Letters to the Editor - Jan. 28, 2011
Published: Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 5:14 p.m.
Is she kidding?
In a recent Sun article regarding the future of Gainesville-area transportation, County Commissioner Susan Baird remarked: "Gas prices would actually have to go up to infinity for me not to drive my car."
I'm not sure which is more galling: That she leaves no room for compromise, that she seems to lack a fundamental understanding of 21st century transportation challenges, or that her statement reeks of elitism and entitlement.
The unsustainable cost of ever-expanding roadways and our addiction to the finite resource that quite literally fuels the disease is by now, obvious to all. Alternatives to the broken and destructive model of single-occupant-motoring abound.
Advocating a position that maintains an unsustainable status quo is not leadership. Baird would be wise to reconsider her course.
Ask what can we do for our country
Fifty years ago, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, in his inaugural address as the 43rd president of the United States of America, begged us "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
For the next decade at least we responded positively to that entreaty. We joined the Peace Corps and the Jobs Corps. Republicans and Democrats alike fought for and won meaningful civil rights for black people who had previously been oppressed. We ushered in an America that pioneered in engineering and science and led the world's economy.
Today we no longer ask what we can do for our country. All we ask is what our country can do for us, citizens and corporations alike.
What happened to the patriotism that drove our forebears to sacrifice and give up profit for the benefit of our country's freedom?
George L. Barnett,
It's not the gun
Once again, politicians, editorial writers, commentators, and others are looking in the wrong direction to solve a problem. Moreover, you may bet the farm any "solution" derived from the discourse is likely to be the wrong one.
Tragically, there has been a excess of high profile murders lately followed by the predictable calls for "controlling" guns.
Folks, I don't know how else to say this. It is lawlessness not guns at the root of what we are tragically witnessing. Until you recognize that fact and begin to develop a rational and logical approach to this systemic problem things will continue to worsen.
Sadly, since I have rarely witnessed a rational response to a problem from local, state, or federal government, I don't hold out much hope.
What he left out
What was most amazing at the State of the Union address: Republicans and Democrats sitting together, both parties concurring on the need to lower the budget, or everyone ignoring two large elephants standing in the room?
First, absolutely everyone recognized a tragedy befalling one of their own and said their wishes and prayers were with Rep. Gifford. But did anyone mention that guns had something to do with the tragedy and that they, Congress, might be able to help prevent similar future tragedy?
And did anyone say, "Hey, we all want to reduce the budget, do you suppose that two wars, over 100 military bases around the world, and U.S. spending a third of the world's total military expenditures has anything to do with it?"
Why we must invest
There is an old business saying: "You have to spend money to make money." That means improving infrastructure, etc.
It seems funny that the Republicans are suddenly so much against spending government money. There were no objections when we were giving Haliburton money hand-over-fist for out-dated MREs or Hummers without armor plating. No, that money was going to the "right" people; the rich.
But if we try to replace crumbling bridges, rebuild slum areas in cities, or help people get back to work; that is wasteful spending.
The national debt is scary, but I do not believe not spending is the answer. What about leaving the state of the economy to private business? Yeah, isn't that what we did during the Bush presidency? How did that work out for us?
A cruel city limit
On Jan. 25 The Coalition to End the Meal Limit NOW! held a peaceful picket and food-sharing to draw attention to the embarrassing 130 meal limit imposed on the St. Francis House. This prevents the St. Francis House from serving more than 130 people daily, with no exceptions for children or persons with disabilities.
The City Commission has the full power to repeal this inhumane limit, which denies the hungry and homeless the most basic condition necessary for survival. In fact, the City Planning Board has recommended that the limit be repealed. But the city commissioners refused to listen.
It is despicable that a city like Gainesville will allow hundreds of people to go hungry. End the meal limit now!
Join the coalition at our next meeting, Sunday, Feb. 6, at 4 p.m. at the Civic Media Center (433 S. Main St.) or e-mail Endthemeallimit@gmail.com.