Letters to the editor - Jan. 31


Published: Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 8:57 p.m.

European-style socialism would be a good thing

In his Jan. 17 column, Jay Ambrose certainly makes an excellent case for nationalizing the pharmaceutical industry.

He argues that these companies should be allowed to monopolize (by banning re-importation), and price gouge Americans, while selling to other countries at fair prices (because other industries do it).

The reason given is that the profits fund research. No mention of billions spent on advertising. No mention of vast amounts spent lobbying congressmen and doctors. And no mention of obscene salaries and bonuses given to the higher ranking company officials.

Ambrose also mentions that the chief aim of the three leading Democratic candidates is to introduce us to European-style socialism. God forbid!

The last thing this country needs is affordable health care, a better education system, less poverty, less crime, clean cities, more individual freedom and six to eight weeks vacation per year for the working class.

Not to worry, Jay. If some of these things were to come to pass, there would be even more of a reason for conservative flacks to write columns supporting the abuse of American citizens by multi-billion dollar businesses.

Thomas Walton,

Chiefland

Protect Payne's Prairie

Will the Alachua County commissioners fold again for the monied elite putting 176 townhouses along the edge of Payne's Prairie? No doubt they will, just as they did for deep pocket developers paying impact fees at 85 percent over time, while we working citizens are required to pay property taxes with due haste.

Developers sing the song some commissioners need to hear. A teasing promise of buffer trees and runoff water treatment plants will "make it all right." The 176 new country club homeowners sipping cocktails on the veranda will care less about their part in this as developers line up for prairie front property edge developments all around them. Gosh what a sunset, may I have a refill?

The prairie belongs to us all and is worthy of protection. Commissioners, please do exercise your yearly environmental "no vote."

Pamela Mincey,

Gainesville

SFCC flag honors those who serve

As advisor of the SFCC Collegiate Veterans Society, I am often asked about the 110-foot flag pole featuring a 30-by-60-foot American flag at the NW campus. Many student veterans, most alum now of SFCC, worked long and diligently to raise nearly $50,000 to purchase and pay for the pole and flag.

This great patriotic display on the I-75 side of campus, is enjoyed by millions of travelers each year. Many Gainesville citizens have taken time to send us thank you notes and comments. The monument is dedicated to all those who serve our great nation, state, county and city.

Each flag costs about $1300, lasts about four months, is repaired ($250) and presented again for about two to three months before retirement. Each flag is paid for by a local citizen or club (the current one is presented by SFCC staff member Dean Beckman) and is dedicated to a comrade in arms when raised (the flag raised Jan. 22 is dedicated to local hero Spec. Catlin Mixson). The past flag was paid for by SFCC Student Government and dedicated to our fallen comrade in arms, Chris Neiberger.

We hope the flag presentation brings peace to all those who view it while reminding all of us that fellow citizens are serving in harms way in the current war.

John Gebhardt,

Gainesville

The Sun should honor our early presidents

Now that you have rightly and so eloquently honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I respectfully suggest you honor, as eloquently, the legacy of our early presidents and patriots on their birthdays; not just on President's Day, which approaches. Their sacrifices and philosophies remain great legacies.

Please choose to feature graphics and column inches on each of them, written to reflect and remind us of their values and visions. I would wish there to be a softening of the greater haste and harshness of our nation that seems to have evolved in our days and times.

James Morris,

Alachua

Florida Democrats have been cheated

Many Democrats in Florida are very concerned and upset about the way the Democratic National Committee has refused to allow presidential candidates to campaign in Florida prior to the weekend before the election, except to raise money, of course. In addition, the DNC has said it will not provide accommodations or seat the delegates at the Democratic National Convention.

No one I have spoken to can figure out why this was done, even though the DNC said the reason was that Florida's primary election date was set earlier than they wanted. That seems like a rather stupid reason when the primary date was set by our Republican Legislature.

I, like all registered Democrats, have received numerous calls pleading for money. My answer this year is always, "No contribution without representation."

A few days ago I got such a call and after a rather lengthy discussion on the matter, it was suggested that I call the DNC at a number Howard Dean, the chairman, has set up for complaints. That number is 877-336-7200. I strongly suggest that any Democrat who feels as I do give them a call.

As for the Republicans, who do have half-representation, perhaps they may wish to do something similar.

Florida has 210 delegates in a vitally important presidential candidate selection process. That's too powerful a force to let the DNC get away with this stupid slap on the wrist. But then, this is really not much worse than the ridiculous way we let a couple of lightly populated states have so much power in the primary process.

I say conduct the primaries in the order that the states entered the Union, or do it all on the same day. And maybe even sit down and talk about what is an intelligent way to do things.

Richard Hill,

Alachua

Too bad for Austin Wright

I just read the Jan. 24 Law & Order column regarding how unhappy the Wright family is that their son, Austin Wright, has been transferred to a medium security facility that is about an 8-hour drive from their home in Naples.

In case you don't remember, Austin Wright is the 22-year-old drunk driver that killed Officer Lt. Corey Dahlem last April 3. He was sentenced to only 10 years for aggravated manslaughter of a law enforcement officer.

Gee, how inconvenient for the Wright family! An 8-hour drive to see their loved one.

I wonder how long the drive, and what the expense will be for the Dahlem's to again see their beloved husband, father, son, nephew, mentor and fellow officer. I can only pray for them and wish them God's blessings. That's certainly more than the Wright family and justice has offered.

I'm glad to hear that Austin is happy teaching other inmates, and again, I'm so sorry his family is 8 hours away from him.

Ben Whittle,

Newberry

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