Deterrence still key to security

July 9, 2009 

This letter is in response to the editorial titled, ‘The question isn’t that hard,’ dated 25 June 2009. I agree that the question is not that hard: Should the United States keep her citizens safe by deterring others from invading or not?

If one’s house has never been invaded, should they stop paying the light bill because they obviously do not need to light up the yard at night? One cold war-type holdover I would like to maintain is that of other countries being afraid of the consequences of attacking the United States. The fact that countries such as North Korea have not invaded the United States is a result of our maintaining cold war-type holdovers that make their cost too great for them.

One mistake in the above mentioned opinion piece is making jobs and regional economic development and national security exclusive issues. These issues are in fact intertwined. I suppose that some people might think that the bad guys in the world hesitate to invade the United States because they like us. I believe that is foolish and dangerous. The most valuable weapon system is not the one used the most, but the one that is feared enough that it doesn’t have to be used.

Mickey Ledwick, Phenix City

Left behind

As our new secretary of education, Arne Duncan, continues his summer tour asking educators and parents what they think about No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and what changes could be made to improve it, he might want to think about stopping in Columbus.

After recently getting back the adequate yearly progress (AYP) reports, schools are making the necessary adjustments to be in accordance with NCLB. One of those “improvements” was reported in the Ledger~Enquirer’s June 21, 2009 edition under the article, “Text-cheating drives cell phone plan.” Buried at the end of the article was the mention that Hardaway High and Northside High were adding five portables to accommodate a possible influx of students from failing schools.

Arne Duncan said that education was not about the building, and I agree. But if it is not about the building, why are failing schools being shut down? It is not necessarily the building that failed (unless it didn’t meet safety codes), but what is taking place within the building. Transferring students is just going to create larger class sizes and overcrowding at passing schools, not fix the educational level of those from the failing schools. By moving children to other schools and teaching them in portables we may actually decrease their chances of success because we have put them in a less familiar environment and labeled them as failures.

Instead of spending taxpayer money on portables, the money should be spent on reducing class size at the failing schools by hiring more highly qualified teachers, increasing tutoring programs, and improving the educational materials that are available.

Kristyn Cullen, Columbus

Healers

On April 7, 2008, I had a stroke and was paralyzed on the left side with double vision. I was released from the Columbus Medical Cener on April 15 and entered the Phenix Regional Rehabilitation Center.

I would like to thank the wonderful therapist team, the nurses and all of the staff for their wonderful help. This is a great facility with great employees. I gained my strength here.

I went home May 12. I have Gentiva Home Health Care twice a week. I want to publicly thank Walter, Tamika and Jimmy for their great therapy and work with me. I know I will be better because of this great caring team.

Yvonne Veasey, Phenix City

Credit due

On June 30, 2009 our troops began pulling out of Iraq. Sen. Reid in May 2007 said that the war was lost and was adamant against the surge. In March of 2008 Mr. Obama reiterated these sentiments. Mr.Obama congratulated Iraq’s celebration of a day of sovereignty; would it have been so difficult for him to recognize the “democracy” now present in Iraq (a small kudo to George W. Bush)?

The two treaties we have with Iraq, the Status of Forces Act and the Strategic Act, give us an ally in the Middle East. The disappointment of this day is that the citizens of Iraq were not lined up in the streets to thank our troops and mourn the 4,000 American troops who gave up their young, productive lives so that they may enjoy the freedoms of a democratic society. God bless America and God bless all our fighting men and women.

Joseph P. Liss, Columbus

Lost millionaires

A recent writer’s assertion that most millionaires are Democrats probably astounded many people of both parties! It is patently obvious that the inverse is true; so that peculiar gem of wisdom must be one of the pearls that Lush Limbaugh casts before us swine. Happily for me, this piggy doesn’t swill at his trough, and I must beg to differ with the writer.

The Republican Party, despite its claims to the contrary, couldn’t care less about the middle class. For eight years Bush diverted every tax cut to the pockets of the upper few percent of our population, and that action, in combination with his exorbitant deficit spending on wars, the misnamed Homeland Security program and the $38 billion lost to Bush’s tax cuts, managed to decimate the middle class and to transform their ranks into the working Poor (Washington Post). Bush’s coddling of multinational corporations, which sent all of our well-paying jobs abroad, while paying those poor workers the criminal wages of a dollar or so a day, added to the anxiety of those who lost their jobs in this country.

A vibrant middle class is a necessary component of a healthy economy, because these are not the people with elaborate tax shelters. They actually pay their fair share, and more, of the expenses required to operate our government.

Judy F. Brouillette, Columbus

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