Letters to the Editor - Jan. 23


Published: Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 11:46 p.m.

Flawed propaganda

The Jan. 16 cartoon by Nate Beeler represents a profoundly flawed piece of propaganda about the Haiti earthquake. It depicted the rubble of the quake on one side of the cartoon with the label "Act of God," and with the label "Act of Humanity" on the other side and an image of Uncle Sam extending help to a hand stuck out of that rubble.

Even the most cursory review of the history of the relationship between the U.S. and Haiti will show that the government of the U.S. for decades and even centuries has engaged in acts of suppression of Haiti's efforts toward prosperity and independence, helping mightily to create the conditions of extreme poverty in the country that led to people being overcrowded into housing with little if any earthquake protection, and without the means to provide "relief" for themselves from their meagre resources.

If we really want to be "humanitarian" in our dealings with other countries, let us work to limit our own country's destructiveness of the well-being of other countries, rather than simply waiting around for opportunities to congratulate ourselves when we rush to the aid of "impoverished" countries when "God" wreaks a disaster on them.

Jerry D. Rose,

Gainesville

The power of drama

I would like to thank the Acrosstown Repertory Theater for its current production of Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf." The play is one of the masterpieces of the modern theater and this is the first time that it has ever been performed in Gainesville.

So much of the entertainment that we see is just so much special effects and comic book level violence wound around a recycled plot. It is a treat to leave the theater with something to think about the next day, with brilliant writing and excellent acting bouncing around in my memory.

Congratulations to director, cast and crew for renewing my belief in the power of drama.

Bob Freeman,

Gainesville

Holding us hostage

The exorbitant bonuses for CEOs and other employees of banks that were bailed out with taxpayer dollars raise some interesting questions about the nature of our economic ideology and practice.

The banks argue that these are talented people who, if they do not receive these huge bonuses on top of their already considerable salaries, will seek greener pastures elsewhere, leaving their institutions without the competitive advantage of their enormous intellects.

There are two problems with this argument:

First, these are the talented people whose cleverness got us into this mess to begin with.

The second problem pertains to the moral and ethical aspects of the banks themselves.

Banks are the institutions on which our houses, jobs and lives depend. As such, they have a social responsibility beyond raising profits for stockholders.

But if they don't get their bonuses, they threaten to walk away from these institutions on which we depend, abandoning all social responsibility and essentially holding us all hostage to their self-interest.

Anthony Oliver-Smith

Gainesville

We will remember

In June, polling of Americans measuring support and opposition to the Obama and Congressional Democrats' health care plan showed supporters outnumbering opponents by 5.5 percentage points. The most recent polls show opponents outnumbering supporters by an average of 10.3 percentage points.

Apparently the more people learned about the plan, the more they opposed it.

What was the result of the voters' declaring their rejection? Acceptance by the party in power of the people's wishes? Clearly not.

The Democratic Party used its overwhelming majority in the Congress with the support of a popular president willing to renege on his campaign promises to take deliberations on the plan underground where Americans couldn't see what deals were being made.

A deaf ear has been turned to the average American who voted the Democrats into power.

Collectively we will remember this rejection of our voices.

John N. Donis,

Gainesville

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