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Front Page » May 29, 2007 » Opinion » Letter to the Editor: Asking the questions
Published 2,702 days ago

Letter to the Editor: Asking the questions


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By JEWELL BARKLEY
Price

Editor:

For years we have been under the impression that all who are born in our country and those who immigrated under dire conditions and eventually passed and took the citizenship oath are Americans. We have faced past conflicts as one nation and will again face future conflicts whether they are by design or animosity from hostile countries.

As Americans we have never faltered; each citizen contributed to our defense in his and her own way. During World War II, people planted shared Victory Gardens, lived through the use of government stamps and tokens, gave up butter and eggs in favor of powdered eggs and milk and Oleo, drove their cars less and walked or bicycled wherever they needed to go to conserve gas and oil and save their precious tires and automobiles for emergencies.

Children had only a few changes of clothing, a treasured pair of shoes and a coat to wear on their walk to school in the cold of winter. The luxury of someone driving them was just that "a luxury." An extra cookie or a soda was a "special" treat; and forgoing a meal now and then was necessary and not considered deprivation. But our country pulled together and healed and we all felt better for our sacrifices - although none of us thought of it as a "sacrifice." It was something we had to do and though we sometimes complained, we did it gladly.

But I see darkness on the horizon - a bleakness from which we may never recover. Empathy, caring, sacrifice, compassion for one another is no longer a shared feeling in each of us. The leaders of our country are too eager to point the finger at wrong dong in other countries yet fail to seek and find solutions to our own problems of which we have many.

First and foremost, we must take care of our children for they are the future. They should have the best education and the best medical care. Their education should be better than and not rival that of other countries. Our teachers should be paid well for their dedication to our students. Medical care should not be only for those whose families can afford high insurance premiums.

Each child should have care available to his or her needs even if a disability occurs at birth or during their young lifetime. Children need to be encouraged to succeed and that comes from their home environment as well as all those in their communities. They should not have to suffer bullies and rude children or adults in their young lives and definitely should not have to shoulder the tremendous debt that is being passed on the them.

Under the present circumstances I fear that good education and medical care will be passed by the wayside. Our country can no longer compete with other countries that are placing massive amounts of money into their education systems while them remain stagnant. When politicians balk at giving medical care to families and seniors while they enjoy the best medical care for themselves and their families (paid for by the taxpayers) gives them little incentive to introduce responsible legislation that might cause the taxpayers to take a serious look at the benefits they receive. They cringe when asked to give our military a raise while they enjoy a years increase without a vote or authorization from the voting public. They allow a "minimum pay raise" initiatives to lay hidden on someone's desk for years, refusing to bring it to a vote for a large company or industry. Perhaps one of their donors might have to do without that extra 10 to 15 cents an hour, or a CEO may be deprived of his or her several million dollar bonus.

We must make important decisions about our open border and minimally inspected ports. We can no longer absorb the influx of citizenry constantly on the increase. Politicians are introducing legislation enabling most of them to stay. Where are the jobs for these people coming from? The jobs that once stabilized our country during and after the Depression - miners, carpenters, construction workers, maids, clerks, mechanics, laborers, truck drivers, warehousemen, assemblers, landscapers - were the jobs that our parents worked at to raise us. Do we no longer have anyone in this country willing to do these jobs? I can't believe that we are being told that we are too lazy and too uneducated to do these jobs anymore. These are honorable professions and many would flock to do them if the wages remained comparable to that of other industries. Again, must we bend to the will of the politicians and their powerful donors?

We lose jobs at home and we lose jobs to overseas industry. We must ask for answers- why? Why are our leaders insensitive to the will of the people and why do they not feel accountable, preferring answer ability only to big business and overly generous donors? Why do they feel safe in their positions and at the same time chop our legs off at the knees by helping to send our high paying jobs and employment opportunities, that should be offered to our college grads, to other countries. Why do they feel safe by allowing wide-open borders to exist and at the same time tell us that this is necessary to the future of our country? We're constantly reminded they know what's best.

Just who are they responsible to? Surely selling our country and pandering to other countries and businesses no longer loyal to the United States that take their employment opportunities elsewhere cannot be the best for us. Be assured they have lots to gain from this sellout and the question is - what remains for our future?

These are the questions we all must ask. Decisions have to be made. We must demand from those we elected to be accountable for their actions. All we're asking for is truth, honesty, integrity, caring and compassion (which most of them seem to posses in short supply). No more lies and certainly not the fluff that accompanies them. After all, most of the elected make a lot more money than we do.

Maybe one of the prerequisites of being elected to a position of governance should be they live a year as we do prior to their acceptance. They might then show a little concern about the laws they are introducing and won't be so quick to pass them without first reading them. Besides it might give them a little motivation to think. Generations before us gave their all and sacrificed. Should we accept less from those we elect to represent us?

Are we now willing to do the same?


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May 29, 2007
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