Letters to the Editor - Jan. 25

Published: Sunday, January 25, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 23, 2009 at 11:49 p.m.

Barack Obama shows anything’s possible

A little over 45 years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream that injustices would go away in America. Many of us have the same dream.

This last Tuesday a part of that dream was realized. We have inaugurated our first African-American as president in the history of our nation.

It shows us that anyone who works hard to become educated, takes responsibility for their life, has unwavering resolve, faith, and courage, doing it with honesty and integrity can become anything they want without regard to their skin color.

Tuesday was a day for realizing a dream, optimism and hope. I hope this is a turning point in the injustices in America. We are still the greatest nation in the world

Gary Hardacre,


Are you kidding me?

First David Bruderly, and now Tim Cunha want to attempt to score cheap political points against Cliff Stearns for his recent attempt to attend the national championship game between Florida and Oklahoma.

Both of these men attempt to characterize a simple request to move a couple of routine votes around as “putting the national agenda on hold” and “shutting down Congress.”

Are you kidding me guys? It is that kind of blown-out-of-proportion partisan nonsense that is exactly what we no longer can stand for in this country.

Of course, in this case it is also the sour grapes of the candidates defeated by Stearns over the last several elections getting some cheap shots in.

Both of their letters include a laundry list of very serious national issues, and attempt to suggest that Stearns is more concerned with Gator football than he is about his constituents and our nation. I cannot fathom that they actually believe that, and I would hope that the men and women who strive to represent us in Congress in the future will focus less on partisan gotchas and more on offering us meaningful and substantive participation in the process of governing and leading.

I mean that for both sides. That is change I can believe in!

Todd Chase,


A silly request

A recent “Voice of the People” letter defended Congressman Cliff Stearns’ request to the Democratic leadership to cancel votes in the U.S. House of Representatives so that members could attend the UF-Oklahoma game in Miami. The letter asserted that on the days in question (Jan. 8-9), “Congress had absolutely nothing addressing a single one of those problems,” and that Speaker Pelosi was therefore failing to live up to her promise of five-day House workweeks.

Whatever one may think about the wisdom of Congress working a five-day workweek, let’s set the facts straight.

The House had four recorded votes on January 9, dealing with both sex discrimination in wages and the war in Gaza (Rep. Stearns made all of these votes).

Regarding the Congressional workweek, the 2007-2008 Congress, run by Democrats, was in session for more days than any of the previous six Congresses, all run by Republicans.

In fact, in the last year of Republican control (2006), the House met for only 101 days, the lowest total for any session since the 19th century.

How does one square the writer’s criticism of Speaker Pelosi for not convening enough House sessions with his defense of Stearns’ request to take two sessions off to watch a football game? Stearns’ request was clearly ridiculous.

Had there been votes on Thursday night, he could have easily recorded them without missing a single second of the football coverage, simply by planting himself in front of the TV in the plush Republican cloakroom.

Bob Palmer,


A perfect president? There’s no such thing

I would like to start off by saying I am a registered Republican and tend to vote Republican. I voted for John McCain and Sarah Palin and regret they were not elected.

I feel President Bush has done an admirable job during his 8 years in office — not perfect (who among us is perfect?), but a darned good job given all he had to deal with, including an attack on our country (the plans for which were formulated before he became president).

But, I also drive a Prius, keep the thermostat at 80 in the summer and 65 in the winter, reuse and make do with what I have, do more than my “fair share” of recycling, etc.

My stepson and sister-in-law are gay and I love them dearly regardless of their choice of lifestyle. In other words, like most Americans, I am not a “hard-core” voter.

I would beg everyone reading this to please consider what we are doing to our beloved country. To bad-mouth our (past or current) president is disgraceful and dishonorable. It’s time to stop!

I have reservations about President Obama, but I’m willing to give him a couple years to show what he can do for us and what kind of leader he can be.

There’s no such thing as a “perfect” president.

He’s human and will do his best.

Let’s give him a chance.

Teki Hawkins,

High Springs

I wasn’t laughing

Norman N. Holland’s simplistic and nonsensical comments in his Jan. 21 letter, “Don’t make me laugh,” regarding the continuous blame game for the terrible events of Sept. 11, did anything but make me laugh.

The Bush haters will simply not let it go.

As someone who spent many years of my professional career working in the counter-terrorism trenches during the Clinton Administration, I can assure Holland that the roots of the events of Sept. 11 run deeply into the Clinton years and beyond.

Yet it seems that arm chair historians like Holland will continue their silly blame game.

During the Clinton years, the Clinton Justice Department continuously relegated counter-terrorism to number four and five on their priority list, behind drug interdiction, organized and white collar crime.

All we in the trenches could do was shake our heads in disbelief and wait.

Funding cuts for equipment and years of hiring freezes during the Clinton Administration only added to the problem, compounded by serious breakdowns in lines of communication.

Inane rules and outdated communications laws prevented us from obtaining and sharing information across departmental lines, adding to confusion and setting the stage for Sept. 11.

Only after the events of Sept. 11 has counter-terrorism received the number one priority that it truly deserves.

I can tell Holland why there hasn’t been another attack. It is because the mistakes of the past have been rectified and artificial barriers to fighting this scourge have been demolished, yet people like Holland will continue to bemoan those very changes as loss of their precious freedoms.

The Bush Administration and Congress gave the brave men and women in our law enforcement and counter-terrorism organizations the tools they needed to fight the people who would destroy us. It is through their brave efforts, and not some blind simplistic conclusion based in myth, that has kept us safe!

Joseph Messer,


Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Comments are currently unavailable on this article

▲ Return to Top