Letters to the Editor - Jan. 31
Published: Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 12:10 a.m.
East, west and childhood obesity
The Sun's article about childhood obesity (Big Problem for Kids, 1/19) infers that east Gainesville has a bigger problem than the rest of the county with childhood obesity. Its subtitle reads "Numbers are the highest in parts of east Gainesville."
However, if you actually count the numbers of obese or overweight children on The Sun's map, it's clear that childhood obesity is a countywide problem, and the numbers are actually higher in west Gainesville.
The article also mentions proximity to parks and recreational facilities and their impact on childhood obesity. Of the eight recreational centers run by the City of Gainesville, only Westside Park is actually on the western side of the city. The rest are east of 13th Street.
A question those working to combat childhood obesity might ask is, how do we reach out to all our county's children, including the ones without access to recreational centers, community centers, neighborhood playgrounds, or after school programs.
The two big issues
The big issues in 2010 will be the economy and the two wars. Those who deal with these matters realistically will attract voters; those who do not will suffer rejection at the polling places.
About the economy, the proper response includes large cuts in spending, balancing the budget, starting to rebuild our severely depleted manufacturing base by getting out of the way of producers of goods, exposing and closing down the stranglehold possessed by the Federal Reserve, and launching meaningful steps toward placing something tangible behind the dollar.
About the two wars: The longer we stay in Iraq and Afghanistan, the more we invite hatred for and retaliation against our troops and our country. It's time to begin bringing the troops home.
Paula Helton, chairperson of the Gainesville Tea Party, writes that Social Security was unconstitutional. She states that she is against anything that takes money from the pockets of Americans to fund entitlement programs.
Does that mean that she will refuse her Social Security when she reaches retirement age? Does she refuse police, fire and trash services because they are "socialist"?
The problem with such reasoning is that it is totally self-centered. Yes, we could go back to the "everyone for himself" philosophy of the middle ages, but that would be a return to times when the poor just died in the streets.
We have government to share the wealth with all. That includes fiscal wealth, intellectual wealth and social wealth. We are Americans and we should support each other the way we support our troops in war; with our tax dollars and with our respect.
The majority of the Supreme Court is destroying the Constitution. We must correct the mistake made by the U.S. Senate, which confirmed these supremes who are not loyal to the Constitution. Impeachment is the only non-violent solution to this takeover of our country by the wealthy and their corporations.
Fear of socialism
Thank you, Jerry Fossum, (Voice, 1-29) for saying we need socialism as part of what makes up our society.
The conversation about national health care has gone on a long time now. I believe that we live together as a people, and as such we have a responsibility to each other.
I am appalled at the fear for what is called socialism. We have a responsibility to share with each other. That doesn't make this country socialist.
If we keep trying to stop initiatives by the government, such as a good national health care plan, we think more of ourselves than our community.
So you don't like "creeping Socialism" in America. Here's what to do.
First, do away with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. We can do just fine with the Minutemen.
Next, do away with the FBI, DEA, FAA, Homeland Security and the whole mess of government-funded agencies that protect our streets, our food, our air safety, etc.
Then do away with the police departments and fire departments. Protect your own homes, businesses and neighborhoods.
The argument is not really about "socialism" or "capitalism." Unless you are genuinely an anarchist, the issue is what is a proper function of government in a freedom-loving country that protects individual and minority rights while seeking to improve the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all its citizens.