Letters to the Editor - Jan. 1


Published: Tuesday, January 1, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 1, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.

Try a little kindness

Are you pleased with how our government has been handling foreign relations in recent years? Do you ever wonder what people in other countries think about Americans? Did you know that you can make a difference, even if you never leave this country?

How often do you hear a foreign voice on the other end of your telephone line? Maybe it's a customer service rep or one of those unwanted telemarketers. When American companies outsource jobs they set up a satellite office in another country like India or the Philippines, etc. They hire the local people and train them to do a job.

These workers are not responsible for the foreign policies (that allow outsourcing) nor are they responsible for any corporate decisions for doing so. They are just trying to earn a living for themselves and their families like you and me.

No matter how you feel about outsourcing American jobs, these customer service employees and telemarketers are not "the bad guys." They will form opinions about us by how we treat them.

How are your telephone manners? Are you annoyed and rude? Do you hang up on them or worse, use foul language?

I recently came across a phrase that made me stop and think: "If you affect one person, you could be affecting millions." Wow, that spoke volumes to me!

Do you think that the person who e-mailed me that phrase has a clue about the affect it had on me or how many people I might reach. You can have a very powerful affect on others, maybe millions, by your words and your actions. Be kind to all. In one way or another it will come back to you.

So this holiday season, and always, I say; "Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me!"

Lucille Overstreet,

Archer

Here's the difference

In response to George Barnett's letter of 29 December ("The definition of lefties"), here's the most basic comparison between lefties and righties I can personally muster:

Lefties believe that the government is responsible for taking care of each individual. Righties believe (as John F. Kennedy declared in his inaugural speech) that we as Americans should be more concerned with what we can do for our country, than the contrary. That, after all, is what built this great nation of ours.

Righties believe in a stronger military to protect our borders, our interests and our democracy. Lefties believe in reducing our military and using the money saved to provide in-state tuition for illegal aliens.

Righties believe that your personal gains should be proportional to your personal output. Lefties believe that those who have sacrificed themselves to their professional endeavors in order to provide for their family should also provide for those who choose not to do the same.

Righties believe that our country was founded on the principles of Christianity and moral conviction (and yes, the Golden Rule). Lefties want to take the Ten Commandments out of all government buildings because they might offend the minority of people who are outraged by an overstated commingling of church and state.

In an era where Muslim extremists have declared jihad against we infidels, maybe we should be more concerned about whether our country will exist in 100 years, and less about where we will be as individuals next year.

God Bless America!

Charlie Latham,

Gainesville

Ignoring Florida voters

I am a registered Democrat and in a few weeks I will be going to the polls and vote to help select the person I feel is the best candidate for my party to be the presidential candidate.

This person must be a strong leader; one who will have to stand up in the world's forums to represent the interests of the people of the United States.

Yet, not one of the Democrat hopefuls has the courage to come to Florida and explain to me and my fellow Democrats why I should vote for them; to demonstrate they have the will and backbone to look after the best interests of our nation.

Instead, they have stood silent while the Democratic National Committee has declared that it is unimportant who the Democrat voters of Florida would like to see head our party's ticket. To me, this shows that their interests are in themselves and that they follow the dictates and the wishes of the failed candidate Howard Dean. Does this mean that after election, they will continue to dance to his puppet strings?

I wonder why I should even bother to go and vote in the primary when the DNC has already decided that my vote is totally irreverent and is not wanted or needed. Just send money!

Bob Nahikian,

Melrose

Science vs. religion

In the Dec. 27 letter, "Blind faith in evolution," the writer pits the theory of evolution against "the belief that a loving God created the universe." Maybe both theories are true, but only one belongs in a science class.

Part of the problem is the way we use the word "theory." In casual conversation it implies speculation. In science, it's an explanation for something that can be proven or falsified by experimentation and observation. By calling evolution and creationism both "theories," the writer implies they have equal weight in a science class. They don't.

Evolution is science. Creationism is a matter of faith. What next? Are we going to water down the theory of relativity or atomic theory because someone doesn't want to believe the science behind it?

Our kids will be charged with solving a host of problems and competing in a global market. Call or write the state Board of Education (www.fldoe.org/board) and let them know we want them to adopt science standards that give our kids a chance to do just that.

Ken Duffield III,

Gainesville

The comfort of strangers

The morning before Christmas I was on my way to do some last-minute shopping when my car was hit by another car. I was hurt, sobbing and unable to get out of my car until the paramedics got there.

Seconds after the accident two strangers stopped to see if I was OK. Both women asked if there was someone coming for me and both said they would stay with me until help arrived.

One of the ladies asked if I was a praying person, and when I said I was she got in the undamaged side of my car, held my hands and prayed with me; assuring me she would not leave me until someone came to help.

I was much calmer after that and very appreciative for the gift of kindness offered by these two women whom I had never met before but took the time from their busy holiday plans to give comfort to a stranger.

Jean Strating,

Gainesville

Wrong about the pope

I'm not sure why Jim Funk's acrimonious screed about population control was the letter of the week on Dec. 30. Perhaps it was because he managed to stick his thumb in the eye of the Catholic Church by saying, "The pope can't reverse on birth control without putting a major kink in Papal infallibility."

In fact, the pope cannot "reverse on birth control" because no pope has spoken infallibly on the subject. I suggest that Funk educate himself before sending off his next letter.

Eric D. Laywell,

Gainesville

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