Letters to the editor for Sept. 30, 2012


Published: Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 28, 2012 at 11:21 p.m.

Look who's beating the ‘drums of war'

We know that there's a national election coming up: The jungle drums are beating and there are the usual calls for "war."

But has anyone else noticed that, with a few exceptions, those beating their breasts and shouting the loudest have never spent a single day in the military?

One former vice-president had so many exemptions and deferments that he eventually got heart disease. Another leading candidate managed exemptions for work in Belgium saving souls for his ministry.

And have you noticed that these "super heroes" are quick to address the American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars? How can veterans sit there and hear "war chants" from those who dodged military service?

No matter what your political stance, the actions of these "super patriots" should at least raise the issue of integrity. What would the voters get if these individuals got into power?

M.P. Nolan,

Gainesville

Amendment 8 is a risky proposition

I urge a NO vote on Amendment 8, which removes the Florida constitutional prohibition of taxpayer funding of religious institutions.

Many of the founders of this country were fleeing religious persecution in Europe, and to escape religious tyranny they established the separation of church and state. That principle has worked well in this country since its founding.

One has only to survey the world today to see the violence wrought by religious extremists. Certainly religious institutions do much good in this world by helping the poor, treating the sick, etc. But we should also be aware of their dark side and protect ourselves against it.

Let religion be a personal matter, with each person respecting the beliefs and/or non-beliefs of others.

We need strong public schools, and diverting taxpayer monies to religious institutions will only weaken them.

Robert H. Hornberger,

Gainesville

Solar power does make financial sense

Financial analysis concerns the monetary status of a specific entity. Economic analysis involves a more complex weaving together of resource, technologic and cultural factors and issues.

Doran Oster (Voice, 9/26) mixes these two forms of analysis to support a chosen position questioning green technologies.

In 1979 I asked whether installing a flat plate solar system for hot water made financial sense for my family. My out-of-pocket costs were $1,600. Assuming savings of approximately $30 per month, I found I would pay off the initial outlay in approximately 5 years,

Thirty-three years later I have incurred one repair (a new circulator pump, $150). Netting out the $1,600 initial outlay and the pump cost, the net benefits over the years have been on the order of $10,000.

In my case the solar technology made sense from a personal financial position, and even more likely, made sense from a broader economic position.

Clyde Kiker,

Gainesville

Broke and a joke

U.S. Postal Service: Broke.

Social Security: Broke.

Fannie Mae: Broke.

Medicare & Medicaid: Broke.

Freddie Mac: Broke.

Federal health care: Joke.

John Wilson,

Newberry

Keep your money

I just read a letter from someone who was sick and tired of having to give his "hard-earned" money to those lazy souls who did not deserve it. He fails to mention who these people are.

Could they be the Iraqis or Afghanis we have killed, or the Haliburtons and Blackthorns who robbed us blind?

Or, just maybe, he is referring to that family in West Virginia that, through no fault of their own, do not have enough money to feed themselves or get proper medical care for their children.

Yes, these lazy, despicable people who ran off all the industry in their community, who live beyond their means, who just lay around awaiting a check in the mail.

It is easy to paint everyone with a single brush. However, when you roll your sleeves up and wade into the muck of human society, the world looks a bit different. Keep your stinking money.

Allen Hughes,

Gainesville

Thanks for all the good opinions, Sun

Congratulations, Gainesville Sun. Your editorial page of 9/27 was one of the best yet.

Your editorial was right on: We should judge people in the context of their times, not ours today. After all, didn't our nation's founders have slaves, even had children by them?

We, like one letter writer, are also concerned about politicizing the judiciary; that is not a slippery slope, it's a headlong plunge into anarchy.

Marihelen Wheeler's letter ("Not all students are created equal") was also right on. We lived in Germany for a combined nine years. They split their students into vocational and academic "tracks" at about grade six. Students can later "cross over," but their primary education is aimed to prepare them for life skills, and to seek higher education for those in that track.

As to the letter regarding Gov. Romney's tax rate, he is not to blame for that, Congress and our tax laws are.

Pat & Charlie Wallace

Alachua

To know Dr. Reitz was to admire him

I can't believe that someone is suggesting that the name of the J. Wayne Reitz Student Union be changed. It's obvious that whoever wants to do that never knew Dr. Reitz.

I was a student while he was president, and I can tell you that he was a great person and a great president. He faced many challenges, and he guided the university through all of them.

We should really have his name on a few more buildings.

Winston Holmes,

Melrose

What more do these airline pilots want?

To American Airlines pilots:

You already make more money than 90 percent of the people in this country and yet you want more. Shame on you.

Shame on you for inconveniencing thousands of passengers because you want more. Shame for your disloyalty to the company that has sustained you and your families so well for so long

Go back to work.

Ed Burns,

Newberry

Too bad for Haile

Too bad for Haile Plantation residents voting to resist the Archer Braid Trail. Being a resident myself, and living off 91st Street, I thought you talked the County Commissioners out of what would have been a valuable addition to our community.

Most of you argued that Haile already had sufficient bike paths. Really? The paths I see are worn and narrow and used mostly by walkers, runners and dog walkers. A biker can gain nothing by trying to wind through that kind of traffic and must stay on 91st Street, which will remain a biker's nightmare with vehicles exceeding the posted 45 mph limit.

Some of you spoke of bikers like they were criminals. Aren't you being a bit extreme?

I applaud Commissioners MIke Byerly and Paula DeLaney for trying to give us this opportunity.

David McLanahan,

Haile Plantation

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