published Friday, January 25th, 2013

Federal help still necessary and other letters to the editors

Federal help still necessary

As one of the 47 percent of U.S. citizens who Mitt Romney refers to as takers, I am grateful that President Obama fights to preserve a healthy "safety net."

As long as the economy sputters and the employment situation remains mediocre, federal money assistance and unprecedented levels of food stamp recipients will be a necessary reality.

The Republican "pull-yourselves-up-by-the-bootstraps" message along with the "possibility-thinking" religious hucksters will do little to help the overwhelming majority of those in need.


Look to others for solutions

It's been over six weeks since the massacre at Sandy Hook. There have been many "solutions" proposed to stop the mayhem: gun control, armed school guards and even armed teachers. Locks on entrance doors were suggested, (although not approved by fire officials). I'm surprised no one has thought to look at how some countries have minimal -- though not eliminated altogether -- shootings in their society. Sounds like a good place for us to learn something.

On a recent bike trip to Austria, I was impressed to see (1) no litter on the streets, (2) no graffiti, and when I asked about it, (3) very little crime. As for guns -- which is the choice of most U.S. murderers -- they were essentially non-existant!

Could America form similar legislation to rid us of the evil associated with firearms? Of course not. We are a country where the tail wags the dog. The NRA and gun manufacturers lobby our dubious Congress, which falls in lock-step with their wishes.

The criminal element will always have access to guns because we allow guns in our country. What a pity.


Avoid Fox to enjoy positive thoughts

On Monday's beautiful, historical day, as I reflected on the advantages and joys of living in our America, I had my television on various stations following the inaugural activities.

Everywhere I turned, there was pleasant conversation and positive commentary until I landed on Fox News.

As usual, there was negativity and distorted comments about the day's proceedings and, of course, the president's speech. Plus, the usual mention of President Reagan.

How long has he been out of office? I like to channel surf the news stations in hopes of getting every angle, so I know what to expect from Fox in regards to political reporting, but seems like the bitterness and twisted rhetoric has escalated to a new high.

It must be very sad for those who watch this station on a regular basis and carry all the hate and unhappiness that is spewed from its airwaves.

Whatever is left of our fathers' and grandfathers' GOP is being slowly replaced with mean, bitter ideas and influences, and it's hurting our country and our souls. Change the channel, open the drapes and enjoy some positive thoughts.


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raygunz said...

Ms. Cook,I truly wish more people could recognize what "Fox News" is doing to the dis-course of intelligent discussion of the problems Americans are facing. I too tune in to Fox occasionally,you're right,it's always something negative. A lot of good things are going on,but,not just Fox,most MSM do not focus on them. There's a lot of propaganda going on!

January 25, 2013 at 12:42 a.m.
SICKofBS said...

"Everywhere I turned, there was pleasant conversation and positive commentary until I landed on Fox News. "
"...but seems like the bitterness and twisted rhetoric has escalated to a new high." One thing you might notice is a lack of "dietary fiber supplements" on Fox. Maybe if there were more and the commentators would use them, the channel would change, if you catch my drift. Just sayin....

January 25, 2013 at 6:10 a.m.
degage said...

Sally, seems you have forgotten the nastiness of the MSM about Bush. Of course I understand your forgetfulness since you are probably a lefty. And what about the MSM attack on Sarah and her daughters,that wasn't nasty? good grief you lefties are hypocrits.

January 25, 2013 at 8:23 a.m.
Easy123 said...


So it's ok as long as they did it first, right? Aren't you the same person that calls everyone out for not speaking out against the name-calling of others? You're the hypocrite, "righty". You wax indignant and put on your pretentious act but it's a total sham. You do a great job of obliterating your own credibility. You have done so again today.

January 25, 2013 at 8:31 a.m.
degage said...

Easy, At least Fox does put the left on their programs to have their say and the MSN does not put the right on. If they do they edit part of the interview to be able to mock the right. You seem to think it is your job to sencor anyone with right thinking, well we are allowed to have a different opinion since the last I knew this is still america. At least for now.

January 25, 2013 at 9 a.m.
Easy123 said...


"At least Fox does put the left on their programs to have their say and the MSN does not put the right on."

MSNBC has a show with a Republican host (Morning Joe) and has at least one Republican apologist on every show or panel.

"If they do they edit part of the interview to be able to mock the right."

Utterly false. I could give thousands of examples of Fox doing that very thing though.

"You seem to think it is your job to sencor anyone with right thinking"

How so? By calling you out on your own hypocrisy? That isn't censorship. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

"well we are allowed to have a different opinion since the last I knew this is still america. At least for now."

You're the one bitching about me stating my own opinion. Think before you speak.

January 25, 2013 at 9:09 a.m.
degage said...

Oh Easy you are so funny. I can bitch if I want but really what you think about me isn't worthy of any worry on my part. You are noted for what you think of the older generation on this forum and as you know I am part of that generation, so we like to push you to make a fool of yourself. Am waiting for your come back but I will have to check it out tomorrow since I have better things to do than hang out on this site.

January 25, 2013 at 9:47 a.m.
Easy123 said...


"I can bitch if I want but really what you think about me isn't worthy of any worry on my part."

Who claimed it was? You're the one discrediting yourself.

"You are noted for what you think of the older generation on this forum"

I think very highly of most older people on this forum.

"so we like to push you to make a fool of yourself."

You are so full of sh!t you can't see straight. You are making a fool of yourself. I've pointed that out over and over again. But think what you must, moron. It doesn't help your case that your spelling is absolutely atrocious.

"since I have better things to do than hang out on this site."

Don't flatter yourself.

See ya, coward!

January 25, 2013 at 10:54 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

" As for guns -- which is the choice of most U.S. murderers -- they were essentially non-existent!" - Tom Baker

Most other nations that call themselves civilized see guns as ugly weapons of destruction, not something to be glorified. So they do their best to make them a rarity, not an every-day fact of life. But we Americans are so awash in guns and are so heavily invested in the gun mystique that we can't even see the extent of our own madness. The gun lovers are trying to convince the rest of us that guns are as natural as the air we breathe and are not just a second amendment right but a "God-given" one.

I really don't see anything changing for the better anytime soon. Despite the latest hoopla over gun control, even if more gun control passes, the mass shootings will probably continue, with each new one being worse than the last, and the gun lovers will probably get their wish - of turning every nook and cranny of our society into a gun-carry zone. And the gun lovers will keep on whining about the sanctity of their second amendment and hanging on every word of that psycho LaPierre. And they will be free to to engage in their "sporting" games of spraying bullets at some shooting range or hunting with their AR15s and stockpiling their automatics and semi-automatics in preparation for that zombie apocalypse that's going to take place any day now.

Only in America. That ringing in your ears is not from the bell of freedom. It's from the constant barrage of gun-fire that fills the air.

January 25, 2013 at 1:16 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

"You are noted for what you think of the older generation on this forum and as you know I am part of that generation, so we like to push you to make a fool of yourself." - degage

I have read most of Easy's posts and have seen nothing that indicates a lack of respect towards the older generation. What he disrespects and is quick to attack is stupidity, bigotry, and small mindedness. And he usually does a damn good job of telling it like it is. Age has nothing to do with it.

Unfortunately most of today's conservatives act and think like bigoted, misogynistic, elitist, rich, old white men. If you're feeling disrespected, then there's a good chance you deserve the disrespect. Open your mind and let the sunshine in.

January 25, 2013 at 1:35 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

You're exactly right, Sally Cook. I used to watch Faux News once in a while just to see what the liars and hate mongers were up to. But they ALWAYS lie and they ALWAYS spew out hatred for anything even slightly to the left of their extremist ideology. So I had to stop watching entirely, for the sake of my health and sanity. It didn't take 5 minutes of watching before I could feel my blood pressure go up and my gut get twisted up in knots. People who deny science and facts and exhibit such low intelligence when they should know better have a way of making life miserable for others.

I understand the importance of listening to and trying to understand both sides in a debate, but Faux News is nothing but a propaganda machine that cranks out non-stop lies and false information. With its mesmerizing influence over so many people who seem to be unable to think for themselves, it is one of the main reasons we're so politically polarized today. Faux News is nothing but a scourge upon America.

January 25, 2013 at 1:57 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Good comment on the importance of the safety net, Harry Geller. It's too bad that most conservatives have to turn it into a negative and make it seem like a drain on our society. It's much more than just a matter of government being a "nanny state"; it's actually a rational, practical means of keeping the economy afloat when we are experiencing rough times.

We are always going to have to spend money. When the day comes that we cannot spend, that will literally be our doomsday, at least economically speaking. What we need to be conscious of is HOW we spend our money. Things like welfare, food stamps, and unemployment insurance enable those who are hurting the most to stay afloat and keep much needed money circulating in the economy. Additional spending on infrastructure (would create many jobs), education, health care for all (a healthy citizenry is more productive), and research and development are also areas where spending would pay off in the long term. By cutting back or halting spending altogether in those areas we are only creating a bleaker future for the country, and our costs for neglecting those things now will be even greater down the road.

January 25, 2013 at 2:25 p.m.
Sailorman said...


If you're really lucky, all those "bigoted, misogynistic, elitist, rich, old white men" will move to very clean and neat Austria where they're more than twice as likely to commit suicide. Then they'll be out of the way and bright young whippersnappers like you and easy can correct all the evils they foisted on humanity.

January 25, 2013 at 2:54 p.m.
carlB said...

When I think of what happened in 2001 after the Republicans took over, it makes me see the need for reviewing their entire arrogant attitude against balancing the US budget, paying off our National Debt. and curtailing our loss of the middle class caused by the global economy trade deficit more than doubling during their eight years. Their objective then was to weaken the US Government's role by increasing the National Debt without regard to the long-term results. In fact they more than doubled the THE National DEBT during their eight years and left this Republic in the 2007 deep recession. Then they, in January 2009 agreed to form A PAC of obstructing and turning the voters against the President while trying to blame President Obama and his administration for not correcting/fixing all of the crisis conditions that were "left on his plate." The Republicans publicly told the voters that their plans were for causing President Obama to fail and convince the voters by "lying" that he did not belong in the office and that the voters made a mistake in voting for him. What did the Republicans do for the good of this Republic during Obama's first four years? When listening to all of the President Obama "bashing" by the Tennessee people on the TN 4th District US Representative, DR. D's conference call. It is my opinion that these people do not have a clue and appear to not care about what the conditions of this Republic might have been, just as long as President Obama had not been elected in November 2008 and then again in November 2012. It is also my opinion that when the people lose their judgment based on bias and prejudice only, then they lose any respect for their opinions since their judgment has "run amuck." =============

January 25, 2013 at 4:28 p.m.
Lr103 said...

Great letter, Mr. Baker. Why America has this sick obsession with guns is baffling. Now there's talk of arming everyone from the janitor to the cafeteria worker, secretary, bookkeeper, teachers and principals, delivery man? Hopefully, our leaders will take a close and honest look at what's already taken place in many schools around the nation. With children as young as five and six years of age being taken from school in handcuffs for throwing a temper tantrum, or wearing the wrong color shoes. Teacher accused of spoon feeding his semen to his grade school students in a blind taste test?

It would seem an entire week sometimes doesn't pass without a national scandal where some adult in school isn't caught up in a child sex abuse case or some other misconduct with a child. Now, there's talk to arm these people? Placing them over America's most innocent and vulnerable? It's children? It's future?

Every town is not a closely knit town like Newtown CT that has a school system with a family like relationship with its community. And even those that do have had their own share of soap opera scandalous moments.

However, if America's leaders insist on this lunacy, hopefully they'll have some strict rules in place and lines that dare not be crossed. And create another outside agency to deal with problems if and when lines have been crossed. As I guarantee you there will be. Already has been. Otherwise, they might unintentionally produce an entire generation of passive/aggressives teetering on the edge sanity VS insanity.

January 25, 2013 at 4:34 p.m.
carlB said...
<p> The Re Creation Of Production Jobs in the USA are the Key to Recovery Why do the Republicans' only have plans decreasing the workers' wages thereby widening the workers' wage gap and are without plans for re creating jobs here? The loss of US workers' jobs have been caused from the effects of the global economy, with a trade deficit of more than $48 Billion dollars PER MONTH. Now they are against helping the private sectors in re-creating the needed manufacturing/production jobs here? The Republicans' objectives/policies would continue to force more people into poverty and then their principles are against using our Government for helping with these people's existence. Forget about the workers having any representation on the job or there being any help for the people who cannot find a job when there is only one job available for every four people looking for work? The Republicans have made it clear that they would not help and would leave these people in poverty to "fend" for themselves.

January 25, 2013 at 4:34 p.m.
carlB said...

How can anybody accept the "throwing out" of the word/term "takers" by the Republicans without looking at the facts involved which have occurred to "force" more of our masses /citizens into the positions and circumstances/situations where more of the people need help to maintain their existence?
How many of the voters would go along with the objectives of the Republicans for wanting; repressed, regressed, oppressed, depressed, digressed or suppressed with new morality laws? If this what the voters want, then these conditions are what the Republicans will do for them in trying to move us back into the "stone age" if they get back into control.

January 25, 2013 at 4:43 p.m.
moon4kat said...

carlB . . . excellent posts. Thanks. The Republican Party has already become laughable. Now it is about to become irrelevant and non-existent. Those "leading" the GOP want oppression, pure and simple. Oppression by the armed state envisioned by the NRA, and oppression of women and couples by pushing women back to the stone age, denying them the right to decide what goes on in their own bodies.
Meanwhile, the GOP wants to keep subsidizing the huge oil & gas industry which is steadily polluting our waters. There is a long list of other offenses and absurdities that sensible people will not accept, no matter how cleverly wrapped in Republican propaganda.

January 25, 2013 at 7:12 p.m.
carlB said...

moon4kat, Thank you!

Do the Republicans and the Capitalists believe they have the voters in the "right" frame of mind for hating the unions, hating the workers who have healthcare Insurance, retirement plans, bargaining rights through representation and the doing away with the "big government" that FDR's policies created? We know, BECAUSE of the facts, that the private sector systems are not willing to re-invest, helping recreate jobs here without receiving "subsidizes and incentives" from the tax payers, both on the local level and on the National level. If the people do not have jobs available to work and make money, then they cannot buy imported goods or pay taxes or hold on to their property. Concerned,

January 25, 2013 at 11:25 p.m.
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