Letters to the Editor for April 11, 2013


Published: Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 10:18 p.m.

Forgotten history

I'm a physician Navy reservist at Shands, currently deployed to the NATO hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan. I helped care for Americans critically injured by the nearby “explosion” on April 6. All print news accounts, including yours, merely say “explosion,” like maybe a meteor hit the earth there.

To clarify any misunderstandings, this was a vehicle-borne suicide bomber who targeted individuals delivering school books. Several Americans and Afghans were killed. Presumably he (she?) had hoped to bag some children, too.

As we abandon these people to a grim fate, we should remember these famous “bumps in the road,” likely to become commonplace Page-10 ho-hum events coming after Kardashian news.

Some remember what happened after Johnson's Vietnam War; the clueless should investigate that forgotten history. That's difficult — the media won't mention thousands of South Vietnamese murdered by the North Vietnamese Army after 1975. But maybe prejudging the Taliban is too insensitive of me.

Carl Peters,

Gainesville

Assert your rights

I have been stopped by the Gainesville Police Department twice in the last two months: once for driving past the white line at a stop sign and once for having a dim bulb over my plate.

On both occasions I was asked the following questions: “Where are you coming from?” “Where are you going?” “Do you have any weapons in your car?” “Do you have any drugs in your car?”

On the second stop I was asked to exit my vehicle when I refused to answer these questions. On that occasion I was asked, “Have you ever been arrested before?” After a lengthy examination of my car with a flashlight I was told I could depart.

These questions have no relevance to the reason for the stop and are characteristic of a police state. Provide your license, proof of insurance and registration when asked, but no more. Assert your rights or lose them.

George Manos,

La Crosse

Get active

Only one in three American children is regularly active. Only 3.8 percent of elementary schools and 7.9 percent of middle schools provide daily physical education for children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Living in Florida, the weather allows us to enjoy outdoor activities, but television and computer screens distract children. It seems the only form of exercise they get is during recess.

We should empower children to make healthy decisions. In not doing so, we fail to protect them from chronic health problems like heart disease, asthma and diabetes.

First lady Michelle Obama continues to promote the Let's Move initiative, which encourages children to engage in at least 60 minutes of daily exercise and provides strategies for families to lead healthier lives.

So why not spend more time with your family and do fun activities? Go for a walk, throw a ball in the park and ride bicycles.

Nasim Moshtagh,

Gainesville

Growing tragedy

I recently watched the History Channel's report on the long list of broken treaties that the U.S. government made with Native Americans, and it hit me that it's happening all over again.

This time, the power struggle is between the wealthy 1 to 5 percent and the average, wage-earning American.

The destruction of a society from the inside takes longer than conquering a frontier. It's easy to dehumanize someone in strange clothes who speaks a different language and acts peculiar.

It's harder to do the same thing economically to someone who looks like you. But think of the 40-year build up to NAFTA and international trade advocacy, and then about the millions of mid-level jobs suddenly flushed to other countries, only to be replaced by fewer jobs offering minimum wage and no benefits.

Where's this country going? That's a question people ought to ask — in sorrowful recognition of a tragedy that may unfortunately grow.

Ray Harris,

Gainesville

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