Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015

Bias at the U.N.

I just signed this open letter to the U.N. and my senators in Washington: Hamas, ISIS, al-Qaeda and Hezbollah. No one is safe from the forces of global jihad. Terror groups ravage the world. Throughout the Middle East, they terrorize and slaughter minorities. Christians, Jews, Kurds, women, gays, Yazidis are all under attack. ISIS and al-Qaeda commit atrocities every day. Hezbollah, Iran and Assad slaughter hundreds of thousands. Hamas launches a war of terror against innocent Israeli civilians. But instead of exposing and fighting terror and protecting human rights, the U.N. is going after Israel for defending its civilian population. That is a betrayal of its mission and our values. Hamas uses women and children as human shields, launches terror rockets from civilian areas and targets Israeli population centers with indiscriminate rockets. These are all war crimes. Now, the biased UNHRC Gaza inquiry is set to whitewash Hamas and demonize Israel. Anti-Israel academic, Canadian William Schabas, was scheduled to be in charge of the probe. Incredibly, even before the inquiry started, he had declared Israel guilty of war crimes. His bias against Israel was so glaring that he was forced to resign. The real villain in Gaza was Hamas. Any U.N. inquiry that chooses to ignore this fact is not credible.

And it makes no sense for the U.S. to financially support the U.N. or its biased subsidiary.

-- Hill Kaplan

Macon

Privacy

In response to Geraldine Parker’s essay on privacy, I must ask this. What is she trying to hide? What is she afraid of? What has she done? It sounds like the person who told us that the OnStar in our cars can be used to track us. So what? Does that mean they know when I went to Sears?

Parker asked, “Doesn’t the Fourth Amendment guarantee us privacy?” No, I don’t see that it does. Privacy is not mentioned anywhere in the 52 words of the amendment. Our leaders can be replaced. I’ve noticed that she has a lot to say. I say, run for public office.

I have a councilman to contact. Too bad she doesn’t; or maybe she does, but that person is not a one-issue person who had time to listen to diatribes by someone who seemed to be consumed with hate and accusations. My councilman and I disagree on things, but he has a vote as a citizen also, and I am very sure he is more informed on the issue than Parker.

One of her questions strikes me as incongruous: “Who wants his own face on a police computer when he has done nothing wrong?” My answer is, who cares? If you have done nothing wrong, no harm done. Now our freedoms have been taken away? Really, please list all of the freedoms you have lost. Also please list all of the programs that spend more and more of our money needlessly. Then maybe you will be listened to. Otherwise your complaint means nothing.

-- Jim Huber

Centerville

Move to Macon?

I wonder what Geraldine Parker’s agenda is, besides complaining about being caught on camera, a police camera at that. I am just so sorry that her privacy was invaded or destroyed, whatever it was she was moaning about.

My reply to her: If you don’t like it, campaign against the City Council using money for projects you disagree with. Failing that, try to get a plebiscite, that may help. Failing that, run for and get elected to council or move to Macon and give us a break from constant whining and misleading letters to the editor.

-- Michael Collin

Centerville

Character issue

In his post, “Board blues” (Viewpoints 2/9/) Joe Hubbard relates his growing frustration with the Bibb school board. Specifically, he calls out Wanda West and Lester Miller along with current interim Superintendant Kelley Castlin-Gacutan, though the latter not by name. After his usual ramblings, Hubbard closes by writing “Folks, this is only a character issue ...” Only a “character issue,” Joe?

Norman Schwarzkopf, “Stormin’ Norman,” a proven leader, once offered “leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without strategy.”

The letter accompanied a companion piece from Charles McGhee citing the poor response to recent community forums addressing education, school safety and bullying as opposed to an SRO crowd witnessing a National Signing Day event. McGhee reveals a keen perception of the difficulty of addressing educational outcomes, school violence and astounding failure rates where the priorities of the community are so seriously misplaced. Another Schwarzkopf quote comes to mind, “The truth of the matter is that you always know the ‘right’ thing to do. The hard part is doing it.”

On any issue, individually or communitywide, character will always determine the outcome. A “character issue,” Joe? Absolutely. But “only” does not apply.

-- Bob Carnot

Warner Robins

Omission

This is my first letter to the editor and way overdue. I am by no means putting blame on The Telegraph; it was very meaningful to list the deceased members of 2014. If I was in charge, I could have easily omitted someone. One person omitted was Roy Cowart. It is my desire to mention Roy at this time.

1. He served during Korean War with Naval Intelligence.

2. Graduate of Mercer law school.

3. One of first attorneys in this area, he joined the firm of Nunn, Hulbert, Buice and Cowart.

4. He practiced law for 53 years.

5. President of Warner Robins Chamber of Commerce.

6. Originated WRING, which was implemented to bring industries to our area.

7. He was instrumental in the first fund-raising drives for Saint Jude Hospital

Thank you for allowing me to bring to the attention my dear friend and attorney from 1964 until 2013.

-- Barbara Shaheen

Warner Robins

Mumbo jumbo

Geraldine Parker’s hysterical Monday letter on the imaginary violation of her Fourth Amendment rights in Centerville is more comical than fact based. The fact that her local government is investing in new equipment for her police force to make its members more efficient in catching the bad guys is to be commended.

She failed to list a single event or invalid purchase by her City Council that had actually violated the Fourth Amendment rights of any of her fellow citizens. If you are not guilty of breaking the law or a criminal, why get all excited about your police just doing their jobs more efficiently?

If the residents of Centerville thought that their City Council members were not doing their jobs, they would either vote them out or attend their council meetings based on actual violations of the rights of her fellow citizens, not all these scare tactics that have yet to happen.

Parker sounds like a Luddite who is against all new technology aimed at improving the efficiency of her city government. Plus, she doesn’t want to have her modest taxes pay for all this. This all sounds like tea party mumbo jumbo.

-- Frank W. Gadbois

Warner Robins

Home valuation

When anybody dares question the true value of real estate, there are common features that solve the pricing question. Location, brick or wood structure, quality in and out, land area and amenities. Two 4,000-square-foot homes can vary widely in price in most towns.

The recent Zillow article (many MLS members are also Zillow-connected) wanted to look at values verses Realtor values. Recently, I was called upon to offer an opinion on a home’s value (not knowing he had already listed it). The location was superb and the brick structure showed extremely good taste. The huge columns accentuated the majestic grounds. It was fenced and cross fenced. The pool area was uniquely fenced and the pool was of top quality. The three two-car garages made the estate evens more valuable. There were multiple fireplaces and ample room for a growing family. The secondary buildings significantly enhanced the value too. Although the exterior had been freshly painted, the inside needed updating.

I took all of the data and arrived at a reasonable asking price, but I had wished I had not. Keep in mind I knew the area extremely well. My valuation was hundreds of thousands more than he sold for.

My understanding was that Zillow had priced it near the tax office appraisal. I confirmed that and I was not amused given the high value of my home. The pathetic conditions of our streets, like our assessments, need grave attention.

-- Joe Hubbard

Macon

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