Letters to the editor: Oct. 14, 2009

Here are letters to the editor for Daily News editions of Oct. 14, 2009:

I had called her ‘Mom’

Editor, Daily News:

It wasn’t until I saw the photograph (at left) in the Daily News that I realized who she was and my relationship to her.

I’ve lived in Naples for nine years and do most of my grocery shopping at the Publix in Naples Walk.

Some time ago I struck up a conversation with one of the employees, a stock clerk who always was pleasant indeed. She seemed happy and frequently was pregnant.

Because of the latter I took to calling her “Mom” and I’d ask her how many more months or what number this child would make.

She laughed easily about her condition and the growing number of children. I laughed with her.

When I visited the store and we spotted one another we always spoke. Sometimes it was a simple, “How are you doing?” Other times, if I needed directions for finding something, she wouldn’t just tell me where to find it but would lead me specifically to where the product was located.

As the school year was about to begin or end, we’d have longer conversations. I’d recall something about my children, now adults, and their school days or their summertimes, and she’d tell me about her children’s. And she’d laugh. She always laughed.

Once I asked Guerline, a Haitian, how to pronounce her name as I tried to say it while studying her name tag. “No,” she said. “Just call me Mom. That’s who I am.”

She had five children. The youngest 19 months, the oldest, nine years.

A few weeks ago, someone killed them all, the children and her, by slitting their throats. Guerline’s husband is now charged with those crimes and in jail.

The family, the Naples community and Haitians across Florida are all having a challenge in dealing with the horrific event.

I’m certain that many others — who, like me, only knew this mother in her professional role — are too.

— David S. Campbell


* * *

Letter of the Day: Root for the home team

Editor, Daily News:

I see that another government agency (NASA) has so much money to burn that it sent up a $79 million rocket to blast the surface of the moon to prove or disprove the theory of water there.

Wish they would have used my $4 portion of the deal to save this planet instead.

— Jerry Rodeheaver


Only one word for it

Editor, Daily News:

Let me define corruption as greedy, immoral behavior.

What caused the following? The fall of the Roman Empire. The reformation of the Roman Catholic Church. The Holocaust. The fall of the communist Soviet Union. The housing bubble. The fall of Lehman Brothers and the current financial crisis. Corruption.

Corruption is an essential ingredient of history and of governing bodies everywhere. Our founders recognized this and purposefully created checks and balances, limited federal government and narrowly focused rights in our Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

But now our elected officials ignore the founding documents, create huge debt and are expanding government by socializing medicine and industries alike. This when unemployment is nearing 10 percent, with no end in sight, and when taxes need to be cut to energize small businesses which are the engine of job growth.

Congress refuses to give up its special, excellent health care, but is considering saddling you with an inferior system. Why? Corruption.

Every doctor I’ve talked to has said trial lawyers increase medical costs by 30 percent to 40 percent via defensive medicine. They all pay exorbitant insurance costs and have added staff to handle it all. Why don’t our officials attack that? Corruption.

There is good news and a major difference between now and the times of the Roman Empire, the Reformation, the Holocaust, etc. You have a vote. You can communicate with your officials in Washington. Tell them if they sign on to insane legislation, you will vote against them in the next election.

I pray you will do this and help save our crumbling country.

— Font Kremer



Editor, Daily News:

For the second time in three years, the University of Michigan football team has a 3,000-student school on its schedule. In this case, it is Delaware State.

Nothing like padding out your schedule with a patsy.

To be fair, it is the small schools that seek out these matchups. It’s a big payday and national exposure. But that does not make it right. This season, the University of Florida, a supposed national championship contender, opened with two 7,000-student schools.

The thing is, both Michigan and Florida are schools with near 35,000 enrollments, and lots of moola for scholarships.

Still, you can also risk big-time embarrassment with these cupcake matchups, as Michigan did three years ago when Appalachian State, with a 7,000-student enrollment, came into Ann Arbor and laid low the Maize and Blue.

Where is the value in all of this?

— Phillip M. Donovan


Un-American, no?

Editor, Daily News:

Where are all the smart conservatives?

Congratulations, a new health-care/insurance system is coming to America. In spite of the stalling, half-truths and outright lies from the party of no, all Americans will soon be able to get effective, affordable health insurance.

The loonies of the left have been jamming the airwaves with desperate efforts to prevent this, but Americans know what they need.

Congressman Alan Grayson of Orlando did much to bring this about by accurately describing the health plan of the party of no: “If you do get sick, die quickly.” Of course, his comments created mindless mendacity within the “no-ists” and they threatened a congressional slap against Grayson unless he apologized.

With the strength of truth, he apologized to the thousands of Americans who died or suffered bankruptcy because of the dithering of the “no-ists.” They have not responded.

Others have pointed out that the “no-ist’s” goal is to embarrass our president and work hard to cause his efforts on behalf of our nation to fail regardless of how they harm America. We all know many examples of this slimy, tea-partying, un-American stuff.

Witness: the stimulus, Olympics and influenza shots, and soon the Nobel Prize and Afghanistan.

Recently there is news of a possible public option, one that allows the home states of the “no-ists” to opt out. Betcha they make a lot of noise and opt in?

Are there any smart conservatives left?

— Leonard Lash

Bonita Springs

Unfair, unaffordable

Editor, Daily News:

President Barack Obama has repeatedly promised that Americans wouldn’t see a tax increase if they make less than $250,000; and if they like their health insurance, they can keep it.

It seems now that the president has no intention of keeping those promises. The health-care legislation which he supports would impose a significant tax hike on individuals making more than $85,000. Additionally, for senior citizens, Medicare will face more than $400 billion in lost benefits.

It seems that taxpayers and seniors now face new promises from Obama: higher taxes on the middle class and increased cost, reduced access, watered-down quality and rationed care for patients.

Finally, more than 182 members of Congress support a three-day waiting period on health-care legislation so that the Congressional Budget Office can estimate its cost, and so Congress and the American public can read the final legislation.

With health-care legislation frequently longer than Tolstoy’s “War and Peace,” a three-day waiting period so that legislators can read it seems like a good idea — particularly so when taxpayers will be asked to pay $800 billion or more. Amazingly, several congressional leaders think otherwise.

This is irresponsible governing, and it certainly fails Obama’s campaign promise of legislative transparency.

Government-run health care isn’t right, and it isn’t fair.

As taxpayers and patients, we simply can’t afford government-run health care.

— Ron Mason


Roll with it

Editor, Daily News:

We’re back in town!

What’s not to like about the new format? All of the essentials — puzzles, bridge column, comics, Dear Abby, Dr. Gott, TV listings, weather forecasts — are conveniently included in one section.

As for all the other stuff, who cares?

Seriously, the geriatric generation doesn’t like change, but as long as you didn’t mess up the “important” stuff, we’ll survive.

It’s probably good for us to have our marbles rattled from time to time.

— Jane M. Scanlon

Marco Island

Let’s just say we won

Editor, Daily News:

It seems that we may soon have another member in the nuclear club.

Of course, I am talking about Iran. To date, we have Great Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, Russia, United States and North Korea. Israel is listed as an unacknowledged nuclear player.

It scares the heck out of me.

The U.S. is the first and only club player to drop filthy bombs on people. It was August 1945 when we blew the hell out of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We even named our bombs: Little Boy was the first. It detonated over the Hiroshima Clinic. Ninety percent of the doctors and 93 percent of the nurses in Hiroshima were killed or injured in the blink of an eye.

We did not even warn the people of Hiroshima. Our military wiped out innocent men, women and children, and the lingering effects of radiation sickness kept killing for decades.

After we dropped Little Boy over Hiroshima Clinic, former President Harry Truman announced: “If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin, the likes of which has never been seen on this Earth.”

Truman wasn’t kidding. We dropped Fat Man over Nagasaki and we had seven more bombs in the works.

I know, I’ve heard the excuses many times. We saved a million American lives. They attacked Pearl Harbor. I say, how dare we stoop to such dirty play.

Besides playing the nuclear card, we have become the world police. We are the big bully on the playground. Well, the bully has a target on his back that won’t go away. Yes, a lot of terrorists, and even countries, want to take us out by any means.

The longer we stay in Iraq and Afghanistan, the bigger the target gets.

Let’s back out now, throw a parade in New York, and say we won.

— Stephen R. McLean


Blog post is absurd

Editor, Daily News:

I don’t know who Jim Finnegan is — nor do I really care.

Nevertheless, his polemic at www.naplesnews.com/blogs/finnegan-traditional-values/2009/oct/11/badczar/ is inaccurate, irresponsible and irreconcilable.

When one describes a gay man as the “fox in the hen house,” that is a deliberate effort to foster the ugliest of homophobic slurs: that gay men are out to recruit and molest children. It is the equivalent of portraying black men as lusting for white women.

Finnegan even goes on to make this claim explicitly: “I have been astounded with the boldness and audacity of the homosexual activists in keeping their promise, ‘we will get your children,’ meaning they will accept, and sometimes participation (sic) in our chosen lifestyle.”

The published and peer-reviewed research on this issue concludes that gays are less likely to be child molesters than straight men. The FBI concurs.

Or, does Finnegan think that sexual orientation is transmitted by an airborne contagion?

I’ll quote from that great left-wing liberal thinker, former President Ronald Reagan: “Whatever else it is, homosexuality is not a contagious disease like measles. Prevailing scientific opinion is that an individual’s sexuality is determined at a very early age and that a child’s teachers do not really influence this.”

Shame on you for allowing such hateful drivel in his blog.

Furthermore, you should at least fact-check what you post (there are numerous errors). This piece wasn’t even spell-checked.

— David Hart

New York

Let there be peace

Editor, Daily News:

My country will never “win” the ongoing military occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our military adventure in Iraq was a fiasco from the beginning, succeeding only in making former President George W. Bush a “war” president — something his psyche wanted desperately — and enriching America’s war machine handsomely.

America’s adventure in Afghanistan was doomed from the beginning. The Soviets spent most of the 1980s depleting their treasury with 160,000 troops in that primitive country. (We were on Osama bin Laden’s side for that fiasco.)

President Barack Obama, if you would like to become the first statesman America has produced since George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, bring our girls and boys home post haste from Iraq and Afghanistan.

You are the only one in America who can do that, right now.

— Virgil Salmon


How to do it better

Editor, Daily News:

Letter-writer Steve Ritter has it right!

I thought the traffic-camera system was to prevent oncoming traffic red-light runners and left-turn red-light violators so I supported them.

However, I also thought we would own the system and the revenues would be ours and under the jurisdiction of our traffic courts. That is how most cities operate.

The cameras should be concealed behind the traffic signal so that you cannot avoid detection by using a non-camera monitored lane. Fatal crashes or casualties to pedestrians in right-hand lanes are very rare compared to the hazards of oncoming traffic and red-light-left-turn runners.

It’s not too late to correct this situation.

— Fritzi Thorner


Stop means stop

Editor, Daily News:

I have been following all this hoopla about red-light cameras. I feel compelled to throw in my meager opinion.

If a person is driving 60 mph in a 45-mph zone, most people would agree that the driver needs a ticket. If a driver rolls through a stop sign, a ticket should be issued. Now many people feel if you text and drive, yes, a ticket.

Then how can anyone feel running a red light, straight through, right turn or upside down is OK? Why is it OK to break the law? Better yet, break your bad habits!

All accidents can be prevented; all are caused by aggression, distraction, speeding or feeling of self-importance. I think there is a lot of the latter in Naples.

— Larry Shobe


Believe it or not

Editor, Daily News:

No doubt you have received many letters gleefully saying President Barack Obama did not “deserve” the Nobel Peace Prize.

I agree, and I’m sure he feels the same way. Let’s call it like it is. He got the Nobel Prize for not being former President George W. Bush. Europeans could not vote in our election. It was their chance to say: We really do love you, America; we respect your leadership, but please, don’t ever do that to us (and the world) again.

Let’s hope we’ve learned that lesson.

— Bob Furey


His presidency is no prize

Editor, Daily News:

I always perceived the Nobel Prizes to be prestigious awards bestowed upon those who have made some significant contribution to a particular field of endeavor.

Now I consider it simply a trinket to give the country of Norway some legitimacy. Because, let’s face it, except for the prize, Norway hasn’t had any claim to fame since Eric the Red and the Norsemen.

Could anyone out there tell me what effect President Barack Obama has had on world peace, peace in our own country or even peace in his war-torn city of Chicago? How could he possibly have been nominated after only 12 days in office, particularly since he’s spent all his time since his inauguration campaigning for the next election cycle, bowing and apologizing to foreign leaders for “America’s arrogance,” lobbying for the Olympics and trying to break Regis Philbin’s record for television appearances?

He makes every program on his agenda an emergency measure requiring immediate passage. But while our fighting kids are dying every day in Afghanistan, he ponders for weeks, whether or not to send more troops, even as his own hand-picked general on the ground says, without reinforcements, we will lose. I believe most of us now realize his agenda is to radically change America in ways we never imagined.

Thank God he’s going to be a one-term president. Still, I worry about how far he can pull America down in that one term.

— Al Whiffen


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