Letters to the editor: Oct. 16, 2009

Here are letters to the editor from Daily News editions of Oct. 16, 2009:

Letter of the Day: America at a crossroads

Editor, Daily News:

In his poem “Patriotism,” Sir Walter Scott wrote: “Breathes there the man with soul so dead, who never to himself hath said, ‘This is my own, my native land.’”

These words ring true today as Americans are faced with circumstances that will alter our country beyond recognition.

The shame of it is that so many who have so much to be thankful for — many of whom have benefitted from the greatness of our country — are effectively contributing to its demise.

Sound policies which have withstood the calamities of previous economic hard times are ignored, and our elected representatives are hell-bent to impose seemingly irrational proportions of debt on generations yet to be born.

We hem and haw about proper action to take in fighting a war in Afghanistan, while the morale of our troops suffers due to the inability of leaders to make a decision. We apologize to the world for “past transgressions” and minimize our contributions of blood and treasure over the course of history.

Those who represent us in Washington continue to do whatever pleases them, ignoring the multitudes of taxpayers who do not like where we are heading. There is an overwhelming sense that Washington thinks it knows what is good for us more than we know for ourselves. This is leading to what many call a “nanny state.”

At this time in our history, we need a few patriots in Congress who will seek to ensure the good of our country rather than the success of their political party.

— Samuel Person

Fort Myers

Safety made him so mad

Editor, Daily News:

My husband and I were at Davis Boulevard and Airport-Pulling Road in Naples the other evening in the process of executing a left-hand turn on a green arrow.

A Collier County sheriff’s deputy turned his lights and sirens on across the intersection; my husband ceased his turn and backed as far back into the intersection out of the way as possible — about one tire beyond the stopping line. It was a perfectly safe situation for all and seemingly normal good driving all around.

Now for the bad thing that happened: At the left-turn light for the cars turning from Davis onto Airport heading north, we were “greeted” by a jeering, loud, vulgar-mouthed man, with his window rolled down, cursing about where my husband had stopped as he turned in front of us.

To this person in the red car: Shame on you! You need to know your cursing was neither appreciated nor warranted.

If you have so little patience for law enforcement on an emergency call, or a fellow driver heeding sirens and lights, park your car, take a bus and chill out!

— Phyllis McCommon

Naples

Calling out Cal

Editor, Daily News:

While not always in tune with columnist Cal Thomas’ philosophy, I have until now been an admirer of his journalistic capabilities.

Apparently, Thomas has forgotten who he is or thinks he is someone that he is not. While quoting biblical passages, which he claims support his view of war and death, he feels compelled to insult a man of peace, the Dalai Lama, by calling him a “pseudo-deity.”

How dare you assume that people who pursue peace through rational discourse and love are “wimps.” I must assume that Thomas is a Christian, based upon his many biblical references and written admiration for Christian leaders and principles.

Perhaps he should more carefully consider the principle of Jesus the Christ and what he believed about peace, love and the interaction of people. Ask yourself, Mr. Thomas, the question, what would Jesus do?

I, for one, seriously doubt that answer would be to bomb them back to the Stone Age.

— Phil Stang

Naples

‘An image of thievery’

Editor, Daily News:

I am writing to express, in print, my discontent about the new intersection cameras.

As a citizen of Collier County, I feel it is an abuse of the statutes that govern the rules of the road. It appears to me more of an attempt to gain revenue than truly a concern for safety on the roads.

There is a lack of human input in the issuance of the ticket. This is a program that is too harsh and projects an image of thievery by the county.

This should not be the impression one has of Collier County, especially now with winter season coming. Short-term thinking may provoke long-term losses.

It is enough to abuse the Collier County residents, but winter visitors will vote with their feet and will take their resources with them. You can bet on it.

Commissioners ought to reconsider the continued use of these cameras.

— Thomas J. Purcell, M.D.

Naples

Matters of life and death

Editor, Daily News:

Guerline Dieu Damas announced she was leaving, sending her abuser into a controlled rage that still affects our community today.

As evidenced by Mesac Damas’ own statements, as noted in the Daily News, he wasn’t immediately violent after hearing Guerline was planning to leave him.

He went to work, did his job, came home and is charged with doing what batterers do: releasing his brutality on his victims — his wife and five children.

Intimate partner violence is not an anger-management issue; it’s a cycle of abuse — learned and dangerous. It is power and control.

At the Shelter for Abused Women & Children, we deal with family violence daily. We know that 40 million women, 2.1 million elders and 1 million men are abused annually in the United States. We know that 10 million children witness this violence.

We know abuse is never the victim’s fault. We understand that leaving isn’t as simple as walking out the door. We know that the most dangerous time for any victim is when she announces she’s leaving or has left.

We know the importance of safety planning and linking victims into life-transforming programs and services, including collaborations with local law enforcement and other social services.

Our 60-bed emergency shelter and confidential crisis line are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If you or someone you love is in an abusive relationship, please call (239) 775-1101; visit www.naplesshelter.org or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-7233

— Linda Oberhaus

Executive director,

Shelter for Abused Women & Children

Move quickly

Editor, Daily News:

Re: B.D. Douglas’ letter published Tuesday.

The Turtle Club, one of Naples’ best restaurants, is locally owned and provides great dining in a wonderful atmosphere with excellent service. The lunches and dinners are fresh, innovative and just what is needed from a waterfront restaurant in Naples.

Most waterfront restaurants give you a view and little more. The Turtle Club couples the view of Vanderbilt Beach with great food!

I would urge residents both local and seasonal to try this gem — even if it means having to wait for a table!

— Michael Cibelli

Naples

Fins to the left ...

Editor, Daily News:

One of the greatest assets any country can have (at least a democratic one) is an informed citizenry.

In my daily reading of the letters section in the Daily News, it is quite obvious that many, if not all, persons of a liberal/progressive bent are totally misinformed as to what is being done to our country by the present administration.

With many references in these letters (all negative) to Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, et al., I suspect the reason for the misinformation is that the writers get their perspective through the mainstream media.

I have heard and seen President Barack Obama lie time and time again about his beliefs and policies. He has surrounded himself with a coterie of far-left and Marxist ideologues and has been a constant companion of these enemies of our republic his whole life. I must thus assume that he is one of them.

So, do you have the courage to watch and listen to those who are trying to wake us up as to the dangers we face from the left? Watch Fox News (especially Glenn Beck’s program) for a week or so, and you may finally realize the totally corrupt and nefarious nature of those now controlling the government.

If you do this, I think that you will be totally flabbergasted and frightened at what you see!

Any threat to America comes from the left, not the likes of the tea-party people.

— David Capitanio

Bonita Springs

From bad to worse

Editor, Daily News:

The new rules of engagement that the current administration has decreed is getting our soldiers killed in Afghanistan and all over the world, as these rules state that our troops break off combat when civilians appear on the scene.

Needless to say, the terrorists have learned about this new “weapon” they now have and are using it in their attacks on our troops. All they have to do now is bring civilians in after their attack and they can escape unharmed.

It is bad enough that this socialist administration is bringing down all semblance of the free market, which has now made our country the butt of jokes among Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Now, they are putting our brave men and women of our military in harm’s way by preventing them from attacking and killing their enemies.

When President Barack Obama got elected, I thought we were going to be in for serious problems, but I never saw this coming. This guy is all anti-American, and we need to get rid of him and his cronies when the next election allows us to do so.

— Manny Miyar

Naples

Great, but maybe too fast?

Editor, Daily News:

The way this crazy world is going, I am happy to write and tell you that the bright spot of my day is having my coffee in my lanai in the Vineyards every day and reading your tabloid.

You have done a great job in revamping the paper, with the exception of the Southwest Florida police report, which starts too soon on Page 4A, not permitting me to digest my bacon and eggs. Would it be possible to inform me of the druggies and thugs later, say perhaps after I have had my breakfast a few pages later?

More important, I must congratulate Cal Thomas for his wonderful, straightforward views on anything he writes. I can’t wait to read his fair and unbiased commentaries. He is a credit to your paper.

Keep up the good work.

— Norman Malamud

Naples

Going too far

Editor, Daily News:

The editors of the Daily News encourage us to comment on what we like or dislike about the paper.

So, folks, fasten your seat belts: I have a doozy that won’t sit well with religious people.

One of my objections to this newspaper is the fact that too much religious propaganda is printed on the front page. Take for instance the story “Fields of Faith” featured prominently on the front page of Wednesday’s edition.

I believe that religious stories belong in either the Community or Neapolitan sections. I think it’s disturbing in this age of enlightenment that religious superstitions are considered the top stories of the day. It proves that people are still irrational about accepting religion instead of science and reason.

Young people need a strong moral ethic brought about through humanistic values that have been fine-tuned through the ages. Young people should be taught that a moral and ethical life can be attained without believing in a mythical god and savior.

They should be taught that doing good has its own rewards. Being good makes this a better world for all. We don’t need to believe in an unproven god or messiah or other superstitions.

On the front page of the Oct. 5 edition, there was an article about an anti-abortion rally. A picture was shown of an Ave Maria resident praying the rosary.

There have been stories about clergy blessing animals, Jews engaging in centuries -ld rituals, and on and on ad nauseam.

— Eddie Filer

Naples

Bless them

Editor, Daily News:

Last Sunday I accompanied my lady friend to a church service in Cambier Park.

I am of the Jewish faith but went along — yes, to please her, but also to get some spiritual input, and I did.

It was truly an uplifting experience: good music and a sermon from a pastor who not only had a terrific message, but who also could do stand-up comedy professionally if he chose to.

The several hundred in attendance were as behaved as if they were indoors at a church and all my experiences there were friendly and positive.

After his sermon the pastor spoke of a City Council meeting on Nov. 4 to discuss whether the church’s permit for Sunday services would be renewed. Apparently some, whom he did not identify, want it canceled.

Why? It does not disturb anyone in the area, which is not residential. It only lasts one hour. The area is completely cleaned up afterward.

Who could object? Let me guess: An atheist group thinks that holding a church service on city-owned property violates the constitutional separation of church and state? Nonsense. The Constitution does not say anything that would prevent this type of gathering; it’s just these organizations showing their total disregard for organized religion.

I am one who is hoping the city will see the positives in this and not be swayed by a vocal minority.

Contact council members and let them know you want the church in the park to continue its Sunday services.

— Leonard Becker

Naples and New York City

Watch, then sign up

Editor, Daily News:

During the week of Oct. 19-24, all four major television networks have committed to highlighting volunteer service in their programming as a part of the “I Participate” initiative.

The initiative, launched by ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, will shine a spotlight on the power of service in more than 60 top-rated shows.

Amazing stories of service are happening in Collier County every day. Local volunteers may not see their stories on national TV, but every Collier County resident witnesses the effects of their work across our region.

Volunteers offer their time and resources daily to tackle the tough challenges facing our community, from education to homelessness.

But more “boots” are needed on the ground throughout Florida. I challenge every Collier County resident to get involved with volunteer service. Get active in local service projects and initiatives and earn the privilege of being called a “service hero.”

To find opportunities for meaningful volunteer work in Collier County, please contact the nonprofit, faith or community-based organization of your choice and offer your services. You may also call Volunteer Collier at (239) 250-5000 (www.volunteercollier.org).

Volunteer connector organizations like Volunteer Collier are experts at matching potential volunteers with opportunities to serve. Today, you are needed more than ever before, and I hope you will take advantage of your next opportunity to feel the satisfaction and pride that comes along with service to others.

There’s no better time than now to put your passion into action, and make Collier County, our state and our country a better place to live.

— Maureen Sullivan-Hartung

Naples

Member, Governor’s Commission

on Volunteerism and Community Service

Secretary, Volunteer Collier

And now the ‘T-issue’ party

Editor, Daily News:

With all the problems facing our nation today, unbeknownst to anyone is the latest tragedy that has occurred to our economy and well-being.

I’m talking about toilet tissue.

For years the width of each roll has been 41⁄2 inches. But, stealthily, in the middle of the night, some manufacturers have reduced the width to 4 inches.

Concerned Americans should form a “T-issue” party and march to their headquarters to voice our objections to this blatant action. Three-ply is wonderful, but give us back our half inch!

Please join me in this protest!

— Russ Anderhalt

Naples

Really so Fox-y?

Editor, Daily News:

For national television news, I watch CNN, Fox News, NBC and CBS.

I’ve been amused by the repeated outrage of Fox News’ anchors and contributors over President Barack Obama’s apparent refusal, at least in the short term, to be an active participant on Fox News.

He has mentioned that Fox News regularly campaigns to discredit him and his administration. I watch Fox News regularly and there is no doubt that this is true.

I began to doubt the veracity of Fox News when its correspondents repeatedly broadcast the infamous video of Michelle Obama saying “really proud of my country,” but with the word “really” blanked out. The viewer could see Michelle’s lips mouthing the word “really,” but there was no sound coming forth during that half-second.

The omitted word completely changed the intention of the speaker and the meaning of the sentence. CNN broadcast the video with the soundtrack intact.

I still watch Fox News along with the other networks mentioned above. But with Fox News I’ve observed a bit of a pattern of dishonesty and that really bothers me.

— Howard N. Clark

Naples

Now and then

Editor, Daily News:

I see that the Navy is going to assign female sailors to nuclear submarines starting in 2011.

I guess today’s subs are clean and roomy and aren’t the smelly diesel boats of the 1940s and ’50s that I served on.

Maybe the lady sailors will use a lot of perfume when there are water shortages.

The wives at home are going to have some new competition soon, and that may not make for happy marriages. Wonder if the ratio of men to women will be 50-50?

Darn it; I’m too old to join up again.

— Bill McGrath

Naples

A class by himself

Editor, Daily News:

Brent Batten deserves to be commended for his excellent column published on Sunday (“A little money goes a long way’’).

He did an excellent job exposing what appears to be a scam by a Miami businessman involving federal stimulus money and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Section 8 housing program for low-income people.

Move Batten to the head of the list of investigative reporters!

Unfortunately, he appears to be the only Daily News reporter on that list!

— Diane Corcelli

Bonita Springs

Missed opportunity

Editor, Daily News:

The Republicans are not learning from their mistakes regarding President Barack Obama.

You cannot win by criticizing him, because he has almost all the major newspapers, the three major TV networks, and the two badly lagging cable networks jumping to his defense.

So, instead of demeaning his receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, they needed to take a different approach.

First, the Nobel Peace Price is mostly a worthless award, except for the $1.5 million that goes with it. Credit to Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal for the following names of past winners:

Bertha von Suttner, Henri La Fontaine, Ludwig Quidde, Norman Angell, Arthur Henderson, Eisaku Sato, Alva Myrdal and Joseph Rotblat. Who are these people?

In addition to these past winners, who have disappeared into obscurity, let us not forget other winners such as Le Duc Tho, Yasser Arafat, Al Gore and the ever-estimable former President Jimmy Carter.

So, instead of criticizing the Nobel committee’s choice of Barack Obama, the Republicans should have applauded it by linking him to the above former stellar recipients.

Hopefully, he will either be as obscure as those mentioned in The Wall Street Journal or be forever linked to Al Gore and Jimmy Carter (who he most resembles as president).

— Lou Cohn

Naples and New York City

He writes and rocks

Editor, Daily News:

Always skillfully articulate in sharing his dead-on insights in these pages, Andrew Joppa has recently been the target of desperate letters from our local, emotionally charged, lefty wing-nut crowd.

Such definitive, stark contrasts for all of us who cherish conservative values to savor.

Rock on, Andrew.

— Larry Meholick

Naples

What are we waiting for?

Editor, Daily News:

As we drive down the streets of Naples, we all can’t help but notice the medians, the beautiful expensive palms, flowers and overall landscaping that makes Naples unique — meaning no other town looks like this.

However, as we look to the left and admire the beauty, look to the right and look at the people waiting for the “public” transportation, if that’s what you want to call it.

Anyway, as I’m driving I see the old, the young, the people with kids who can’t afford to drive and have to get places, standing in this oppressive heat and rain. Would it hurt Naples to give them a proper bus stop? I mean, it’s shoddy at best: very few benches, the only shelters are at the courthouse, and most people waiting for the bus are hiding under bushes and trees as they wait.

My suggestion: take a quarter of the budget for median work and invest in the bus stops. I know we’re a town of haves and have-nots, but it’s the right thing to do, county leaders.

So as you drive today, with your air conditioner cranked down in your car, look to the right and see how you feel.

— Ray Merrill

Naples

Two parties? Try 4

Editor, Daily News:

We need a four-party system:

One, extreme right; two, moderate Republicans; three, centrist Democrats; and four, progressives.

Democrats and Republicans need to identify themselves — not hide behind a so-called majority.

— Richard Fairfield

Bonita Springs

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