Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014

Plug the publicity

I believe that most of this rioting is for publicity. Get the TV cameras out of there and it will go away. White kids in Berkeley tearing up property and smashing windows with skateboards? What are they thinking? Easy answer, the TV cameras are right there. One hoodlum smashed a window of a store with his skateboard and then turned and smiled at the camera. Do away with publicity -- do away with rioting. I doubt one in 100 of those children knew what was going on.

Oh yes, I know about constitutional rights to freedom of the press and other yada, yada, yada, but what about that one poor man who was trying to protect his store? What happened to his rights?

I guess we all long for the bygone days when the major story on the front page or on CBS was about a puppy being rescued from a drain. Thanks to the newscasters insatiable appetites for violence and destruction we get blood on the screen. I like the Weather Channel and little else.

-- Jim Huber

Centerville

What happened?

I was quite intrigued by the recent Houston County school board graduation rates in our high schools and the official explanations for such mediocre results. Especially since our county’s schools fell to 77.3 percent. Our county career academy’s rates dropped from 49.1 percent to 28.6 percent. So what happened? How can we attract new industry for students with such poor academic results?

Why has our only county development authority spec building been vacant for so long? Could it be that somebody got it wrong? Or we don’t have adequate numbers of qualified workers/high school graduates, local tech school graduates, etc. available to attract new industries except chicken-plucking jobs in Perry.

-- Frank W. Gadbois

Warner Robins

Blacks to the GOP

America has a pervasive race problem that will not be resolved as long as we continue to deny we have a problem. Far too many people believe racism does not exist in our country and don’t want to talk about it. Often, those who bring up the need to dialogue on race issues are called racists.

The fact that the Republican Party is predominantly a white people’s party speaks volumes about where the GOP stands on race.

Why does the Republican Party have such a hard time relating to people of color? It seems the party is content in not trying to win the black vote. That sends a subtle message that blacks are not worth Republicans’ efforts to win their votes.

By becoming a more diverse party and working hard to appeal to black voters nationwide, the GOP could make a huge difference in changing racial attitudes for the better. The ball is in the GOP’s court. What will the party do with it?

-- Paul Lam Whiteley Sr.

Louisville, Kentucky

Embarrassing America

The leader of democracy (America) is now on trial at the U.N. Perhaps we needed a wake-up call, but should Michael Brown be the “poster child?”

Black on black crime is far more genocidal in scope and is more deserving of critical assessment by this “body” than the death of a black teen largely responsible for his own demise.

The U.N. and other organizations similarly situated, in my opinion, would stop at nothing to embarrass this country. Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of traitors waiting to aide and assist them in this regard. As a military veteran I stand with other veterans deeply saddened by the events of the past several days and I’m sure it is equally disconcerting to our active duty forces as well, proudly serving today on foreign shores protecting our way of life. We owe them respect and appreciation. We shouldn’t humiliate them or demoralize them in any way. I am embarrassed and frankly angry at those seeking their “15 minutes” of fame at the detriment of this country. Where is their loyalty? Middle Georgia, please don’t fall victim to this malicious, misguided movement to embarrass America.

-- John Haugabrook

Warner Robins

For or against?

The federal prohibition of marijuana has been as profound a failure as the attempted federal prohibition against alcohol in the 1920s. Government cannot prohibit popular behaviors. Nor can the government defeat a black market demand by cutting off supply. Never has worked, never will. The solution to prohibition is easy. Let the states decide how to regulate herbs just as they do with alcohol.

Reports from Colorado suggest the legalization of marijuana has been a resounding success. Teen use is down. Auto fatalities are at near historic lows. Crime is down across the board. Tax revenue is flowing in.

Like it or not, illicit marijuana is available in every corner of this country. Any teenager can get it with little effort. In most areas, pot is far easier to get than beer. Why? Alcohol is well regulated by the states, priced fairly with little to no black market demand as a consequence.

Criminal gangs across the country rake in tens of billions of dollars each year selling marijuana. Milton Friedman once said, “See, if you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the government is to protect the drug cartel. That’s literally true.” For evidence, look no further than the streets of Chicago. Literally thousands of cartel aligned thugs control about half of Chicago, selling drugs and committing violence almost unchecked. There has been no progress against the gangs, cartels or murder rate for years.

In 2012, 750,000 people were arrested for mere possession. That’s about one arrest every 48 seconds. And a disproportionate number of the people arrested on marijuana-related charges are minorities.

I’m personally against it, but believe in the wisdom of the people, can be a get-out-of-jail-free card for all who fear being branded pro-marijuana. The issue isn’t for or against marijuana, but rather whether a legal, state regulated market is preferable to a prohibition market served by gangs and cartels. Alcohol or marijuana, the answer to this is clear.

-- John Brogden

Warner Robins

Giving thanks

Every morning I would hear this bird singing the same tune outside my window around the same time. At first I was annoyed, but then I realized that the bird had a message. The bird was glad to be here and not having fallen victim to some predator the day before. Birds will fly up in a tree to avoid confrontation. We can learn by watching different forms of life on this earth.

As the country is in turmoil again with protests and riots, we must remember to celebrate our lives and the lives and contributions of others. I would like to give honor and thanks to the doctors, nurses and their support staff who work hard to administer quality health care to families. Even with the Ebola crisis, they remain dedicated to their jobs.

I would also like to give honor and thanks to the teachers and their support staff. They work hard to educate our children in the middle of various problems. I would like to give special recognition to the special education teachers and their support staff who work very hard to educate some exceptional people.

-- Renee Lee

Macon

Vets deserve better

The status of the most deserving to be provided housing and food is absurd. Illegal immigrants and deadbeats come before our veterans. The latest data show 50,000 to 100,000 veterans sleep in the streets of America. If the president were the least concerned, he and his attorney general would be shown walking the streets to resolve a true travesty. These veterans are black and white and rank far higher than all others. When and where did our president serve?

-- Joe Hubbard

Macon

How many?

Here are two bipartisan questions to ponder:

(1) How many illegal aliens are presently employed at the U.S. Capitol for the ongoing restoration project?

(2) If the federal government were to build a tall fence or wall at our borders to keep the illegal aliens out of the U.S., how many illegal aliens would be employed in the construction?

-- Ken Clarke

Macon

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