This is Viewpoints for Wednesday, July 3, 2013

July 3, 2013 

America delivered

In devotion to God Almighty, since July 1776, we have celebrated the Fourth of July with all its parades and galore for it was the day of America’s deliverance. Thus let us trample out the American vintage where wrath of race is stored by carrying out the teachings and promises of the Lord. We read of miracles by his outreached hands of steel, thus all born of woman should trust his hands to heal.

He shall sound forth the trumpet that never calls retreat and shift out the hearts of men before His judgment seat. In the beauty of God’s creation, Christ was born with a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me. For he died to make men holy, we die to make men free.

-- Faye W. Tanner

Macon

Ich bin ein Berliner moment?

President Obama’s recent speech to 6,000 in Berlin holds great promise. “Obama Praises Berliners; Calls for Nuclear Warhead Cuts” (June 20, 2013)

The president stated, “So long as nuclear weapons exist, we are not truly safe.” He outlined important next steps: to reduce nuclear weapons stockpiles, to address nuclear terrorism threats, and to develop support for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. These measures are supported by military and policy leaders from across the political spectrum.

Fifty years ago, JFK’s historic Berlin speech hailed the promise of “a peaceful and hopeful globe.” Today we can embrace that vision, including a world free of nuclear weapons, by supporting these next steps outlined by the president. Let’s not allow another half century to pass without turning rhetoric into action.

Our tax dollars built and still maintain a massive nuclear arsenal. We’re spending about $65 billion every year on these Cold War weapons -- more than 7,000 in the U.S. alone -- designed for opposing the defunct, yesterday’s news, Soviet Union. Let’s stop the flow of wasted dollars and instead, make smart 21st century security investments.

We can be proud of the leadership of Georgia’s former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn who has made great contributions toward reducing the nuclear threat. Will today’s Congress partner with the president in this worthy pursuit? Will Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss lend support to this common sense approach to global security? Only if we insist.

­-- State Sen. Nan Grogan Orrock

Atlanta

Good friend

Dale Albritton will be missed by many who saw him as a friend and a mentor. I knew Dale for 50 plus years and saw him as a friend and a mentor. He was always willing to help anyone in a crisis and during his tenure he helped many.

He once stated to me “a friend is someone who does something from the heart without monetary value.” This has always stayed with me. He loved his family, his music, bowling and above all, talking on the phone.

We know he is up in the sky, Until we meet again.

-- Larry Cumbess

Macon

Orderly transition

I read in your paper that Georgia is going to build a Veteran Training Center just north of Atlanta. Question? Did these folks check with the U.S. Army about project transition? The last 90 days of my hitch I worked free for a company. All the while I was still in the Army. The company did not pay me a salary. I was still on active duty.

I worked in a career field that I picked. After release from the Army, it was the first place I applied. They hired me. Just a thought.

-- David Sizemore

Spring City, Tenn.

Misinterpretation

I plead not guilty. Not guilty of the allegation that Jim Costello of Perry alleges about me. On May 12, The Telegraph was kind enough to print one of my letters. My letter was about the detrimental effect that “homosexual marriage” will have on traditional marriage. In disagreement with my conclusions, Costello attacked what he mistakenly assumed was the premise of my letter. In Costello’s letter, which appeared May 14, Costello asserts that my “premise is solely based on the silly assumption that all young heterosexual males view women as good for only one thing.”

How Costello arrived at this erroneous conclusion baffles me. My letter was not about how men view women. It was about how men view marriage. More specifically, it was about a great number, though not all, who will “view marriage as having been so thoroughly degraded as to have become meaningless” to quote my own letter of May 12.

And my letter of May 12 is clear about the source of that degradation, “homosexual marriage.” But this degradation will not have the slightest impact on those rare heterosexual men who have always been adamantly opposed or uninterested in marriage. To the contrary, its effect will be on other categories of men who cumulatively comprise the vast majority of the male gender.

Costello continues by writing, “Sweat is correct that there are a number of males who are not interested in marriage and only want a woman (sic) for one thing”, again misunderstanding the purpose of my letter. He then writes about how irresponsible men sire children and abandon them; not being responsible fathers to their own progeny. Costello states his opinion why this has happened. But he appears to admonish us not to be overly concerned about the problem because, “most women have more common sense than he (Sweat) gives them credit for. And mothers will always tell their daughters there is no such thing as free love and there will always be consequences for ones actions.”

I do not dispute Costello’s confidence concerning motherly admonitions. But a recent report cast doubt on daughterly adherence. In an article that appeared after Costello’s letter of May 14, it was reported (The Telegraph, page 2A, May 31) that “two in five women would consider solo parenthood.” The article continued, “that of 4.1 million women who’d given birth in 2011, 36 percent were unmarried at the time of the survey, an increase from 31 percent in 2005. And among mothers 20-24, the percentage was 62 percent”.

-- Don Sweat

Macon

Improper VA regulation

There has been much talk in the news about abuse of power by the IRS, State Department, the NSA and those in positions to abuse power. Welcome to the real world. Another government agency that has stepped across the line, and deliberately abused the power entrusted to it, is the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans have fought and sacrificed so much to preserve and protect our country and our freedom. Now, the VA has written a regulation that has literally stripped freedom from disabled veterans and Congress has sat on their rear ends and allowed this abuse of power to continue.

Disabled veterans should be allowed to have a medical examination to evaluate their disabilities to determine service connection and their level of disability. That’s just common sense. Right? And, when the VA fails to provide that medical examination, that is a clear and unmistakable error. Right? Wrong. According to regulation (38 C.F.R.20.1403), (written by the VA), “Failure in the duty to assist (provide a medical examination, collect and consider medical history) is not a clear and unmistakable error.”

Therefore, the VA will not consider this evidence when it fails to give disabled veterans a medical examination in relation to clear and unmistakable error claims. The Constitution guarantees all citizens a fair and impartial due process of law. That should mean disabled veterans should have the constitutional right to be able to have all evidence favorable to their claims considered. According to this regulation, disabled veterans do not have the constitutional right to have this evidence considered when the VA fails to give veterans a medical examination. That is abuse of power.

This malicious act by the VA was designed for one purpose, and that is to defraud disabled veterans and deny them benefits they would otherwise be entitled to. Even those convicted of murder have the right to introduce evidence favorable to their case to prove that an error occurred when they were convicted. This regulation denies disabled veterans the right to have this evidence considered. If that isn’t oppression of freedom and tyranny, then what is?

-- Lannie Ray

Varney, Ky.

Bring it to a vote

There is no place in a society of free people for a government agency like the IRS. For 80 years it has been used by administrations of both parties to punish their enemies. All citizens are subject to the IRS. Congress has made is so. If we are charged by the IRS of wrongdoing, we must prove ourselves innocent or pay the penalty. This is just plain wrong.

Dave Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means committee, in a press release mentioned “...first steps that have been taken to correct management flaws at the agency...” Really; management flaws? Those guilty of behaviors described recently in the media should go to prison. The IRS should be dismantled. Congress should be ashamed.

Finally, in the name of “comprehensive tax reform” the FairTax legislation should be given a fair and public hearing by the Ways and Means committee. This legislation has been in the possession of this committee for over 12 years; it has not been brought to the committee table for consideration. If the FairTax were the law of the land this could never have happened. Contact your congressmen with the message: “Kill the IRS and pass the FairTax.”

-- Glen E. Terrell

Arlington, Texas

Prayer for Today

Our Father, today let your healing power flow in every pore of my being. I am especially grateful that the latch string is low, low enough for me to reach and enter. I pull. I enter. Amen.

-- Jack Key

Dublin

Readers -- ministers, rabbis, priests and laypersons alike are invited to contribute prayers to this weekly feature. Mail them to “Prayer,” The Telegraph, P.O. Box 4167, Macon, GA 31213; or fax to (478) 744-4385; or e-mail letters@macon.com.

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