Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Sunday, July 26, 2015

Slipped one in

Ed Tucker in charge of the police department? And his qualifications are? Just makes one wonder if that choice was as well thought out as the $95,000 contract to tear down the old police department building. The city of Centerville surely has someone fully qualified for the job. I am very sure that Tucker is an honorable man, but how much police work has he done? How many endless nights on patrol has he done? How many times has he been fired on or how many chases has he had to do? How many punks did he have to wrestle to the ground? How many times has he directed traffic?

On the surface it sounds really odd to make a junior high school history teacher in charge of the police department. I believe the citizens of Centerville should have an explanation. How many others were considered? The lieutenant mentioned would have been a better choice. City Council seems rather adept at sliding things in on us. This, though, is kind of hard to swallow.

-- Michael Collins


Misguided message

North Macon Church of Christ loves to use its billboard for community messaging. Sometimes their missives are witty or thought-provoking, but often I find them obnoxious or divisive, and it makes me want to drive my car into their marquee. This was the case as I drove in from out of town on July 4. “Will God reward a nation that mostly worships Satan?” Really? This is their message to their brethren and community on our nation’s birthday? Shame on them. How macabre. How priggish. I’d like to suggest that in the future they save the sanctimony for their congregation. If they want to use the signage for community outreach, keep the message upbeat and lighthearted. Apparently someone else felt similarly because driving by later that day, I noticed the word “Satan” had been mischievously changed to “Santa” -- I laughed and I laughed. It was changed back by the time for Sunday service, but the joke and the point were made. I’m sure God got both as well.

-- Laura Shaker Roddenberry


No comparison

Where to begin, or is it even worth beginning at all to address such a mishmash of misinformation Gary Chamberlain has penned for this page?

Henry Wirz was a war criminal and deserved to be hanged. Yes, there were other Confederates who also deserved to be hanged for war crimes but weren’t, and someone lied during his trial, but he would have been convicted anyway. Wirz’s attempts late in the war to reinstate prisoner exchanges was not humanitarian, but practical. Exchanges were a much bigger benefit to rebels than Yankees and by that time Wirz didn’t need a crystal ball to know the war was lost and that outraged Americans would demand he be tried for war crimes.

No, Yankee prison of war camps were not even close to being the hell hole that Andersonville was. As a matter of fact, as more and more Yankees learned of the conditions at Andersonville they demanded that conditions in their prisons for rebels be downgraded. Some even suggested that they should make their prisons reproduce the conditions at Andersonville, but that never happened, and while some camps, because of Andersonville, were less than they should have been, they never even came close to the horrors of Andersonville.

Chamberlain uses Fort Delaware as an example of the awful conditions in Yankee POW camps, but conveniently ignores the fact that it got its name, “Death Pen,” from a smallpox epidemic in 1863 that also killed over 100 Yankees and 40 or so civilians trying to save the lives of prisoners. Even counting that deadly epidemic, the death rate was only about 7 percent. That’s less than half the mortality rate from disease of rebels in their own army camps. Yes, some rebel officers complained about the hardtack being hard, but they were well-fed, slept in comfortable bunks, had fresh water brought in from 10 miles away. Officers were often allowed to leave the prison and roam the island and mix with civilians who often invited them to dinner.

It would take up too much space here to take each prison mentioned by Chamberlain and point out how none of them came close to being as bad as Andersonville, but just as I’ve done for Fort Delaware, I could do for those, too.

It is especially ironic when Confederate revisionists whine about the exchange of prisoners ending in 1863. From the very beginning of the war politicians and generals in the North called for it to stop because the advantage to the manpower and how short the South was on manpower was obvious to everyone.

There were also calls for it to stop because of rebel soldiers violating their paroles. For humanitarian reasons, the North continued the exchanges. The exchange stopped when the South refused to treat black Union soldiers as soldiers.

The hackneyed statement about history being written by the victors is not true for the American Civil War. Gen. Robert E. Lee, a traitor, an oath breaker, a man responsible for the deaths of thousands of United States soldiers, a fair to good, but not great general, is revered in both the North and South today as a great man and America’s best general. A war that was fought for the preservation and expansion of slavery is glorified as the Lost Cause.

No matter how much Dwight Poole, Chamberlain and their ilk want to change history, they can’t. Andersonville was a hell hole that had no counterpart in the North.

-- Jim Sandefur


The problem

The NAACP is calling the destruction of Wal-Mart property on Zebulon Road a prank. Time for the big guns at the NAACP to bus people in from out of town to form a protest group. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, David and Elaine Lucas and of course leading the protest march will be C. Jack Ellis. Please do not forget to call the FBI so that they can make sure the sheriff’s office is not violating anyone’s civil rights.

This was not a prank. It was a deliberate destruction of property and everyone involved should be charged with destruction of public property. Watching the tape reminded me of how it looks on Black Friday sales day, people going wild.

If the NAACP wants justice for those involved, then don’t make this a racial issue. That’s not the problem. Parents not knowing where there child is at 2 a.m. in the morning. That’s the problem.

-- Rita A. Keller


Ban robocalls

I’m fed up with automated calls that interrupt my time at home with family and friends. Many of these calls are from people like “Rachel from Card Services” who try to pry my money or personal information from me. We registered our phone number on the “Do Not Call” list like many of you. It’s obvious this is not working. Last year the Federal Trade Commission collected over three million complaints about unwanted calls. Federal regulators have urged the phone companies to offer us tools to block robocalls. But, the phone companies aren’t making these tools available to us. It is time for the phone companies to offer us the relief that we want.

-- Don McGouirk


Red lines

Apparently, our two foreign policy geniuses, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have finally closed a deal with the Iranian Mullocracy, to ensure the Iranian nuclear program is successful so they can rule the Middle East as they choose. Success to Iran is, as demonstrated last week at massive Israeli/USA flag burnings “Death to Israel and the USA.” Success to “Choom Gang” Obama and Genghis Kerry is a signature -- anybody’s signature -- on any deal, no matter how bad, so Obama can proclaim he has “saved the world” in his most fanatical utopian dream. No matter the likely fatal consequences (which will surely come to pass in a future administration), Obama will have validated his Nobel Peace Prize while Kerry foolishly believes his signature will assure him a Nobel prize also.

Obama/Kerry caved on at least six “red lines” (inspections, discovery of past activities, etc.) to get this deal, which gives me an idea. It costs taxpayers about $680,000 and tons of CO² emissions each time Obama fires up Air Force One to go politicizing somewhere. I can fix that. All we have to do is paint a red line around the White House, and this turkey will be unable to exit the premises. He cannot cross a red line. Done deal.

-- John Brogden

Warner Robins