It's not just war on smokers; it's on all our rights
What is it about our lawmakers and government officials that makes them feel as if they need to butt into our private lives?
When I read about state House Speaker Greg Stumbo and his wife nosing into the business of some family smoking in the car, I thought, "What gall."
As a child, I rode in cars with smokers and don't recall it ever bothering me or my health. I never felt that people who smoked around me were abusing me. I'm 45 now, and the only serious health problem I have is seasonal allergies, which began to show their symptoms about five years ago.
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This war on smokers has gotten way out of hand. People who smoke have been removed from the work places, restaurants and public spaces. Ashtrays have all but disappeared, so it is no wonder there are butts all over the streets.
If we permit lawmakers to dictate what we can and cannot do in our privately owned vehicles, I guarantee it will not stop there. How many freedoms are you willing to give up just so you can see smokers punished?
Do you want lawmakers to dictate your activities? Will you permit them to dictate what you can and cannot do in your home? That will be their next target if we don't stand up for our rights.
We need to say enough is enough and tell them to butt out of our personal activities.
Separate the crazy talk
When I read the letter "Real scientists don't choose facts to fit beliefs" on Jan. 15, I asked myself how any sane person could rationalize and come to the conclusion that creationism creates hate.
I think I'm losing brain cells trying to lower myself to that thinking level.
I could care less if evolution or creationism are right or wrong and would not be surprised if, in 2012, little green men show up and let us know how smart we really are, saying something like, "Yeah, we're the reason you're here; can you show us that evolutionary chart again? We just can't get enough of it."
Or: "Tell us again how many days it took to make you ... we just love that part."
I would suggest the editorial board begin separating readers' views to two areas. One being the "legitimate views" section and the other "ramblings of a mad man" section.
This way, I might enjoy my coffee in the morning and feel that my mind has progressed not regressed.
Andrew Jackson Miner
Open your eyes
What wonderful news to hear the morning of Jan. 12: U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords opened her eyes for the first time since being shot in the head Jan. 8.
This news soared from every medium like a soul-soothing song, nurturing us, symbolizing there's new hope. Here was food for our souls, and it was right on time.
Giffords' eyes have always been open; it is we Americans who need to open our eyes and use our voices positively.
She is being given another chance to be the beacon she set out to be: just another servant who supports democracy and our American ideals.
This miraculous phenomenon reminded Americans we truly are one nation under God, and that evil will not prevail, dishearten nor destroy what we stand for.
America still offers many perks for our people, especially for those of us who treasure freedom as the greatest gift of all.
We have the freedom to raise and educate happy, healthy children who still run barefoot in the sand; the freedom to work and play; freedom to hunt, fish, skip rope, travel, worship where we please, rest and sleep peacefully at night; along with the freedom to relax wherever we seek serenity.
What more could we ask for? I am asking that we all open our eyes, just as Gabby did, and embrace this new vision available in America.
Ellouise Stephens Shepherd
Why such hatred?
When did we become a nation of haters? I am 74 years of age, and I can't recall anyone in all those years who I hate.
Who or what is a hater? I would like for some of your educated readers to give me a definition of a hater. Do you hate someone just because he or she disagrees with your position on an issue?
In the past several days, I have read many writers' comments and letters to the editor naming individuals they hate. Some of these well-known politicians and personalities have received death threats from around the country.
If you hate someone, you must not like yourself very much. How can you hate someone if you love yourself?
We live in the greatest country in the world. Each and every one in this country should get up every morning and thank God for the opportunity to live in the United States. Again, I ask: Where is all this hatred coming from, and why?
Tragedy into carnival
The liberal media and left-wing politicians have turned the recent Tucson tragedy into some kind of carnival. For example, the memorial service was made into a political pep rally as opposed to an opportunity to pay homage to the dead.
Is it fair to credit the tragedy to U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' support of the health care law? Should President Barack Obama's visit to Giffords' hospital room be credited with her opening her eyes for the first time after surgery?
Is it really significant that Obama personally wrote the speech he delivered in Tucson, which was largely a collection of religious clichés. Why is it being called a "defining moment"?
Do the Democrats have no shame in using this tragedy to demagog those who are objecting to the changes being proposed for America? But then, as former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel once said, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."
David I. Carter
In the Jan. 16 edition, page A5, a headline read, "Many rulers have beat down opposition." The verb should have been "have beaten."
I was disappointed by such poor grammar in a headline. I hope your proofreaders or editors do a much better job in the future with checking headline grammar.
Polly Jo Green