toting sorts like Charlton Heston and Saddam Hussein. Talk about "convoluted logic."
Page issues a correction that a revolutionary war period musket could, indeed, fire its lethal missile at a rate of "one shot a minute."
Assuming his facts are correct, it is safe to assume that he or his sons would be well equipped to go into Iraq armed with a musket instead of a modem weapon.
Those who clearly misinterpret the provisions of the Second Amendment to suit their own rights are also guilty of putting assault weapons into the hands of criminals.
There is illegal use of assault weapons to commit heinous crimes because assault weapons are manufactured.
The caption below the picture of every gun-toting individual is the NRA advice, "Guns don't kill." That advice must be amended to read: "People with guns do kill."
We need to see on the front page of our local newspaper two photographs - one of Hussein and the other of Heston, each with his rifle held on high, warning us, "Only from my cold, dead hands."
Maybe that could serve as a caveat to the American people that if we don't soon rid our society of guns of all sorts (muskets included), there will be no end to the slaughters at Littleton, Colo. and the Washington, D.C., area, "although there are already laws on the books that would stop them from happening," as Page advises us.
Obviously, laws don't do it! Never have, never will. Lack of gun availability will do it.
Patrick Mackin, Gainesville

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