Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Tuesday, March 31, 2009

On Sunday afternoon I unexpectedly and unavoidably found myself stuck in the flooded spillway at Lake Wildwood. I was behind a large truck, and with the torrential rain didn’t see the high water ahead. Too late, I hit my brakes and slid another five feet or so on the silt left by the runoff.

My engine stalled and would not start again. As the water continued to widen and deepen, my car began to float toward the entrance to the lake.

Three men, none of whom knew each other or me, stopped to help. Maybe my disabled plates had something to do with it.

One man in a large black pickup and whose name I never learned backed up his truck and the second man, whose first name is Travis, submerged himself entirely to secure a rope to my axle. He was joined by another young man named Jason. As the truck began pulling me from the current, Travis and Jason pushed from the front of my car in waist-deep water. Once my car was clear of the water, the man in the black pickup left. To him I say thank you very much.

What amazed me more than anything else was that the other two young men stayed with me for the four-plus hours it took AAA to get a tow truck to me. They repeatedly tried to jump start me to no avail.

When I assured them that I didn’t need any further help and would just wait for the tow truck, they flatly refused to leave me alone. They stayed and we talked about all kinds of things. Consequently, those long hours in the rain and cold didn’t seem so bad.

My learning experience as a result of this incident is that my generation (I am almost 56) needs to realize that the younger generation is not filled with only self-centered and selfish text-messaging idiots. These guys proved to me that there is still hope in America and that some of the standards and teachings that I was taught at a young age have been taught to at least some of the younger generation.

These guys are genuine heroes. They would not accept any money. They found their reward in doing the right thing.

— Al Voss


Finding the right words

The Georgia Legislature’s squabble over a proposed resolution honoring President Obama is another sad commentary on the state of politics. Debating petty matters wastes valuable time that should be devoted to matters of consequence. Nevertheless, I think the authors went a little overboard in describing the president as someone with an “...unimpeachable reputation for integrity, vision and passion.” The word “unimpeachable” connotes perfection and implies there is no room for even constructive criticism. Surely they can find words to honor the president without formally declaring him to be flawless, and without branding colleagues who object to the wording as racists.

— Steve Wooley


GOP no party of Lincoln

Poor Abraham Lincoln. He must spin like a top every time someone calls today’s Republican Party the party of Lincoln. Anyone who thinks Lincoln would be a Republican today doesn’t know much about Lincoln or American history.

During the past 150 years the two dominant political parties in this country have switched places. When Lincoln was elected president, the Republican Party was seen by Southerners as so radical and left-wing that being accused of being a Republican in Georgia in 1860 would have been similar to being accused of being a member of al-Qaeda. It was the party of New England intellectuals, Free Soilers, abolitionists and other “bleeding-heart liberals.”

The Democratic Party, on the other hand, was the party of big business, aristocratic plantation owners, states rights, ultra-conservatives and, of course, slave owners.

The chances of Lincoln being a Republican today are about the same as the chances that Obama would have been a Democrat in 1860.

— Jim Sandefur


Poor post office

I almost felt sorry for Melissa Ward and her fellow postal service employees as she described how they are struggling to survive during a sizeable decrease in their business. It sounds like automation to handle large volumes of bulk mail, which has required large capital investments over the years, is no longer paying for itself. However, our postal service is a quasi-government monopoly that answers to almost no one. If they have financial problems, they simply ask for an increase in their rates and they almost always get what they want.

In real business, however, when times get tough, cuts in workforce and even wages are among the first tactics taken, and those cuts are often felt at the supervisory and managerial level. Just how many layers of supervision exist in the post office? Why don’t some of those supervisors get off their duffs and do some real work for a change? Or how about multitasking and eliminating some of those layers and reducing costs?

— Jeremy T. Schneider


Just the beginning

President Obama’s “change you can believe in” is unbelievable. He faithfully promised to be the responsible watchman in restoring the economy, Cicero’s great question applies: “But who watches the watchmen themselves?”

Now we have an imperious, apprentice president who, with Congress, forced upon the American people an economic “stimulus” law that none of the lawmakers read in its entirety, inflicting grievous debt obligations into the next two generations. Along with his treasury secretary, he scandalously poured $150 billion of borrowed money into the failed insurance giant AIG, along with $165 million in bonuses for its incompetent executives, and $20 billion to bail out foreign banks. And this, we are told, is merely the beginning of the Obama “plan” for the economy.

If their performance to date is any indication, we shall see their play-as-we-go methods applied to education, health care, and all other sectors of American life.

— Dr. C.D. Marlow


Palin should admit fault

Isn’t Alaska governor and John McCain vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin proving that she really was an “Alaska King salmon” out of water in the 2008 presidential race? When asked why the Republican Party did so poorly in the election, she should have said ”the economy” and stopped at that. Instead she continued with a personal attack upon the media that would have made former vice president Spiro T. Agnew very proud.

I believe the media keyed on what the first-term governor really brought to the race. Her youth, appearance, sex and inexperience got her the nomination. Her character weaknesses and lack of experience were quite apparent.

How can Gov. Palin ever have a chance to become head of the Republican Party without acknowledging how poor her performance was as a vice-presidential nominee?

— Daniel Schlafer


@MA Letterhed:

Prayer for today

Lord, I am trusting you to see beyond what I am able to see. I come to know and rely on you more completely. I give you my future so you can shape my today. Lord, give me patience, for I know you are never late. Keep me from acting in the flesh. Deliver me from my old thought patterns. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

— Submitted by Grady Sneed

St. John Baptist church