Letters to the Editor for April 9, 2013
Published: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, April 8, 2013 at 5:05 p.m.
Our city is stuck
Gainesville's politics were different not so long ago. We didn't care much about a candidate's party, there was no voting bloc on the commission, we never asked the public to extend our terms and we never used public money for personal favors.
Neighborhoods got as much time as special interests, we answered our own phones, commission offices were open to the public and no commissioner spoke through a spokesman.
Commissioners with different views were tolerated by each other, yet we argued our positions passionately. There was no political group in control but we shared the common concern that taxes and utility bills could force families on the street.
Somehow during the last decade our city and elections have gotten stuck. The faces change from time to time but now a small group rules, our debt explodes and voters stay home. Disaffected friends say we need a revolution, but they simply forgot to vote.
End oil subsidies
It is wrong for taxpayers to support profitable industries while funding for vital services is slashed.
Thanks are due to U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho for signing a letter, with 30 colleagues of both parties, imploring U.S. House leaders to eliminate excessive subsidies and tax breaks for global corporations.
We should start by ending the $594 billion in subsidies and tax breaks that the fossil fuel industry has enjoyed during the past 60 years. This taxpayer support is unnecessary since global energy companies bank huge profits. It also unfairly distorts the market forces that should be determining the future of our energy marketplace.
If you believe we need a level playing field to meet our ever-growing demand for energy, contact Yoho. Thank him for his recent letter, tell him to cut subsidies and taxpayer support for the fossil fuel industry, and urge him to support putting a price on carbon emissions.
Viewed as property
Jim Lillquist's April 4 letter on dogs left in pens day and night with virtually no human contact really hit home. Endless boredom and frustration and physical disintegration from lack of exercise can drive these animals to near insanity.
I submit that this practice, mostly found in rural areas, has strong cultural and historical roots. We have lived in the country since 1994 and share many of the values of our neighbors. We have found country people to be warm, generous and remarkably tolerant of some of our (formerly) Yankee beliefs and ways. But here, dogs are often viewed as property, not companion animals, and are treated as such.
May I suggest that the best way to address the issue of cruelty inflicted on penned dogs is through awareness. Cultures can change, as recent history has demonstrated. (Example: leaving a dog on a chain for long periods now can get you a citation.)
Kudos to Norman Jensen for pointing out (Sun, April 3) Jack Martin's silly comparison of homosexuality to prostitution and infidelity (Sun, March 30). As Jensen points out and as science has shown, homosexuality is not a "moral decision" but a natural variation in sexuality occurring in many species.
This fact does not sit well with Christian and Muslim fundamentalists who have for centuries persecuted and/or killed homosexuals.
If folks are not gay out of choice or free will, then God/Allah made them that way. That opens up a lot of questions about the Creator, as well as his followers.
And by the way, prostitution is not necessarily a moral choice either. It has often been the only way women have of supporting themselves in misogynistic societies. In fact, you can find preachers, priests, popes and politicians who have availed themselves of the services prostitutes provide. So let's have a little respect for these working women!