This is Viewpoints for Sunday, March 31

March 31, 2013 

Voter ID necessary

I just read Frank Gadbois’ latest opposing voter ID. It is very strange how Democrats want to ensure that anyone can vote whether citizen or not. Then again, Democrats sued to keep active military votes from being counted in Florida during the Bush/Gore election.

I just went to get my driver’s license renewed and had to present a birth certificate, Social Security card, utility bill with my name and address plus one other piece of mail with my name and address on it. Those last two had to be within the past 60 days.

My friend Frank, and I do count him a friend, and I rarely agree on political matters. However, perhaps we can agree that when arriving at the polling place we could simply provide our driver’s license as evidence we are residents and citizens qualified to vote. I recognize some may not drive so they could just provide a birth certificate, Social Security card, a utility bill and one other piece of mail addressed to them with the last 60 days prior to be allowed to vote.

Surely, we can agree that it is at least as important to determine one’s status to vote as it is to get a driver’s license. But, then again, it was the Clinton-Gore Administration that tried to get Haitians into the country prior to their re-election. Know why? They wanted their votes.

-- David E. Wittenberg


Field test for marijuana?

If pot were to become legal, would the laws governing alcohol sales and consumption apply to it?

For instance, suppose a law officer pulls one over for some violation and suspects pot has been used, would there be a test like for alcohol available to determine the ability to drive safely? Just curious.

-- Roger Dagley


Just change channels

Regarding Ken Brown’s letter about gun sales at the Robins base exchange, it kind of seems like seeing a program on TV -- if you don’t like it, change channels or turn it off. If you don’t want or need to purchase a weapon, don’t go to that area of the BX. PLAIN and SIMPLE as the nose on your face.

-- Ken Fowler


Doomed voyage

I have to agree completely with Travis Middleton’s letter of March. Listening to and watching conservative media is exactly like listening to the orchestra on the Titanic. They were also doomed by incompetent leadership.

-- Neal Bridgers


Gibson’s fairy tale

On the day the district attorney was to make known the findings of the GBI investigation of the Sammy Davis shooting, WMAZ was interviewing Henry Gibson just before the district attorney’s briefing. The first thing Gibson did was launch into a spiel about how, once upon a time, he worked for the Macon Police Department and the failure of the GBI to keep him up to date on its findings. He no more had a right to know that than a former Secret Service agent has a right to know the president’s schedule. “Once upon a time” is how children’s stories start and would be a good beginning for a Henry Gibson fairy tale. It’s amazing how much Gibson and Erick Erickson are alike. If you took the words I, me, and my away from them, they would be speechless because of the lack of a subject and a word to start a sentence.

-- Dennis Arthur


Fight back against biotech

Once again, we the people have lost out to special corporate special interests, this time in the form of agribusiness giant Monsanto, the company that brought us Agent Orange and chemical-filled corn, soy and wheat. It’s time that we the people demand a government that works for we the people and not for faceless corporations. The biotech industry is dangerously unregulated and oversubsidized. Small farmers are forced to pay royalties and to use seeds that are harmful to our environment, our bodies, and the health of our blessed Mother Earth. Governments around the world are rejecting the biotech industry, Monsanto, Con-Agra and so forth, based upon scientific research, health and environmental concerns, yet our government welcomes these monsters with open arms, all while espousing the need to protect the agricultural community and small farmers. Legislation that writes a blank check to dangerously unregulated and unstudied food sources that infuse dangerous chemicals into the food we eat, is contrary to democracy, transparency and the health and well-being of our families as well as being a slap in the face of consumers, farmers, and the nation as a whole. It’s time that our government, from judges, senators, representatives, and the executive branch stop kowtowing to corporate interests and to stop lusting for the unlimited financing that fills their campaign coffers and silences the voices of we the people.

-- Kelly Stefano


Keep scrutiny on elected officials

I would like to ask the citizens of Macon to understand that our honorable Mayor Robert Reichert had been informed of the ineptness and outright unprofessional actions of our police chief, thinking in 1960 and living in a 2013 situation. The action that was taken with officer Sutton is a gross mistake. Now, Macon citizens will probably face a lawsuit costing millions of dollars and create an enormous embarrassment to the citizens of Macon. I am one of the citizens who brought the situation of our police chief to the mayors’ attention when he was running for office. We as citizens of Macon need to look very closely at the people we elect to represent us.

-- Leroy Thomas Sr.


Letting everyone down

The chairman of our County Commission, Tommy Stalnaker, recently gave our local NARFE chapter a briefing on the status of road projects and our commission’s financial health. What was shocking to me was his comment that labor relations at Robins Air Force Base were not OK and they needed to be improved before the impending Base Realignment and Closure program.

The recent SPLOST includes targeted funding to end encroachment at Robins before the BRAC team arrives. Bibb County is also using some of its SPLOST funds to end encroachment. We are all helping with our purchases to keep our biggest employer in our county here and avoid closure.

I cannot help but feel that those in the work force at Robins who are responsible for the bad labor relations and who should be working all out for excellence are letting everyone else down. Their selfishness is part of a long history of labor discord and complacency. Some of us in the county feel betrayed, and they need to know that our support will eventually waver if not end. Shame on them!

-- Frank W. Gadbois

Warner Robins

It’s nature, not choice

Once sexual orientations, responses and satisfactions are incrementally programmed from birth for 15 or so years in human sensory receptors, neurons, neural networks and nerves by myriad internal and external stimuli and messages, they are almost impossible to delete in adult life. Sexual orientations, responses and satisfactions are many and varied and probably have recurred in about the same frequencies within all human populations from one generation to another throughout human history. The current LGBT acronym for sexual orientations identifies four generic types -- lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual. Straight is another orientation.

Humans should perceive this process as reality and do the right thing dealing with sexual problems that affect all people. Since all sexual orientations and satisfactions naturally occur, not resulting from the exercise of free will by individuals, none are necessarily morally superior, although those entailing the abuse of others, especially children, must be socially controlled and legally prohibited.

-- Richard John Stapleton


Animal shelter lies

I originally got involved in animal rescue in the mid ’90s. The animal “shelter” was an abomination then. The Telegraph published a series of articles on the conditions, but nothing changed. The only positive thing the City did was to allow Van VanDeWalker to be in charge for a short time, during which time VanDeWalker, along with our amazing rescue groups, proved we could become low-kill. The county promised that when they took it over, we would be low-kill and used the animal lovers to help pass the SPLOST, with the promise of a new updated facility. Ground has yet to be broken on that facility, and we have now gone to high-kill. The sad thing is that the majority of those slaughtered are adoptable pets. Rescue groups are working day and night to save as many of these deserving animals as possible, but because of the unwillingness of the county commissioners and the shelter director, so many loving animals are unnecessarily killed. Shame on you, Bibb County commissioners. I implore the people of Bibb County to usurp the power from these dishonest, ego-driven, heartless individuals by exercising your right to vote and electing a mayor and commissioners that have a heart and care and will follow through on their promises. I realize there are a lot of voters who don’t care about the animals, but if they will lie to us, they will lie to you about the issues that matter to you.

-- Andrea Reiner


See the common ground

Sylvia Martins comments on gun control of March 14 and Dave Whitaker’s response of March 18 are classic illustrations of the dysfunction of our society as well as the politicians attempting to escalate the chaos for their personal benefit. Both sides claim to be 100 percent right while the other side is nothing short of a bunch of liberal/conservative idiots depending on your side of the story. If both sides would use their ears instead of their mouths, I think their eyes would see that they have a great deal of common ground that they share. Both want to stop senseless killing, both want to keep guns out of the hands of evil people and distraught people who my not be thinking rationally. If our citizens and lawmakers could just take the first steps on common ground, our nation as a whole just might be surprised at how small the things we disagree on really are.

Personally, I think law enforcement overall does a great job given an impossible task and a public that generally chastises them regardless of which decision they make when seconds count and lives hang in the balance. As for me, I follow the thought that I heard at a disaster preparedness training class many years ago, “During and for some amount of time after any disaster (hurricane, tornado, carjacking, home invasion) there is a variable amount of YOYO time while help is called, responds, is mobilized and reaches you.” “YOYO” means you’re on your own -- are you prepared to take care of yourself?

-- Ed Hortman


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