Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Macon Symphony Orchestra rehearses "A Fond Farewell" program directed and conducted by Gerald Steichen. The MSO performed for the final time featuring soloist Jasmine Habersham on Oct. 14 at The Grand Opera House.
The Macon Symphony Orchestra rehearses "A Fond Farewell" program directed and conducted by Gerald Steichen. The MSO performed for the final time featuring soloist Jasmine Habersham on Oct. 14 at The Grand Opera House. bcabell@macon.com

Polar opposites

The death of the Macon Symphony Orchestra is very sad. My wife and I have attended many wonderful symphony performances, and we did so again for its final performance. I have often asked, “Why do the MSO and similar cultural enrichment institutions have difficulty surviving in Macon?” The answer lies in the ethnicity of the audience members who attended the final performance. Simply put, the MSO could not survive being supported by only half of Macon’s population. It is very sad because the symphony’s final performance highlighted the talents of Jasmine Habersham, a 2007 graduate of Rutland High School who has made it to the top of her profession.

Sitting in the audience, listening to the beautiful voice of Habersham, it occurred to me that she represents the very best of the Macon-Bibb school system. In the ongoing, school “desegregation” debates as to whether or not a young black person can receive a good education in our public schools, the answer is “yes.” Proof was singing right in front of me.

On the other hand, last week we have Ja’Qwaray Hollingshed, 18 years of age, who was arrested for breaking into the same dollar store three times in one week. How stupid is that for someone to break into the same store, three times in a week? I’m sure the answer to the success of one student and the failure of another lies in their families. I’ll give 10-to-1 odds that Habersham was raised by two parents who emphasized education, discipline, hard work, and doing the best that you can. And the same 10-to-1 odds that Hollingshed comes from a broken home, no emphasis on education and dropped out of high school and was taught that he’s a victim. Sad.

Sloan Oliver,


No ultra-left agenda needed

I disagree with columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. I do not think Democrats should adopt an ultra left agenda. It is radical and costly, and most voters reject its concepts. Democrats are not marginalized. Most are pragmatists who believe in a centrist economic agenda. They reject political extremes. Trump correctly capitalized on the discontent of working class voters. But even he has complained about how difficult it is for him to work with the warring GOP groups in Congress.

In 2018 Democrats must campaign on the failures of the Republicans in Congress. They need conscientious candidates who can adequately address the issues concerning working class voters. they should propose a fair and equal revision to the tax code that will enable taxpayers to prepare their own one-page tax form. Propose a balanced budget. Propose a plan to pay down the debt. Fix the problems in Obamacare. Propose how they will save Social Security and Medicare.

Democratic candidates should remind voters what they have gotten for re-electing the Republicans for the last 10 years. Republicans are fighting amongst themselves. They did not repeal and replace Obamacare. They didn’t revise the tax code. They did not pass a balanced budget. The 2018 budget is $4 trillion-plus. They raised the debt limit. Seven percent of tax revenues is required to pay the interest on the debt. They cut $500 million from Medicare to pay for their corporate tax cut. They want to send block grants to the states to fund Medicaid.

If voters re-elect do-nothing Republicans again, then Democrats may have to pursue a different strategy.

Jim Costello,



My husband and I have traveled through the rugged mountains of Tennessee, seen the blue grass of Kentucky, and the amber waves of grain in Indiana. When we visited Ruby Falls at Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, a lady leaned over and whispered, “How can anyone see this and not believe there is a God?” I thought of her words and realized it’s not that we don’t believe there is a God, but do we know him and his word.

America seems to have forgotten the Bible, but our Founding Fathers knew the value of the Bible as the foundation of morality. “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible (George Washington).” “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man (Abraham Lincoln).” “The Bible is worth all the other books which have ever been printed (Patrick Henry).”

As President John F. Kennedy stated years ago, “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what can you do for your country?” We can start where we are by taking it back to basics: back to truth, back to honor, back to character, back to integrity, back to morality, back to work ethics — and back to the Bible.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14.

Judy Davis,


Earned benefits

As a member of the federal community who served our country for years, I am deeply concerned that my hard-earned benefits will be cut to offset proposed tax policy changes. I ask my representative and senators to oppose such cuts to the federal community. I based my career and retirement planning on long-standing, promised benefit calculations. Any cuts to what I earned break that promise and denigrates the value of public service.

Congress is currently debating reforms to our tax code. Paying for touted middle-class tax relief on the backs of middle class federal employees and retirees is wrong. My retirement and health benefits were earned through years of hard work; they are not gifts to rescind.

Valerie Hunnicutt,


Rough road

I wholeheartedly agree with Charlie Fountain’s assessment of the poor repair of Interstate-75 South. I was expecting that maybe the road contractor was going to return with some sort of machinery to grind smooth the concrete which in some areas could server as a motor vehicle suspension proving ground. Now I know why some slow pokes ride the left hand lane. Because it has the least repairs and is by far the smoothest.

Steve Letellier,

Warner Robins