Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: 'Fiction' in more ways than one

It's unfortunate the author of "Dishonestly builds" (Feb. 3) confuses the movie "Thirteen Hours" with reality. As the movie review in The Week says, "there is something unscrupulous about the way it interprets and presents a real-life tragedy for the dictation of its audience." Translation: Which is worse, that three people died or to use their deaths for political gain?

Seven congressional and government committees found no wrongdoing in the Benghazi attack. Now come the daily press revelations about classified information on Clinton's server. What has one got to do with the other except in a game of "woulda, shoulda, coulda?"

Yes, the FBI is investigating Clinton's server, but classified information has also been found on the private servers of her Republican predecessors Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. Where's the Republican moral outrage? The silence is deafening.

Twenty-two of Hillary Clinton's emails are "now" classified, implying Clinton passed along classified information. The term "now" is crucial. Someone has been classifying information -- after the fact -- hard at work rubber-stamping information as classified long after the information had become public knowledge.

The press leaks are so bad that the Correct the Record PAC has filed Freedom of Information Act requests for all correspondence between the group of 17 federal watchdog inspector generals currently reviewing Clinton's emails and GOP lawmakers. One suspected source of leaked and distorted information is a former aide to Republican Sen. Grassley. She's now deputy director of the State Department's IG office. The PAC has also asked for copies of all correspondence between the Director of National Intelligence and several Republican senators for spoon-feeding the findings to the press -- before the FBI received them.

By the way, unlike the Gen. Petraeus case, inadvertently possessing or conveying classified information -- as the author conveniently omits -- is a misdemeanor.

James H. Centric

Phenix City

Immoderate moderators

After watching the Media Buzz on Fox, as Mike Wallace and Bret Baire patted themselves on the back for the great job they did as moderators in the last debate, I do not feel it is the responsibility of the moderator to ask slanted, inflammatory, loaded questions to certain candidates.

When I first heard Trump would not attend the debate I thought he was overreacting to Megyn Kelly's questions at the other debate. But as I watched the moderators seemingly go on the attack against Ted Cruz, I felt that I understood where Trump was coming from. I think the debate should be more about drawing the candidates policies out and trying to get a clear understanding about how each one felt about the issues we face.

I do not feel it is the job of the moderator to be the news. I feel they should be almost invisible while the candidates face off against each other, sort of like a referee. As Cruz said at one point, why invite each candidates to attack him? He then semithreatened to walk off the stage. I would not have blamed him had he done so.

As a rule I am a Fox News fan. I also would say Cruz is probably not my first choice for president.

Please, moderators just ask the questions. Do not supply archived footage from candidates' answers to questions asked four years ago, in a prelude to a question you are about to ask, unless there is adequate time to allow the candidate to explain the entire context of the question at the original time it was asked.

Long story short, we already know Kelly, Wallace, and Baire are superstars in their professions, but it really should not be about them, should it?

Wayne Miller


Pot 'rehab'?

According to a study from the federal government, the majority of Americans recently "treated" for marijuana abuse were referred there by the criminal justice system. These sobering stats were released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in December 2015.

The report finds that roughly 52 percent of all Americans 12 and older in rehab for pot between 2003-2013 were forced there by the criminal justice system (i.e., probation or parole officers, the courts, etc.).

Incredibly, the government's own study finds only 18 percent of all those in treatment for pot admitted themselves, meaning most individuals in reefer rehab are being forced to participate. So much for prohibitionists proving pot's addictiveness by citing how many people are in rehab for cannabis.

State legislators, please do the right thing: "Tickets not Handcuffs" for less than one ounce of marijuana in Georgia.

Buster Jones


Environmental hazard

Several years ago the Ledger did an article relating to a sanitary sewer line that had seriously eroded the river bank and was discharging raw sanitary sewage into the river. This line was identified as being at 80% capacity over 10 years ago.

Since your article, the raw sewage and e-coli have flowed from the overloaded line with each significant precipitation event. Phenix City, motivated by the Alabama Department of Environmental Managegment, now posts a sign in a residential yard at 33rd Place warning of the danger of contaminated overflows. Phenix City has continued to neglect the 10-year-old study of the line documented by automated water flow meters. They have added over 250 apartment units along Riverchase Drive and have 400 more currently under construction. In an effort to address/conceal the severe health threat, Phenix City has cored into the bottom of the manhole and inserted a 12-inch pipe that will take future raw sanitary overflows directly into Georgia's Chattahoochee River.

It is probably the thinking of Phenix City that once this pipe is covered, backfilled and seeded, no one will be aware of the serious violation as it will be concealed. Phenix City also has another sanitary line that runs along Mill/Holland Creek where "contamination water warnings" are posted with each rain event.

This is being forwarded to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management along with photos taken in cycles of the construction of the pipe into the river.

Considering the revenue situation of the city I really do not believe they are capable of addressing these most serious problems. The Utility Department was fined in 2014 and placed under a Consent Order by ADEM, charged with incompetence and mismanagement; however, the public was never informed of the same.

Greg Glass

Phenix City

Spend for what matters

We need to keep the after-school programs. Yes, I'm a liberal. But there are limits to my liberalness. Frivolous spending of my tax money makes me want to join the tea party.

After-school programs are something worth supporting. If this program stops, the children most likely will be going to an empty house or worse yet, to someone who doesn't care.

Money for this program needs to be found. By all means take the money from the natatorium. I was against this debacle from the very beginning. The thing is a huge white elephant around our necks with its never ending drip of the revenue faucet. Make it fee based for whatever the market will bear. If it's only twenty hours per week, so be it.

Why are we in the golf course business to the tune of almost $2 million annually? Why do we continue to shovel $6.7 million to Metra? The service is laughable. It wasn't too long ago the L-E reported about a woman taking over an hour for a trip that one could drive in ten minutes. Let's not forget that joke of a department called crime prevention at a budgeted $840,000. Now there is the cry we need trash trucks. No one saw that coming, right?

The city council needs to get out the calculators and set some priorities.

Michael Bragg


For the sake of fairness

Re "Three women charged for prostitution." L-E. Jan. 26.

If reducing prostitution is good public policy within a military town, or for any town, then the mayor should direct the chief of police to set up a sting operation to arrest the "Johns."

And just to be equitable, this sting setup should include gay and transgendered targets also, but not exclusively.

Likely, a few well-placed Craigslist ads on a weekend could generate for the Ledger a full page of booking photos of the accused local men (innocent until proven otherwise).

In parts of Scandinavia it's only the men who are charged in prostitution, as the women are viewed as the victims. In parts of Latin America and other locations, prostitution is legal and at times regulated. In Saudi Arabia, prostitution is illegal and punished by flogging and prison; but if the act includes adultery, fornication, or sodomy then the sentence can be the "big one" -- death.

Walter Thorne

New York, N.Y.