Letters to the Editor for Feb. 28, 2013


Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 2:30 p.m.

Complex thinking

I was impressed by several pieces in Sunday's Gainesville Sun that addressed complex and controversial issues: the cover story on the costs and benefits of Noche de Gala; the column by Nathan Crabbe on whether a new pope might address the challenges of a changing culture; and the editorial and then Monday's article on the Eastside High School video and the questions it raises.

All addressed significant dilemmas in Gainesville and included multiple perspective on the subjects involved. All were willing to tackle subjects with high emotional trigger points.

Important moral and ethical questions are seldom clear issues of right and wrong. If that were the case, they would be easy to decide. More typically, big ethical issues include competing calls for good that we are challenged to process and think through.

It was wonderful to see this kind of complex thinking in these stories. They are a good starting point for continued discourse.

Larry Reimer,

Gainesville

No real direction

I found Nathan Crabbe's Feb. 24 column, "Bye bye, Benedict," to be somewhat lost and confusing. I am so tired of so-called journalists getting on their soapboxes and spewing self-righteous beliefs about the Catholic Church.

Spare us any more of your watered-down insults on the church. We as a Catholic faith are saddened and still stunned by what has come forth over the past decade. We pray for the victims and pray for forgiveness of those involved every day. Crabbe's column does nothing more than continue to spread hurt and gives the reader no real direction or understanding as to what exactly he is trying to say.

I would ask, and hope, that he finds another religion and not come back to the Catholic faith. I think we are far better off without him.

Paul Anschultz,

Lake City

Topsoil depletion

A high five for Karen Orr's Feb. 4 letter, "Not carbon neutral." Unfortunately, there is another long-term problem besides carbon from the smokestack that comes from industrial-scale biomass burning: the depletion of topsoil.

Topsoil depletion occurs when vegetation is destroyed in such a way as to not allow it to decompose. In pioneer days, the depletion of topsoil nutrients caused the pioneer to uproot the family and settle in a new area as the crops began to produce less and less.

In modern times, the newer method of mining for nutrients (fertilizer) was introduced. These nutrients — much like oil and gold — have an absolute end-point. The same is true for materials that enrich topsoil. At that point there will be no source of fuel for energy or food.

It seems there are only three end-time renewable sources of energy: wind, water movement and solar. Geothermal might be a fourth.

Paul Varnes,

Gainesville

Looking at race

The Sun's Feb. 23 article regarding the disparity in arrests between blacks and white youth is a prime example of always looking at race first. The headline and story imply a racial bias on the part of the police force and places them in a bad light. A bias may exist, but the statistics quoted in the article do not confirm race as the true cause.

We fail to look at other variables that might explain the variation in arrest rate. If we did, we could focus our attention on changing the most important contributors to elevated arrest rates and reduce the arrest rates for everyone. We would no longer be distracted by color of skin, which we cannot change.

I do not oppose the present study. I just challenge the authors that to be of value in making real change, the scope of the study needs to be expanded.

Roger Natzke,

Gainesville

Revamp Medicaid

Medicaid should be revamped so that university medical schools are put in the charge of caring for the needy.

In return, cut medical student tuition down to zero and allow university physicians to use the latest care practices on the needy as part of their research. The rest of the medical industry will benefit and no longer be unfairly competing with government-funded health care for the general population.

Medicaid's annual budget eats away at other traditional public services, especially higher education. Medicaid is the most harmful thing done to the middle class in America over the last 45-plus years. States like Florida have stooped to regressive revenue enhancements such as higher sales taxes, state lotteries and evil Indian casinos — and it's still not been enough.

It is time to undo that harm, today.

Jeff Knee,

Gainesville

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