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Monday, Mar 30, 2015

Letters to the editor, Sept. 1


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More voices needed

I am new to Spring Hill and have been reading your paper for a few weeks. I have noticed that your editorial section is consistently extreme right-wing politics, either slamming President Obama or the Democratic Party in general.

You apparently only have two contributors, and apparently neither of them have any writing skill or use actual factual information, probably because it's easier to just spout the same rhetoric they heard on Fox News the night before.

I realize that since it is an editorial, you don't really have any responsibility for the content, but don't you think you should at least offer a counterpoint from a writer who doesn't just hate Democrats?

I can deal with Len Tria's constant harping on the economy and Obamacare; he clearly doesn't understand either topic very well but at least his heart is in the right place, he wants things to get better but he doesn't want it to happen while Obama is in office.

I think he will get his wish anyway. But Doug Patton has really gone overboard this week with the Christie article and the law banning conversion therapy.

This is one of those topics that quickly identifies the intelligent conservatives from the extreme right-wing nut jobs, and in case it wasn't clear which side he was on, he threw anti-abortion in to seal the deal.

He tries to paint a picture of a nice young man trying desperately to remove the terrible homosexual thoughts in his brain and seeking professional help, which is simply absurd.

Even the doctors providing this treatment do not recognize it as legitimate or successful; the only people practicing it are religious zealots living in the past, and they are torturing these poor kids until they want to kill themselves, and sometimes do.

So Patton, and your paper, agree this is a good thing to support?

I am not gay and I really couldn't care less if someone is or is not gay. But the only thing that is good about articles like this and so-called "conservatives" like Patton is that they will just reinforce the stereotype for the intelligent people in this country to get rid of the right-wing extremists. This is exactly why the Republican party keeps losing ground and elections.

Michael LaManna

Spring Hill

Syria not our problem

Syria seems to be on everyone's lips these days and the bottom line to the situation is simple. We do not have a dog in this fight. We should not by any means attack them because they used gas on their own people.

This is not an American problem and this is not an American crime. This is a United Nations problem this is a United Nations crime we must stay out of it.

No American blood was spilled because of this horror so leave it to be dealt with by the rest of the world, certainly not us. No matter what we do the Muslim world will continue to hate us and want us dead, so let them kill each other off, they're savages anyway.

Far too many are preoccupied with the deaths of women and children; well unfortunately all civil wars include collateral damage and that translates to women and children to which I say again, they are not Americans so as long as it is not American blood, it is not our problem.

Situations like this are precisely why the U.N. was formed and it's way past time it, meaning the rest of the world, did its job.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall the rest of the world has been vilifying and excoriating America; even our so-called allies cower at our enemies, so to them I say time to step up and carry the load. After all, to the Europeans, I say without us you'd be speaking German, and to the Asians, you'd be speaking Japanese.

This is the world's problem to fix, Obama, stay the heck out of it.

George Stansbury


Thanking unions

How fitting that Norman Pallot's letter to the editor was printed right before Labor Day. In it he demonizes collective bargaining and praises Right to Work laws. His letter, however, disrespects the sacrifice of the men and women of this country's unions - people that suffered great hardship, beatings, loss of their jobs and even loss of life while trying to improve working conditions in this country.

Most Americans have benefited from this sacrifice, whether they belonged to a union or not. It is because of unions that we have a 40-hour workweek, safety and health protections in the workplace, worker's compensation, child labor laws, paid sick and vacation time, the weekend, health benefits and retirement. It is because of unions that sweatshops are illegal, that workers must be treated fairly and that hard-working Americans can "earn a fair day's pay for a fair day's work."

No one takes a civil service job thinking they'll someday be wealthy. In the case of police officers, firefighters and teachers, usually it's a calling to help others. The pay isn't the draw. People like myself take these jobs for a steady paycheck, good benefits and to be able to retire with dignity.

As far as Right to Work laws, which we union people refer to as "Right to Work for Less" laws, workers in Right to Work states earn an average of $5,680 less per year than workers in other states. People in states with Right to Work laws are more likely to be uninsured and the rate of workplace deaths is 36 percent higher. Additionally, infant mortality rates are higher and education funding is substantially lower. These are not statistics that should make us proud.

In Mr. Pallot's letter he referenced several companies that located in Right to Work states - Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, BMW and Mercedes. What is the common denominator among these companies? They are all foreign-owned. And how ironic that so many of these vehicles sport "Take Back America" bumper stickers on them.

If companies didn't exploit workers, there would never have been a need for unions and collective bargaining. Fifty years ago, approximately 40 percent of the workforce was unionized; currently, it's about 10 percent. It's no accident that the decline of the middle class paralleled the decline of union membership.

The U.S. Department of Labor website says that Labor Day "is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers" and is a "tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country."

Since Monday is Labor Day, instead of bashing unions, maybe a simple "thank you" would suffice.

Jerry Lonergan

Spring Hill

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