Letters to the Editor: Sunday, July 3, 2011

By NEMS Daily Journal

Downtown Tupelo makes some feel not welcomed
Since Tupelo started the three-lane test on Main Street, I’ve had problems driving there. I get cut off at the bottleneck at Main and Franklin. People tailgate me often. The original goal was to slow down traffic, but the project sped up traffic instead. Instead of wanting to stay and shop, people want to get out of downtown as fast as they can. Driving on Main is a nightmare now. The city would pass it whether or not it had the “right” effect. Why?
It keeps people like me out of downtown. It keeps downtown for the Downtown Crowd only, which consists of rich white people. I don’t like the stuck-up attitude there. There’s some exceptions, but for the most part if you’re not a rich white person you should avoid downtown. I’m not the only one who feels unwelcome downtown. A friend of mine says when he goes downtown he feels like people count down the seconds until he leaves.
The downtown crowd doesn’t like dissent. Presley’s Flowers left because of the road change. Some people would drive Tupelo Hardware out of downtown if they could; many customers complain about the road.
Supporters say “it works,” but the road plan does not “work” for Presley’s Flowers or Tupelo Hardware.
In some towns, the mall’s where rich white people go to avoid everyone else. In Tupelo, downtown’s for rich white people and the mall’s for everyone. It says something that downtown’s next to a large African-American neighborhood but I rarely see African-Americans downtown. Too bad for the downtown crowd they can’t keep everyone else out, yet.
Main Street’s still part of highways 6 and 278 and it will be until MDOT finishes the new Highway 6 south of downtown.
All this gives me a good reason to shop at the mall instead.
Alexander Harris

There’s no free lunch, no free government plan
I have recently read a couple of letters to the editor concerning U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s Budget Plan and how it will affect Medicare recipients and our future.
I didn’t agree with much of the two gentlemen’s analysis of the Ryan budget. But before I address that difficult subject, I think it would be prudent to set the stage for why Ryan had to address the national budget on a subject that politicians have been afraid to address for years. The main reason is that America is in a financial crisis that no one, especially our president and many in Congress, want to address.
As reported by CNSNews.com the 1,461 days that Nancy Pelosi served as speaker of the house, the national debt increased by a total of $5.343 trillion according to official debt numbers published by the U.S, Treasury.
When Pelosi was sworn in Jan. 4, 2007, the national debt stood at $8.7 trillion and when she left it was $14.1 trillion or $3.66 billion of new federal debt a day that she was speaker during her 1,461 days.
The House speaker before Pelosi was Dennis Hastert, added $1.05 billion for each of his 2,920 days in office. The above is the recipe for disaster for our children and future generations and the U.S. as a country. A $14.3 trillion debt equates to $200,000 debt for every man, woman and child in the USA.
In September, I will be 65 years old. Thus, I am very interested in how this budget affects me as well as future generations.
Now, I will address the facts, as I understand them, concerning the Ryan Budget: Indeed, Ryan’s plan is a big deal. Its proposed $6.2 trillion of savings (compared to Obama’s budget) over ten years is a 100 times larger than the $61 billion that the GOP tried to cut this year, which the Democrats fought ferociously against. The big spenders/big government folks have thrown out all of the old tired banalities that have helped us get into the predicament we are in today.
There is never a free lunch and government grants and their many programs aren’t free either.
Paul Ryan’s proposal is not perfect but it is a huge step in the right direction. It’s strong medicine which is what is required for a critical patient.
Joe Vann

USDA presses effort on discrimination charges
As part of continued efforts to close the chapter on allegations of past discrimination at USDA, a series of outreach meetings is being held throughout the country with farmers and ranchers to talk about the process that has been put in place to resolve the claims of Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers who assert that they were discriminated against when seeking USDA farm loans.
Most recently, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Fred Pfaeffle held a series of outreach meetings in California.
“The Obama Administration is committed to resolving all claims of past discrimination at USDA, so we can close this sad chapter in the department’s history,” said Pfaeffle. “We want to make sure that any Hispanic or women farmer or rancher who alleges discrimination is aware of this option to come forward, to have his or her claims heard and to participate in a process to receive compensation.”
Trina George, Mississippi Rural Development State Director, will be talking with individuals, as well as farmer and community organizations to underscore USDA’s commitment to resolving allegations of past discrimination and ushering in “a new era of civil rights”.
“If you believe that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) improperly denied farm loan benefits to you between 1981 and 2000 because you are Hispanic, or because you are female, you may be eligible to apply for compensation,” said George. Potential claimants can register to receive a claims package by calling the Farmer and Rancher Call Center at 1-888-508-4429 or visiting www.farmerclaims.gov.
USDA announced earlier this year with the Department of Justice provides up to $50,000 for each Hispanic or woman farmer who can show that USDA denied them a loan or loan servicing for discriminatory reasons for certain time periods between 1981 and 2000. This claims process offers a streamlined alternative to litigation and provides at least $1.33 billion in compensation, plus up to $160 million in farm debt relief to eligible Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers. Hispanic or women farmers who provide additional proof and meet other requirements can receive a $50,000 reward. Successful claimants are also eligible for funds to pay the taxes on their awards and for forgiveness of certain existing USDA loans. There is no filing fees or other costs to claimants to participate in the program. Participation is voluntary, and individuals who decide not to participate may choose to file a complaint in court.
Ken Stribling
(601) 965-4316 (Ext. 212)

Columnist Sanders holds politically correct faith
Bob Ray Sanders’ June 18 column on the Texas governor’s prayer rally for peace begs a response.
Many of us share his concern for Christians who are seduced by the temporal world, and look to what C.S. Lewis called “Screwtape” in Washington who wants to be our god, and offers us the illusion and trap of his useful left-right paradigm.
However, Sanders’ own politically tainted faith condemns those who would save the lives of the unborn – 33 million in just the last 20 years – and try to prevent the ruin of young women who will one day be tormented if they terminate the life of their children – especially as they approach the day they will stand before Christ. Brother Sanders’ politically correct definition of abortion as a amp”right to chooseamp” is not biblical love. Those who love the child and the mother enough to want temporal and eternal life for both reflect the apolitical love of Christ and his law above the law.
We witness to those not of our faith, not in hate, because His love drives us to show those who are lost The Way to salvation – the love of Jesus that changed the sons of Adam into disciples of love and guardians of the gospel. We also see some of the social programs of “Screwtape” as the narcotic to enslave man and separate him from his Lord. We want our brothers to learn as we have through our own suffering and brokenness to lean on God, the true Sovereign, not government.
Finally we choose to see Brother Sanders, not as a man of color, but as a member of the Body of Christ. All temporal divisions separate us, and blind us to our common mutuality that Martin Luther King wrote about from the Birmingham jail in 1963.
M.W. Temple

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