Letters to the editor, Feb. 29
TBO.comResearch before writing
Published: February 29, 2012
Published: February 29, 2012
Now that I have been properly chastised for my inaccurate reporting and apparent lack of research regarding Mr. Lesmeister's predictions and claims, and have now been bludgeoned into submission by a heavy load of statistics, I will shock everyone by admitting that he is correct. Yes, really!
According to the statistics that he says are readily available "…90 percent of African Americans did indeed vote for Obama in 2008," and that admittedly not all African Americans voted, so that figure represents only those who did vote. But did they vote for him simply because he, too, was an African American, or because they believed he was the best choice to represent their interests? Would McCain/Palin have represented them?
Mr. Lesmeister believes, and states plainly that his belief (not necessarily a fact) is that "…90 percent-plus of all professors are liberal Democrats." Boy, what a lot of research this must have taken to dig into "…election exit polls, the news and census data…" I'm sorry, but I just don't have the time or single-minded determination to do that kind of digging.
No, Mr. Lesmeister, I said that I voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 (got it right this time) and would probably do so again, but then I have a very good friend who said "I voted for Obama before and I won't make that mistake again!" I also said that I could change my mind between now and Election Day, so I reserve the right to make that decision then.
For most of my adult life I have subscribed to the position that we should attack the problems and not each other. Name calling and character assassination have been a part of American political rhetoric since the beginning, but let's focus on solutions to the enormous problems we face in this complex world we live in, not just the U.S., but worldwide.
Whereas the Founding Fathers had only the pen and the horse with which to communicate in a very small world, we now have instant communication worldwide via the Internet, worldwide banking is a reality that did not exist in the 18th century, the Industrial Age is now obsolete and being replaced by the Information Age and decentralization of production, the whole world is dependent on the finite quantity of fossil fuels, and a deranged terrorist can easily carry a nuclear device into any public gathering place anywhere in the world.
Yes, our political situation here in the good ol' U.S. of A. is a mess with career politicians spending obscene amounts of taxpayer money to further personal agendas, and the faith of our citizens in our representatives at an all-time low. Our education system produces high school graduates who cannot read or construct a proper sentence, with freshman college English now a remedial course.
These are the challenges we face in an increasingly difficult and frustrating age, but then hasn't every age been the same? The question is what do we do about it? Just defeating the current president is no answer — we've tried that every election and we still have the same mess, only worse.
Let us use our intelligence, our analytical abilities and our powers of persuasion to attack the problems and perhaps prepare a world in which our children and grandchildren can live long and prosper. I believe, as a colleague of mine was fond of saying when we were confronted with a seemingly impossible task, "It can be done!" Let's get to work doing it.
Living with addiction
For those of you who missed the Symposium on Addiction on Feb. 26 at Silverthorn Country Club, you need to be aware that there is something worse than death – the living death of addiction.
Addiction is a brain disease. It is bio-psycho-social; genetic, psychological and influenced by society and environment. People misusing drugs need access to treatment to learn new coping skills, not incarceration. The community must be educated, develop compassion and help addicts have an awakening of consciousness.
We can change the prescription drug abuse problem in Hernando County with a committed core group of people including criminal justice, family services, medical and mental health sectors. Please find the time to attend the next Nature Coast Recovery Alliance meeting at 4:30 p.m. March 14, at the Crescent Community Clinic, in Spring Hill.