Stealing our birthright
The current issue in Congress is whether we should again extend unemployment insurance. This type of American aid was conceived to give an unemployed citizen time to start over with a new job or career, not as a permanent way of life. If a citizen could not secure a position on any level in the time allotted, then it was anticipated he would exert political pressure on the failed policies of the current administration. In addition, the citizen was expected to make an effort to retrain his skill levels to at least the current level of today’s technology. There are few, if any, jobs, that require only manual labor.
All Americans are proud of the past accomplishments of their country, and those accomplishments have only been realized through a capitalistic economy. There are many examples of socialist, communist and dictatorships in countries that barely exist. Attempting to install a little of each method in the Barack Obama presidency is no surprise; it produced 51 percent not paying taxes, millions on food stamps and unemployment of a level that is a national disgrace.
The weakness and end of any republic (or pure democracy) is when citizens vote for unearned personal income. When one political party attacks the main weakness of our form of government by advocating free gifts, they are not being compassionate to “victims.” Rather, they are responsible for stealing our most precious birthright.
NRA and gun safety
In “Gun to the head” (Your Views, Dec. 27), Arthur Hayhoe, executive director of the Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Inc., formerly know as The National Coalition to Ban Handguns, continues his diatribe against the Second Amendment and the NRA. I think the NRA has been in the gun safety business for more than a hundred years. I know in the late 1940s and early 1950s, when I was very active in hunting and competitive shooting, the NRA was conducting all sorts of gun safety programs and training classes. It seemed to me most of their resources were used for that purpose. From what we see now, probably most of their resources are being spent trying to defend the Second Amendment and gun owners rights.
It does seem ironic that organizations such as Hayhoe’s, with names that seem to depict a wish to diminish gun violence, have not, to my knowledge, ever proposed anything to promote gun safety and have forced the NRA, the only organization that does in fact actively promote gun safety, to direct enormous amounts of its resources away from gun safety to protect citizens’ rights. Hayhoe states his organization supports vigorous enforcement of all ATF rules. So do most people I know, and we should start with the attorney general and Fast and Furious illegal gun sales that led to many deaths.
Annual flood insurance rates are costing as much as annual mortgage payments. Reform by Congress has resulted in average flood insurance rates of $700 to increase by four to 10 times. Congress was not aware of the significant increase in insurance rates for properties in flood-prone areas. This has affected owners with a primary residence and vacation rental properties, long-term rental properties, second homes and small business owners. Although it may be hard to be sympathetic to someone with a second home, in this economy some property owners have had to move for employment and have rented out their home that could not be sold. Renting was the alternative to foreclosure.
This is not about high-end, water-front homes; many homes are near small streams and creeks. Proposed amendments in Congress would reduce the massive increase. However, none of the amendments cover all property owners. Without a reduction in the flood insurance rates, many homes will be foreclosed upon due to the inability to afford the increase on top of homeowners insurance.
For those affected by these increases, you should contact your U.S. senators and representative expressing your concern.
Harpers Ferry, W.Va.
On Dec. 18 A&E fired (key word: FIRED) Phil Robertson, patriarch of the “Duck Dynasty” family TV show for expressing his biblically based beliefs concerning homosexuality. Shortly thereafter, Trib columnist Joe Henderson wrote that A&E’s actions were purely a business decision. Henderson was dead wrong. A&E’s firing of Robertson was driven purely by political correctness — fear of a backlash from the homosexual community and the pervasive anti-Christian sentiment throughout the entertainment industry.
However, in short order A&E was inundated with hundreds of thousands of complaints from viewers who also shared their displeasure with A&E’s advertisers. And A&E’s viewership dropped like a rock, which translates into lost revenue for the company. Suddenly, Robertson’s status morphed from a “firing” into a “suspension,” and political correctness and the network’s anti-Christian sentiments are no longer all that important. And Robertson will return to the show. That was a business decision.
Lester E. Scates
“Have cheer,” says the Publix ad during the holidays. According to my dictionary, “cheer” is something good. That’s not what the ad is advertising. The cheer they allude to is something that causes much unhappiness in families causing divorces, sad and confused children, liver damage, loss of wages, depression and so on. I think Publix founder George Jenkins would be very sad to know money is being made on false cheerfulness. Alcohol is causing untold misery in our world.