Letters to the Editor - Jan. 22
Published: Thursday, January 22, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 22, 2009 at 2:24 a.m.
No I will not
No, I will not "Get off His Back!"
Several opinions in the past few days have called for giving former President George W. Bush a break. They claim the situation we find ourselves in has nothing to do with policy decisions made during the last eight years.
Mike Jones, from Archer, even states in his Jan. 16 letter that Bush is "one of the most decent and honest men ever to have held the office of president," and that it is the media's fault he has such a bad reputation.
I would like to know what is decent about allowing your buddies at the Treasury to give their buddies on Wall Street $700 billion out of my child's pocket. I would also like to know how an honest man could lie about information that led to the deaths of 4,227
American soldiers in Iraq.
How can an upright and decent man, order Americans to commit the same acts of "interrogation" we prosecuted the Japanese for following World War II?
Like a failed relationship, at the end of a president's term we want to only remember the good times. Nixon only lied a little bit. Ford didn't fall on his face every ten minutes. Carter... how do you say something bad about the Habit for Humanity guy?
Reagan didn't sell drugs for guns. Bush the first didn't say, "No new taxes" to get elected and promptly raise taxes shortly after the election. Clinton didn't sell our jobs to the lowest bidder.
I won't forget what Bush did to my country, and if Obama does not prosecute him and his band of liars, and crooks, I won't forget that either.
Parker Van Hart,
A woman's choice
Roe v. Wade, which turns 36 on Jan. 22, means a woman faced with one of the most difficult events in her life actually has control over a choice.
In the days before Roe, women were forced to find a doctor who would perform an abortion illegally. One of my best friends from college was one such woman in 1970, unmarried and scared.
Diane was referred to a doctor in Newark, N.J., who asked for a contact phone number because she would be contacted with instructions. The wait was excruciating.
A voice on the phone directed her to a parking lot several cities away, the voice then told Diane to wait for a specific car, get in and bring the money. She heard a dial tone.
On that day, another young woman was in the car with the driver, and she was as frightened as Diane was. They were driven to a second-floor apartment and separated into two bedrooms where their money was taken. She undressed and lay on the table. They put a mask over her face, which caused panic, and she was told, "Put it on or get dressed."
She put the mask on and woke later, sore and in pain. Diane got dressed and was driven back to the car. Those who cared about her had no idea where she was or when she would be back; it was long before cell phones.
I never want women to have that experience, and as we mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, let us never forget what it was like before 1972 and never let us go back. Let us be vigilant in monitoring our rights, making sure that we have control over our own bodies. They are our bodies, our choice.
Diane is not ashamed or embarrassed but she has the choice of revealing her identity.
Stearns' request was embarrassing
My recent electoral opponent, Congressman Cliff Stearns, made national headlines recently with an embarrassingly inappropriate request to Speaker Nancy Pelosi to suspend for two days the proceedings of Congress for him to attend the UF-Oklahoma football championship.
With the economy disintegrating, people losing homes and jobs, national security threatened, water quality at risk, Stearns wanted the national agenda put on hold.
Recently Stearns criticized fellow Republicans George W. Bush and Treasury Secretary Paulson for inadequate oversight of banks receiving federal bailouts. Ironically, the financial crisis was precipitated by systematic deregulation of the banking, securities, and insurance industries—supported fervently and consistently by Stearns.
Rather than Stearns' futile hand-wringing and self-serving "I-told-you-so's," we need bold initiatives to jump-start the economy, regulate Wall Street, bolster Main Street, and renew America.
This means Congress working overtime, paying diligent attention to serious issues, engaging in intense debate and discussion and charting new courses for our future.
Not ducking out for a football game.
A jarring moment
This past week I was driving around Gainesville doing my errands. I was jarred from thought of my next destination by a radio caller to Chip and PC's talk radio program.
Unbeknownst to the radio show hosts, the caller started to speculate about the assassination of President Obama. Of course, the hosts responded with proper outrage.
This frightening caller brings to mind that there are those among us who engage in that kind of frightening thinking. To those who sympathize with that deranged caller, try to think for a moment what our new president can do for us all.
This president will be such a role model for so many. This president, by the nature of his ancestry and his mind set, unites us all. Anything is possible for each of us. No excuses will do any more.
Give this president the opportunity to bring change to the way we Americans of differing experiences relate to each other.
I can only hope that those who are of the mind set that Obama should not be our president because of his skin color, to the point of wanting him assassinated, will read this letter and think.
Obama can solve Mideast problems
With the new Obama presidency, we have an opportunity to think of solutions, rather than blame, when it comes to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. New forward thinking is really imperative.
In the 1967 war, Israel captured the Gaza Strip from Egypt, the West Bank from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria. There was no such thing as a Palestinian state. These lands should be returned to their 1967 owners to administer.
Jerusalem should be made into an open access, international city, administered by the United Nations, who might ultimately put its headquarters there.
The U.S., Europe, and Saudi Arabia would need to work together with the four countries to ensure that the economy of the region is built up on a sound foundation and that the peace is maintained.
Israel for its part, apart from returning the captured lands, would need to dismantle its West Bank settlements and remove the wall.
Egypt and Jordan have made peace with Israel, and have built up trust from Israel. With the return of the Golan Heights and help with its economy, Syria would have the necessary incentives to sign a formal peace treaty as well.
The status quo, including the flawed "two state solution," will just continue the tragic cycle of human misery that has been endemic to this region.
Jonathan J. Shuster,
Help us out, Al
Al Gore: Where are you and your "hot air" when you are needed? Brrrr..
Donald C. Hurst,
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