Viewpoints for Sunday, Dec. 30

December 30, 2012 

The Republicans in the House of Representatives seem to be at odds with their own speaker, their own party and, based on the November election results, the majority of the electorate. Well, perhaps more accurately they seem to be at odds with everything and anything productive. Their failure to support even a fiscal “Plan B” authored by their own speaker may have been done as some showcase of solidarity to their “pledge,” but what it really showed us was their lack of respect for leadership, inability to compromise, allegiance to the rich and an overwhelming ability to accomplish absolutely nothing and be proud of themselves. Eventually all old, outdated, dilapidated structures are destroyed to make room for new construction, and who would have guessed the GOP would be swinging its own wrecking ball. At least they wished us Merry Christmas as the bricks left town.

-- Tod Goodwin


Someone said hurt people hurt people. Said another way, people who were frequently abused and insulted at an early age, are likely to become the same type themselves --- a bully or something far worse. Healing is needed, but from whence? Consider the attack in Connecticut. Where could the healing process have begun? It was at least a generation too late to help the man with the gun. He was damaged goods. And now he is gone. The people who damaged him are likely gone as well. The victims are gone. Again, where do we start?

We start with the only place possible: the next generation, and the generation after that. We might do well to set up a national group of Americans who support each other. The police could be involved, firemen, teachers, churches, athletic groups, any organization. All, within possibility, will abide by the primary directive: No American will say or do anything hurtful to another human being. Sounds easy, huh?

Maybe you think I’m an idiot. Fine. It wouldn’t be the first time. My suggestion may be the simplest germ for a good plan, or maybe not. If you have thoughts of your own, tell somebody about them. Making friends with your neighbors and felllow workers is not impossible.

-- Paul W. Doster


If you’re reading this, it’s obvious that the so-called Mayan Apocalypse of Dec. 21, has come and gone, just like all of the other doomsdays of the past. Now, we can look forward to the federal government destroying our finances after Dec. 31. That’s a “doomsday” that no one in Congress or the White House seems able (or willing) to prevent.

-- William D. Carter


I don’t think we will see a sign on the lawn of the White House that reads “GUN FREE ZONE,” and I’m sure the president, vice president and politicians and their families feel relatively safe because they are afforded armed security paid for by the taxpayers. However, our Government-run schools are advertised as “Gun Free Zones,” which is ludicrous. It’s sad that we can’t protect our precious children and school administrators while the elite have all the frills. Vice President Biden has the task of coming up with a solution to curtail the mass killings in this country. Stricter gun control is only part of the solution. Giving teachers, preachers, administrators, etc., an option to carry a weapon (training required) would certainly give some deranged individual some second thoughts about going into a school, church, mall, etc. and starting shooting defenseless people. There should be no “Gun Free Zone” anywhere in this country.

-- Glenn S Gibble


While I cannot claim to have lived in the area where “A Christmas Story” was filmed, I can claim to have lived in the era. And for me, it is THE Christmas movie! I love the house with its 1930s stove and sink, the schoolroom with its alphabet encircling the blackboard, both printed and cursive upper and lower case. So many things help me relive a most magical time in my life.

And yes, I have my own copy of the movie and have watched it three times so far this season. I watch it in the springtime and the summer, too. It never fails to lift my spirits. And yes, I will watch it roll on and on this Christmas Eve on TBS!

Thanks to Gris for the great story.

-- Merle Hazard


Two articles have appeared on the opinion page in the last two days should give all readers pause. On Dec. 23, a staff editorial referred to Mr. Cooke’s decision to fire certain members of his staff as having them “ethnically cleansed.” Without getting to the merits of the decision, this is a very unfortunate choice of words. “Ethnic cleansing” is a more gentle term for genocide. It is insulting to victims of real tragedies like the Armenian genocide and the Holocaust to have their suffering trivialized in this manner.

Readers were subjected to something equally offensive on Dec. 24, when a reader letter in praise of the KKK was published. There is no meaningful difference between the Klan of 1870 and the Klan of today. The “racism” the Klan was fighting against in that period consisted of efforts to enable newly freed slaves to enjoy the full benefits of citizenship. It seems there are still people today who consider the desire to treat all citizens equally under law to be a horrible act of intolerance inflicted upon the majority.

-- Jonathan Darden

Tallahassee, Fla.

As I listened to our president address the citizens of Newtown, Conn., I tried as hard as I could to find sincerity in his remarks. I am sure that he was very sincere with each and every statement he made. He said, “Our hearts are broken today … I know there isn’t a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief I do.” I am sure these are the true sentiments of the majority of Americans across our nation.

“The majority of those deceased in the school shooting were between 5 and 10 years old … They had their entire lives ahead of them, birthdays, graduation, weddings and kids of their own.”

These last two quotes are the ones that hit me very hard. My immediate reaction was WHAT ABOUT THE MILLIONS OF BABIES ABORTED IN THIS COUNTRY EVERY YEAR? Is this president and his administration concerned about the unborn children that are thrown into trash cans across America? I really don’t think so. Does he or his administration, along with Planned Parenthood, which supports these atrocities, worry about what these children may have become? They couldn’t care less if they have birthdays, graduate, get married or have kids of their own. What is the difference between the compassion shown for precious lives lost in a senseless shooting and those millions of children aborted each and every year?

Yes, Mr. President “Our Hearts Are Broken Today.” So when you and Michelle hug your children a little tighter and tell them you love them, think about the poor children that will never have the opportunity to be hugged or loved.

-- Robert S. Kovarovic

Warner Robins

I just watched WMAZ midday news Christmas Day. This is just a glaring example of how the mainstream news media feels about law enforcement. They have no details on the incident where a Macon police officer shot and killed a person at Kroger on Pio Nono Avenue, so they, meaning WMAZ, trashed the officer involved, talking about past complaints against the officer. They even went as far to quote in my opinion an obviously demented person saying this officer has hit him in the head with a flashlight before, and the Macon Police Department has an organized plot to be aggressive against the citizens of Macon. This is nothing new. I’m a retired Macon officer, and I saw firsthand for 26 years how officers are abused by the citizens not just Macon but everywhere. Officers get called to horrible crimes, but most of street officers’ work is responding to ignorance. People call the police because their baby’s father took a cell phone, or even because someone stole their crack cocaine and expect police /taxpayers to do something. Then when they escalate things when police come and officers have to defend themselves or a third party. It’s always the cops’ fault. Well, I know my rights, Mr. and Mrs. Citizen. You have sued police out of effectiveness, and you will not like what is coming. God be with the officer and the deceased man’s family.

-- Neal Smith


Bob Hubbard and others of his ilk do no more than show their complete ignorance of the spirit of the Second Amendment with comments such as “hunters equipped with 30 round magazines.” The Second Amendment has everything to do with protection of yourself, your home and family from harm and protection from a government gone wild (see Hitler and Mao among many others.) Maybe Bob was making a funny, maybe not. But there is a massive amount of low-information people out there who would do well to exert a small amount of study on a subject before forming opinions and deciding they know better than others as to the rights of those others.

-- Danny Hinton


The Macon police officer’s shooting of a man dead outside the Pio Nono Kroger on Friday afternoon deeply troubles me. I had been shopping at this Kroger shortly after this shooting and only found out later that a man had been shot there by police. From accounts in The Telegraph and statements from the Macon Police Department’s spokeswoman, Jami Gaudet, the man appears to have been unarmed and maybe had mental illness problems. Some questions need to be answered. Was a warrant being served at a busy Kroger and if so, why? Was the man unarmed? Why did the police officer use deadly force in close proximity to the entrance to the Kroger on a busy Friday afternoon? Our community deserves a complete and open investigation into this tragic event.

-- Lee A. Johnson


Just watched the 6 o’clock evening news with Mark Shields and Judy Woodruff on NPTV on Dec. 22. Shields made the point that 50 or 60 Republicans in the House torpedoed Boehner and his Plan B, possibly sinking his career as speaker of the House. I would be glad to see Boehner go, a bland cookie-cutter Republican politician, but he could be replaced by an even worse actor, Cantor. The biggest worry is why those 50 or 60 tea party Republicans shot Boehner down. They did it to save their own hides. They represent anarchist Republican tea party voters as confused and frustrated as they are, insanely opposed to raising taxes for any reason, however much not raising taxes now on large corporations and the elite rich sabotages the functioning of what’s left of our civilized system of government.

-- Richard John Stapleton


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