Letters to the Editor - Jan. 5


Published: Saturday, January 5, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 5, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.

The essential difference between lefties and righties

Charlie Latham (Voice, Jan. 1) compares "lefties" and "righties," but he doesn't see the big picture.

What really built this great nation was a strong middle class, enabled by progressive programs, unions and government regulatory agencies that protect workers. Almost exclusively, the credit for that goes to lefties. Up until then a handful of mega-rich tycoons controlled most of the wealth.

Since Ronald Reagan, Republican policies have been aimed at regaining that imbalance of wealth, undermining workers and draining the middle class. Many millions are now living from paycheck to paycheck. They don't want a handout, but rather, a level playing field.

Carpenters work just as hard as stockbrokers and shouldn't have to file bankruptcy because of illness, car trouble or temporary job loss. Oh wait - Republicans took away the option of bankruptcy, too.

As for immigrants and terrorists, both have been greatly encouraged by decades of foreign policies that enrich our corporations and hurt the poor in those countries. And Republicans have bent over backwards to propose and push those policies.

Latham says lefties don't support our military and democracy. The right-wing propaganda machine always claims that Bill Clinton under-funded the military, but they don't tell you that even then almost 50 percent of the federal budget went to the Pentagon.

Righties can't claim to love our country more if they stood idly by while the Bush administration trampled on our troops, our Constitution, our treaties and our courts.

Christine Hester,

Bronson

Here are six reasons to patronize local eateries

Bravo to Dave Carlson for his tribute to The Best of Gainesville Cuisine 2007 in the January 3 issue of Scene Magazine. His recognition of our rich, local cuisine offerings is true and timely.

Here are just six reasons to support our local restaurants:

1. We want fresh food: More and more regional restaurant owners are partnering with other local businesses to provide us with locally grown, fresh ingredients and products.

2. Its economically smart to buy local: Supporting local business with your dollars means our dollars have a chance to remain and circulate through our own community. This builds our local economy faster than we might think.

3."Local is hot!'': National trends support that residents and visitors are seeking local haunts. We're becoming known for our regional cuisine. The more we support our local cuisine, the faster it will grow. Our independent restaurants contribute so much to our "local flavor," helping to portray who we are.

4. The slow food movement is now here: The nationally known slow food movement is committed to further education and awareness of all the benefits of supporting local cuisine. Sustainability, conservation and health play a big part in our dining choices too.

5. Culinary tourism is one of the hottest segments of the international tourism market. With year round produce from perennial gardens and nearby seafood and farms contributing fresh local products; we have all of the ingredients to become a popular culinary destination.

6. And finally, supporting our local restaurants is just like supporting our local sports teams. They're our local haunts!

Next time you get hungry for a culinary treat, choose local!

Annie Pais, Co-Director, Florida's Eden

Gainesville

The 'Granny Defense' is an apt punch line

I'm sure Jake Fuller's cartoon of Jan. 3 hit a little too close to the bone for some people, but I don't blame him for illustrating what a lot of us in the Gator Nation felt about our loss to an unranked team in the Capital One Sun Bowl.

I'll bet Urban Meyer tapes that one on the corner of the chalkboard to serve as motivation for his players and coaches to step it up a few notches.

I'm equally sure the Gators defensive squad of '08 will henceforth be known as the "Granny Defense." If they have a great year the tag will serve as an ironic jest, the punch line to the bad joke we saw in the Gators' final game of the '07 season. If we have a year of defensive stumbles and fumbles, then the Granny Defense will be a shameful moniker.

Perhaps all is not lost, however. Maybe Mary Wise could be convinced to lend us some of her hard-hitting girls to suit up and show the Gator football guys how to go out and win an SEC Championship year after year after year.

Glenn Moon,

Gainesville

The team did us proud, don't knock the players

I want to thank the UF football team for a great season. You cannot feel bad anytime you have a nine-win season. Gentlemen, you have done the Gator Nation proud, ignore the criticism you are reading in the press.

Now for the rest, you should be ashamed. I read the paper, "Wolverines expose Gator's weaknesses." A headline like that makes it sound like the team crumbled under the pressure. Or, "Florida vows to correct glaring mistakes from the Capital One Bowl loss." I thought I was watching the Capital One Bowl and enjoyed the game up to the last minute when the team went away from what was successful (the run) and got one-dimensional (four straight passes).

Then there is Jake Fuller's cartoon, but we already bashed Jake enough (he will draw anything to get a response).

I think the "Gator Nation" needs to evaluate their expectations of the football team. Need I remind all that these are student athletes not professional or semi-professional. Most will go on to careers other than football or sports. These student athletes are at UF to get an education and a degree, not to play football.

We have the Heisman Trophy winner as our quarterback. He earned that award from his play during the season. Let the young man enjoy this time without unnecessary pressure to win-win-win.

Or, what about the coaching staff? The NFL is firing coaches left and right. If all we are interested in is win-win-win, why haven't we cried out for the head coach's job (like we did with Ron Zook)?

No, I think the most important lesson to be taken from the Capital One Bowl is what Lloyd Carr said to Urban Meyer at mid-field after the game: "Some day you're going to retire and your players will play as hard for you as mine did today."

Allen Hughes,

Gainesville

Pakistan's invisible women

What struck me as I watched media coverage of the killing of Benazir Bhutto was the absence of women.

There were no females in evidence at her rally and no females could be seen at her funeral. All the coverage I've read speaks of "people" and "mourners." Why not just say "men"? Evidently, women are not people in Pakistan.

Bhutto was a very courageous woman who knew it was just a matter of time before she would be killed. Yet women were not allowed to grieve or mourn openly at her funeral. What a brave person she was amidst of country of cowardly men.

Sharon Little,

Keystone Heights

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