Letters to the editor on entitlements, Obama, gay-marriage float, ‘Duck Dynasty,’ ‘wow’ moment

12/30/2013 12:00 AM

12/27/2013 5:44 PM

Entitlements help people survive

According to columnist Cal Thomas, entitlements didn’t build this country (Dec. 15 Opinion). But what they did was provide much-needed survival assistance, particularly in the 1930s. In today’s world, with so many people unable to find work, I’m sure the result is the same. Then, once people are on their feet, they will be happy to “build this country.”

My parents were sharecroppers. I remember well my father receiving a small government check for participating in the Agricultural Adjustment Act program. This check was used to keep the “body and soul together,” as my father would say.

One’s perspective is much different when one can see no end to not having enough money to cover the essentials. I am still grateful to President Franklin D. Roosevelt for the program that provided electricity to rural areas.

One could repeat this story many times for government programs that, for the most part, improved our lives directly and indirectly. Such programs include Social Security, the GI Bill, unemployment insurance, food stamps, Medicare and Medicaid.

In order to keep some of these programs sustainable, there needs to be a compromise of increasing revenues and reducing benefits. If all participate, it will be painful but bearable. Then our children and grandchildren can have the same quality of life that we senior citizens enjoy today.



Don’t televise

The decision to have a float in the Rose Parade on Wednesday featuring a gay couple getting married is just too much.

My family will not be watching the parade for the first time ever.

I support Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” in what he said (although he could have said it differently), and I think it is not right to put something like this in front of small children.

I think that float should not be televised.



No right to show

Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” has received a lot of attention for expressing his “religious” views in a GQ magazine interview. His interpretation of the Bible is questionable, to put it mildly. Still, he was allowed to speak his mind, and it was published.

Many people are outraged, claiming that Robertson’s First Amendment rights have been violated because he was put on temporary hiatus (not fired) by the A&E network.

Robertson has every constitutional right to express his beliefs in interviews, on TV, in public or wherever.

However, he does not have a constitutional right to a reality TV show. The network has the constitutional right to tell him, “You do not speak for us, so you are no longer going to be paid by us.”

The First Amendment works both ways: You have a right to speak your mind, and I have a right to disagree with you. Get over it.



‘Wow’ moment

I saw a most beautiful thing earlier this month. A friend and I were driving west on Central when we saw a man in a wheelchair attempting to get over the curb onto the sidewalk. He was not succeeding.

Suddenly, a young woman ran out of the traffic to help him. She pushed his wheelchair to safety. She was still with him when the traffic lights changed and we moved on.

My friend exclaimed, “This is a ‘wow’ moment.”

Blessings on the person who was helped and the young woman who gave him assistance.



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