Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Sunday, December 9, 2018

People pay their respects as the train carrying the casket of former President George H.W. Bush passes Thursday along the route from Spring to College Station, Texas.
People pay their respects as the train carrying the casket of former President George H.W. Bush passes Thursday along the route from Spring to College Station, Texas. AP

Remembering the good and noble

For an all-too-brief moment last evening, CNN, Fox and other enforcers of our tribal dialectic set aside their acerbic pens to reflect upon the passing of President George H. W. Bush.

Maybe, in this moment, we will examine the underpinnings of a country in which service to others is more than noblesse oblige, an inaccurate portrayal of Bush’s lifelong service and revisit Luke 12:48, a biblical lesson transmuted into a founding principal: That we, as a “whole” nation, are guardians of the unique opportunities America has long represented.

We have the opportunity, brought on by this sad news, to take advantage of the lull of divisive rhetoric and to remember those traits personified in the life President George H. W. Bush.

“Men’s feelings are always purest and most glowing in the hour of meeting and of farewell; like the glaciers, which are transparent and rosy-hued only at sunrise and sunset … “ — Johann Paul Friedrich Richter (1763–1825)

Bob Carnot,

Warner Robins

Let’s be realistic

I’m confused about Stanley Dunlap’s Dec. 7 report about asking the legislature to raise our sales tax to 8 percent and our commissioners asking for an OLOST to raise it another penny. Does that mean if both pass our sales tax will be 9 percent? Is the state cap on sales tax 8 percent, 9 percent, or more than that?

I’m also confused why our elected officials would be advocating for commuter rail, which I support in the right locales and for the right reasons, but with the county in dire financial stress, it’s inconceivable that we wouldn’t have to share some of the financial burden for infrastructure costs, staff, etc. The Norfolk Southern train tracks that passenger rail would have to use will not safely allow a speed which would make the effort to Atlanta travel time and cost efficient. Putting high speed rail down the median of I-75 would be a much smarter move, but would be cost prohibitive. Let’s spend our tax money reducing crime, on education and improving quality of life in Macon, and not these “pie in the sky” ideas by non-professional, self-described elected “urban planners.”

Lee Martin,


Reverse racism?

Sarah Gerwig, in her recent column about the South’s history of suppressing black voting, cites Georgia’s voter ID law as an instance of such suppression. She dismisses the question “What’s such a big deal about requiring a valid ID?” to vote, explaining that it’s a matter of context and that “context matters.” True enough, where it exists. But aren’t all of us, including Ms. Gerwig, capable of imagining context to fit our world-views? One does not have to be racist to consider voter ID to be, indeed, no big deal. Surely the idea that black people, in 2018, stay away from the polls because they are simply too timid to present an ID is demeaning to black people and, therefore, itself a form of racism. As for those who lack valid ID, the last I heard, it will be supplied by the state of Georgia to anyone who needs it at nominal cost or, if that is not affordable, for free. One has to present an ID to cash a check. That Gerwig and many others consider the most basic bulwark of American democracy, the franchise, to be less important than cashing a $10 check at Kroger boggles the mind.

After the Republican presidential electoral shenanigans in Florida in 2000 and again in Ohio in 2004, it seems that it should be Democrats and liberals, more than anyone else, who would support any measure to protect the integrity of the voting process. But paradoxically we find that that is not the case. Why is this?

David Mann,


Wise move by president

President Trump’s decision to delay implementing the increased tariffs on China was a good move. This gives him time to resolve concerns and prevents a trade war.

We are China’s biggest customer. If we do not buy their products, who will? The biggest concern is Chinese companies are buying American companies and transferring their technology to China. China forces American companies to partner with Chinese companies and share technology. This gives China an advantage. They do not have to spend tine and money developing technology because they are stealing ours.

If China can not sell the goods it produces, its economy will collapse, The President can use this in his negotiations. President Trump’s decision to cancel NAFTA and force Congress to accept the USMCA trade agreement could have adverse consequences. If Congress does not approve USMCA and NAFTA is canceled, we will revert to a pre-NAFTA trade policy. This could result in trade wars with Mexico and Canada, and have dire consequences on our economy. China could use this to its advantage in upcoming trade negotiations.

President Trump’s decision to give Congress two weeks to finalize spending bills will be beneficial. The president wants $5 billion for the wall. He may be willing to accept less if Congress approves the USMCA trade agreement. This will prevent a government shut-down. I hope his approaches work. We do not need a trade ware, or a government shut-down.

Jim Costello,