Letters to the Editor - Jan. 15


Published: Thursday, January 15, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 15, 2009 at 1:18 a.m.

Israel's oppression

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Cagle Cartoons

Israel is threatening the life of every person living in the Gaza strip.

In an article in the Jan. 7 story in the International Herald Tribune, it mentions that Israel is not allowing fuel into Gaza to run water well pumps and pumps that move sewage. The result will be a huge health crisis for the people in Gaza, in addition to the death and destruction by Israel bombing.

Depriving a people of a basic human right to water essentially based on their ethnicity is a crime against humanity.

There have been letters to the editor in this paper that have tried to draw a comparison of Hamas rockets being fired into Israel to rockets coming from Mexico or Canada into the U.S. This is ignoring the complex problem there made worse by the U.S. involvement.

The fact is that Israel turned over the Gaza strip to the Palestinians when there was no governing structure in place. The U.S. encouraged democratic elections, which there were, and the Hamas Change and Reform party won. It was not the party Israel or the U.S. favored, and ever since Israel and the U.S. have been trying to destroy the democratically elected government of Gaza by blockades of essential supplies and now a war fought with U.S. planes and bombs.

It's time for Israel to stop what some are saying is "genocide." I believe a majority of Jewish people don't approve of what the Israel government is doing. Let's hope Israelis bring "change" to their government during the February elections like we have done in the U.S.

Tom Olmsted,

Gainesville

We need prisons

In response to Renva Brunson Jan. 11 "Cut Prison Budget":

First, hard times have hit all of us hard. Many states have had to come up with painful budget cuts that affect schools, colleges, the elderly, etc.

It has been a feel-good approach by many liberals to free non-violent criminals, because of costs to the taxpayers or because of so- called over crowding.

One other reason liberals want to release inmates is because of the idea that drug use or alcoholism is not a correctional problem, but our failure to rehabilitate these inmates. The problem with this is that many inmates simply do not want to change and can not function outside an institution.

The Department of Corrections' goals are to rehabilitate inmates by teaching them to become normal citizens. Many learn skills such as becoming a chef or printing and are encouraged at every step. In other words DOC gives inmates every opportunity to change and be productive.

Opening the flood gates and throwing inmates out into the street is setting them up for failure. These inmates will wind up back in the correctional system and cost the taxpayers more money because of going through the court system again.

You cannot group DOC in the same category as other services. Law enforcement and corrections are needed for public safety, and the people in these fields put their lives on the line every day to keep the public safe.

If you want to cut corners somewhere, tell your Federal legislators to stop sending taxpayers' money overseas!

Robert Monica,

Bell

Why a negative spin?

I admire the fact that Anthony Clark took the time to write a well-developed, well-researched article about local business ("Economic forecast: What can Gainesville expect in 2009" Jan. 11). But I have to wonder if his doomsday observations were necessary.

His own source, Grant Thrall, argued that "the area economy is more a victim of consumer confidence than an actual significant loss of jobs or wealth." If this is the case, then his story does nothing more than exacerbate the problem we all face.

The worse people feel about the local economy, the less they'll spend or invest locally. This translates to fewer ice cream cones and coffees sold in my businesses. And it will also translate into a further decline in The Gainesville Sun's own advertising revenue.

In effect, Clark's story is adding to the incremental, trickle down forces that have forced many of his own colleagues out of jobs.

I understand that we're living and working in a challenging economy. Let's all find ways to embrace it and work around it.

Hall argued that we're the victims of an intangible problem. We should all stop making it tangible by talking or writing doomsday stories about it.

It is time to find a solution and to stop talking about the problem.

Pete Zimek,

Co-owner

Ben & Jerry's

Co-founder, Bourbon St. Coffee Company

Gainesville

The ‘chosen people'?

Dan Taylor's Jan. 12 letter said that no criticism of Israel should be tolerated and that he prays "the day will never come when America abandons God's chosen people".

The vast majority of the world and majority of Americans do not share his personal belief about Israelites being "God's chosen people."

Some Muslim fundamentalists are just as certain that they are "God's chosen people." Mormon founder Joseph Smith claimed that his followers were "God's chosen people."

Like war? That's what such attitudes bring the world.

Scot E. Smith,

Gainesville

Long wait at Shands

What a stroke of timing Dr. Steven Landay's Jan. 11 Speaking Out about the need for a pediatric ER was. My husband and I just endured nine hours in the Shands ER waiting room on Friday night.

The staff told me the normal wait is between eight and ten hours!

I just Googled "average ER wait time," and the national average is one hour!

The waiting room was full the entire time we were there with both adult and pediatric patients. Often there wasn't enough seating. There were families with babies who waited as long or longer than we did.

What a miserable experience this is for adults, but for families with children it has to be far worse spending all that time in a crowded room with strangers who are sick, injured, throwing up, sometimes belligerent or possibly inebriated.

After our recent endurance experience in the Shands ER waiting room, I have to strongly agree with Dr. Landay when he says we need a pediatric ER in Gainesville.

Jean F. West,

Gainesville

What a great Gator

As I read the headlines "Yep, He's Staying" I said to myself, "what a great Gator."

Tim Tebow is a great role model to young people on how to work with people, how to lead and how to keep your word. His words were his vision.

This past season he said, after the Ole Miss loss, "I wanted a perfect year, and that did not happen." I feel his words will follow him this year. A goal for a prefect year, and if not, at least another national championship.

A special thank you, Tim, for your great leadership with a great bunch of Gators who are part of a great team. We as "Gator fans" can be proud of and will always be behind you in all you do.

Darlene Pifalo,

Gainesville

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