Letters to the Editor for Aug. 2


Published: Friday, August 1, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, August 2, 2008 at 1:27 a.m.

Change for change sake?

After eight years of George W. Bush — the long, weary Iraq War, inflation, ever accelerating national debt and a sharp recession — a cry has gone out for change.

Could it be change for the sake of change? Any change? Has no one considered how radical that change might be?

In little more than three months this country will decide whether it wants to lurch from a president whose knees jerk from the right side to a new president whose knees jerk to the left side.

The contrast between George W. Bush and Barack Obama is the stuff of nightmares. While it’s obvious that they’ll probably never meet in an election, it was revealing to witness Obama’s reaction during the Amman, Jordan, press conference July 22 when quizzed about the surge.

Obama had just visited and disagreed with General Donald Petraeus. Obama, of course, reiterated his determination to make a set, locked-in, 16-month troop withdrawal. Petraeus argued for a pull down just as swiftly as progress permits.

Obama reacted quickly. He spoke of all the things the federal government could do domestically with $10 billion a month saved. Incredulously, Obama mused about how much more could have been saved had the surge — which he opposed — never been launched.

Question? Was Obama’s visit to Iraq to learn, or just for show?

To his credit George W. Bush’s belated turn to General Petraeus and the surge appears well on the way to winning in Iraq.

Considering how the war started in the first place, the charge is that Bush beat plowshares into swords at the wrong time. But the real question is whether Obama would beat swords into plowshares at the wrong time.

Bill Pepper,

Gainesville

Vote for the unborn

We Americans are regularly encouraged to take action on behalf of some segment of the public to correct injustice. Politicians and others propose that we come to the aid of the poor, the homeless, immigrants, the mortgage afflicted and on and on. All worthwhile causes.

But no one, it seems to me, is talking about the group of Americans most at risk, the group which, in the course of any 12-month span, will see the death of 1.4 million of its approximately 5.6 million members (about 25 percent).

These boys and girls will be killed in a most unholy fashion. There is in this country no group that is more disenfranchised or more poorly protected than unborn Americans.

Those who support this holocaust would argue: They are not people. They’re not Americans. They are something else. And besides, we have a right.

Ironically, the same things were once said about native Americans and African-Americans. That was wrong then, and this is wrong now. And in spite of what the U.S. Supreme Court created, our constitution shows no such thing as a right for anyone to kill any baby, no matter what it’s called. Personhood comes from no government, it comes from our human nature.

Yes, the poor, the homeless, the uneducated, etc., all have difficulties, some of them very serious. But they still have tomorrow and an opportunity.

But when a baby is killed everything she will ever have is taken away forever.

I have been taught to care about all people, but when it comes time to vote, it’s a matter of priorities. I will take the side of those who need it most, because using lethal violence to solve a personal problem is the epitome of injustice.

Leonard C. Young,

Keystone Heights

What about those bulbs?

I received a coupon from GRU & Publix to encourage me to purchase the new energy-efficient light bulbs, I have some of them in use now.

Being an avid coupon user, I should have been delighted, but having seen a news item on an Orlando TV station, I am confused.

The news report stated that the bulbs contain mercury and warned that if you should break one not to touch, sweep nor vacuum it, and to open the nearest windows. The instructions were to use two pieces of paper or cardboard to collect the broken glass.

According to the report, Congress has passed a bill that makes it mandatory in 2014 to use these bulbs. Someone please clarify.

Bettye Stoney Allen,

Gainesville

Read the ordinance

Joshua McWilliams (Voice, 7-29) recounts a confrontation with a group of citizens who were opposed to Gainesville’s Anti-Discrimination-Gender Identity Ordinance.

He noticed their signs which read “keep Men Out Of The Women’s Bathrooms.” He was told that the city had passed the ordinance allowing any man to enter the women’s restroom. He told them that was untrue, that the “male” in question had to be transgender.

McWilliams should read the ordinance. The only “requirement” for a man to enter a woman’s restroom is that he claim that he has “an inner sense of being a specific gender (in this case, a woman), or the expression of a gender identify by verbal statement, appearance, or mannerisms, or by other gender-related characteristics of an individual with or without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.”

This means a man can walk into a ladies’ room based on his declaration that “today, I feel like a woman” and there’s not a thing anyone can do about it.

I don’t even have the time or space to address his ridiculous comparison of transgender rights to the rights of women and blacks. And can you please explain how the rights of 12 people outweigh the rights of the other 119,997.

I have a simple solution to this whole problem. It’s something my dad used to make us kids do before we went anywhere. Go to the bathroom before you leave the house!

Marcus Moore,

Gainesville

A campaign of deceit

However sincere the petitioners driving the proposed charter amendment against transgender and gay rights, they have been misled by a campaign of deceit.

The most disgusting example was the TV ad depicting a sleazy pedophile following a girl into the women’s restroom. Research has documented pedophiles are overwhelmingly heterosexuals who are usually known to their victims. This intended association between transgender individuals and pedophiles is a despicable lie and one of the worst attempts at fear-mongering I’ve encountered in many years.

There is simply no justification for eliminating the civil rights of whole classes of people over one or even a few questionable incidents.

I am a senior citizen and have never encountered a man attempting to enter a women’s rest room. I have, however, witnessed women going into the men’s room to avoid long lines at their own restroom. It is a source of amusement not fear.

Thoughtful voters should wonder about the real agenda of the so-called Citizens for Good Public Policy. Their amendment deserves to be voted down.

Marjorie Abrams,

Gainesville

A greener world

Reading the July 30 article about trying to sleep and hiding all the LED lights (indicating an appliance in standby mode), I thought maybe we should adapt the electrical code used by the British.

We should change all outlets to have a switch at the wall that deenergizes the outlet itself. This of course would defeat our convenience of the remote for on/off, but think of all the electricity we would save by disabling that convenience.

Bill Haughton,

Newberry

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