Critical thought is lacking


Published: Tuesday, August 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, August 1, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
I am not one of those who believes that Red State voters are somehow deficient in the art of logic. I do, however, plead guilty to being stunned by the lack of critical thought shown by James Sharp, in a July 23 letter. Sharp's contention that we should abandon the right of due process because we are in a "fight for our nation's survival" falls apart with only the slightest scrutiny.
Terrorists do not have the capability of destroying our nation or our values. Only we can do that. His defense of President Bush for his efforts toward Social Security are also not well founded. Trying to "save" Social Security by allowing individuals to open "private" savings plans is like trying to save a lake by draining its water.
I do agree we should not try impeach President Bush. Our country can ill afford the national trauma of repeating what the Republican Congress attempted to do to Bill Clinton for lying about his sex life. A strong censure will suffice.
In response to Sharp's request for a candidate who supports an agenda to improve our nation, I respectfully direct your attention to Dave Bruderly.

Tom Tisdale,

Gainesville

Democrats have answers

The recent rash of letters bashing liberal or progressive opinions has reached a fevered pitch with the ridiculous July 23 "letter of the week" from Palatka's Edward Roberts. His was an anemic attempt to claim support for our troops through adolescent name-calling and a pathetic attempt to bully Democrats.
Meaningful support for our troops should have begun in 2002 with an honest assessment of Iraq's alleged imminent threat to America; time proved there was none. Respect for our troops should have been shown in 2003 by listening to military experts who advised against going into Iraq; those experts were demoted or fired.
Our government dismissed the Geneva Conventions by sanctioning torture; our troops are now at greater risk of like treatment when captured. America's occupation of Iraq and mismanagement of the war has set off a chain of events in the Middle East that today has us on the brink of a full scale world war.
Name-calling, bullying and macho posturing are tactics of the weak. Democrats know America is better than that. Our troops deserve competent leadership that will not send them to war unless all other options have been exhausted, when all diplomatic avenues have been explored and after we have built solid alliances and a strong coalition to join us in the fight.

Susan Bottcher,

Gainesville

Bush doesn't have a clue

What is it that the Republicans don't understand? They were wrong about not taking the al-Qaeda threat seriously before 9-11. They were wrong about al-Qaeda ties to Iraq. They were wrong about WMDs in Iraq. They were wrong about U.S. troops being treated as "liberators" in Iraq. They were wrong about Iraq oil paying for the war. They were wrong about occupying Iraq.
They were wrong about a relentless post-war insurgency. They had no policy in the beginning and have no plan now to end the conflict in Iraq. They were wrong about Osama bin Laden. Bush wanted him "dead or alive" in 2001 and would "not rest until we find him." But in 2002, he said, "I truly am not that concerned about him." Not concerned about the guy who admitted he killed more than 3,000 Americans on 9-11?
Republicans say, "Bush is a man who does what he says." Really? In 2005, he disbanded the CIA unit that had been looking for bin Laden since 1995. Take a good look at Bush's record; he flip- flops more than bait fish just dropped out of a cast net.
They were wrong in not negotiating with Iran and North Korea when they had the chance more than three years ago. They have no foreign policy, not even a clue, about how to deal with Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Russia, China and Venezuela. No plan to deal with the conflagration in the Mideast.
Gasoline is headed to $4 a gallon, probably higher. We owe China, the biggest communist country in the world, almost a trillion dollars. And China has oil deals with everyone.
But not to worry, folks. At least the Bush administration has a policy with Halliburton.

Jerry Sanford,

Gainesville

Israel is the problem

The Bible tells us we reap what we sow. We are told that if we live by the sword, we die by the sword and how we begin is how we end.
Almost 60 years ago, a group of Europeans established a western-style theocracy in a small portion of Palestine. This was not the first time Europeans tried this; the previous attempts historians refer to as the Crusades. In this past six decades, this state has marginally expanded its borders and its control over extra-border territory has waxed and waned. And, these theocrats are currently in control of Jerusalem, the long sought after prize.
The cost of these efforts has been incalculable. Millions of people displaced, hundreds of thousands injured, tens of thousands dead and hundreds of billions of dollars in destruction.
Archaeologists tell us of many communities that have insured their own demise through trashing their surrounding environments. Today, around the fringes of Palestine, we see destruction, fetid conditions and the breeding grounds for disease, despair and disdain.
It may be too late, but I can only hope that history does not repeat itself and the sword can be put down before it kills us all. I hope its not too late to sow seeds of peace and shared humanity. I hope they will break their cycle of violence and not end as they began.

Kim A. Popejoy,

Gainesville

Smith has strong environmental record

On July 24 The Sun ran a profile on Sen. Rod Smith. It noted concerns some environmentalists had with Smith's voting record. However, the very few examples given provided little meaningful insight into his overall environmental record.
The Caribbean Conservation Corporation is the oldest sea turtle conservation and education organization in the U.S. Based in Gainesville and founded by the renowned UF zoologist Dr. Archie Carr, it is involved in all aspects of sea turtle conservation policy, including the protection of the coastal and marine habitats.
Smith has consistently supported legislation to benefit marine turtles and the habitats they rely on for survival. He sponsored legislation to secure the Sea Turtle License Plate Grants Program, which collects and distributes funds from the sale of specialty license plates to conservation groups and research institutions that work to protect Florida's marine turtles.
He sponsored legislation requiring that people who buy ocean front property be provided with a disclosure on the hazards of living on the shoreline.
He also supported the Ocean and Coastal Resources Management Act, which established a council to develop and prioritize research to help protect and manage these resources. When Gov. Bush established the Coastal High Hazard Study Committee, in 2005, Smith advocated for the appointment of an environmental organization representative.

David Godfrey,

Executive Director,

Gary Appelson,

Policy Coordinator, The Caribbean Conservation Corporation, Sea Turtle Survival League Gainesville 6A THE GAINESVILLE SUNEDITORIALS/LETTERSTUESDAY, AUGUST 1, 2006

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