Civil rights fulfilled
The long lines of African-American citizens waiting to vote in the election last month was reminiscent of the civil rights movement. The nonviolent sit-ins of the 1960s became the voting-booth lines.
It was more dangerous to participate then, but the enormous reservoirs of patience and determination are still in existence.
However, it’s truly ironic that the right wing is so eager to destroy an organization such as ACORN and whip up fear and anxiety over the New Black Panther movement.
Yet, through GOP shenanigans, not the least of which was illegal voting-rights suppression, Republicans inadvertently created actual black power. President Barack Obama bought the election by “giving stuff away”?
Sorry, but you can’t give away grit, resolve and the knowledge that you are standing up for hard-won rights that should have been yours at birth.
This movement, joined by increasing numbers of Latino and female voters, has enabled us to temporarily defeat big corporate money and the anti-democratic plutocracy that seeks to destroy our democracy, leaving open the real possibility that “government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
I couldn’t be happier about that.
David D. Hirni
School guard flaws
In light of recent events, people seem to think that tighter school security will solve all of our shooting problems. Although this may seem to be a good idea, it has some obvious flaws.
Many officers would be standing around all day doing nothing as the odds of a shooting happening at any given school on any given day is unbelievably low. This would most likely stop shooters from going to schools, but it would instead move them to other areas, such shopping malls.
Our nation would be trading one problem for another, with a net loss because there would then be more officers inside school buildings sipping coffee instead of stopping everyday crime in cities.
We need to come up with a viable solution to school shootings, but this isn’t it.
Subtract corporate cash
Americans are constantly barraged by corporate money intended to make us buy the products of big businesses — be it drugs, insurance, banking or gas for our cars. Their commercials bring profits to the corporations.
Does anyone believe political ads bought by corporations are not also motivated by profit?
The U.S. Supreme Court decision that equated corporations to people was the single biggest blow that American democracy has ever endured.
There are some things in life that are too important to be influenced by profit. Things such as freedom, justice and equality have no value to corporations.
America needs the best government that money cannot buy. Anything less is an insult to the concept of democracy.
Treating the mentally ill
Barbara Shelly, in her Dec. 26 Blog Bit, emphatically calls for a conversation about limiting access to “deadly” firearms because of the firefighters who were gunned down in upstate New York. More citizens are convinced that assault weapons should be restricted.
Then I read that this killer was released from prison after serving only 18 years for murdering his grandmother with a hammer.
Who was the expert who decided he could be safely released? Why wasn’t this a life sentence?
Our existing laws forbid him, as a felon, from possessing a firearm, yet he somehow obtained three guns and carried out his deranged, hideous act.
Where were the laws then?
Now consider The Star’s Dec. 26 article on page A10, “ ‘There’s no place to turn to.’ ” It’s the lament of parents of a son who was, thankfully, caught before committing a similar hideous act and their fruitless efforts to find help for him.
Too often, potentially dangerous people with obvious mental problems are walking around because our society doesn’t want to deal with these real crisis issues.
This is the place to begin controlling violence in America, putting away murderers forever and enacting new laws making it easier to commit and effectively treat the mentally ill.
Charity first at home
Charity is a wonderful thing this time of the year. Everyone is in the mood to help others.
In conjunction with this idea, let’s support the 18,000 people who recently lost their jobs with Hostess because they stood up for themselves and wanted a livable working wage. Don’t buy these wonderful, healthy snacks when the assets are sold off and being made in Mexico.
People wonder why we don’t have good-paying jobs. Well, they are going out of the country and being made cheaper elsewhere with much lower quality standards.
I will never ever purchase another Twinkie, Ho-Ho, Donette or Ding-Dong.
Cursive writing is ‘real’
The recent controversy over whether cursive writing should be taught in schools brings to mind an experience I had around 1950.
I’d agreed to finish a year in an elementary school for a teacher who left at midterm. These were second-graders. My teaching experience had been with upper grades.
After a few weeks, some of the children asked when they were to learn cursive writing or “real” writing, as they called it. I wondered whether they were ready but knew that when children express an interest in something, the time for teaching/learning is right.
Their curriculum didn’t have this directive, so I called on my memory of the Palmer Method of “real” writing. The children caught on, and their ability to make their letters turned into words and the words into sentences.
The children loved to write “real.” It improved their spelling.
The school year ended, as did my career in teaching, seeing that it was not a fit for me. However, the memory of that effort with those children lives on, and I hope their experience in “real” writing has served them well in many ways.
Don’t give up on “real” writing.
China’s growing navy
Why are our big ships such as the USS Enterprise being decommissioned, diminishing our naval power while we stand by and let China build a navy?
What is our current military strength compared with when we first attacked Iraq in the 1990s?
Why are we allowing China to build and put to sea an aircraft carrier when China has no reason to fear for its security?
Why isn’t Washington, D.C., publicly acknowledging concern, which exposes our own vulnerability, not to mention Russia’s part in it?
Would they port in San Diego? Intimidate?
It seems that President George W. Bush knew China would want to eventually port in San Diego when China was given permission to use that base for its shipping unloading point.
William A. Ingram
Rap music studies
A lot of people think that rap and hip-hop music are bad influences on young people’s minds because of the lyrics and what rappers are saying.
According to writer Aisha Nicole Anderson, rap music can be considered as urban story-telling. It allows youths to tell stories in another way.
On the other hand, the WebMD Health News reported on research that studied 522 African-American girls ages 14 and 18 from non-urban areas.
It found that girls who viewed gangsta videos at least 14 hours per week were more likely to practice numerous destructive behaviors.
However, there are an increasing number of Christian rap artists such as Cross Movement who are focused on delivering positive messages.
This is an open letter to the police officer who stopped my husband and me on a recent holiday afternoon doing 49 mph in a 35 mph speed zone.
We are so grateful you stopped us because we were so busy counting our blessings that we were able to be with our children, grandkids and friends, and all of us were able to share a good meal.
We are grateful you weren’t out rounding up the gangs that carry guns and do drive-by shootings and didn’t have to haul a drunk to jail for domestic violence or try to find a lost child hoping to locate his home during the holidays.
We are grateful you were paid overtime to sit in your warm car, drinking your hot coffee, playing with your little radar gun and stopping little old retired people just counting their blessings.
As you drove off, I forgot to say something to you. Happy Holidays, and let’s be careful out there.
Ann E. Conklin