Letters to the Editor

Stimulus funding, grants raise questions
A Daily Journal article on Sept. 9 reported Verona School was getting a “steamer oven” paid for by “federal stimulus funds” in the amount of $36,000, installed.
Now I’m certain that avoiding fried foods is a good thing for the general health and well being of the kiddies, but why are stimulus funds being used?
When this legislation was passed it was for the express purpose of shovel ready projects and the billions of tax dollars were to be spent, supposedly, to re-employ American workers. Now, it would appear, correct me if I’m wrong, that the school lunchroom workers, the manufacturer’s employees, the trucking company employees and the employees of the installer were already employed.
Have we missed something here? In addition, not a day goes by that an article regarding a grant for this and a grant for that appears in your paper. What exactly is a “grant”? Is it real money, tax money, Chinese monopoly money, a stack of $50 bills with ole U.S. Grant’s likeness printed thereon, or does a U.S. Treasury truck pull up with a printing press churning out the wherewithal to provide these funds? Are government loans, bond issues or regular fiscal budget funds now passé? Can a taxpayer American business get a “grant”? I guess that if you are manufacturing steamer ovens, you can by default.
In addition, the opinions of your weekly far left liberal-Democrat-journalists, i.e., Bill Minor, Bobby Harrison, Marty Russell, Rheta Johnson, et al has grown tiresome. How about a tad more “fair and balanced” for a change? We taxpayers are concerned about the economy and employment and if it’s OK with the present Washington Liberal Elite we don’t mind paying for our own health care. Maybe this will aid in getting the government out of our lives and off our backs as recommended at the Sept. 12 Tea Party in Washington, D.C. Did the Daily Journal cover this? Seems like it would be fair if you would.
David C. Horn

Toles cartoon sickened a reader from Amory
When I turned to the editorials in the Sept. 15 Journal, I was sickened by the cartoon by Toles of the Washington Post. If this is his (or her) idea of our country and president, maybe he should live under the rule of some of the rulers that were listed. There were drawn pictures depicting in the cartoon several “Williams,” describing and comparing their rule to President Obama’s health care initiative.
We have gone through years of do-nothings of previous administrations. Now that we have a president who is trying to make positive changes, some can only find fault and ridicule. I wonder if the cartoonist has all the answers. If so why not offer some positive input? After all, this administration has only been in office some eight months or so. They did inherit this mess we are now experiencing. Shouldn’t we give him and them a chance?
We do have new leadership whether we like it or not. Someone must like it as they were elected to serve us. I believe in our way of life here in our country. I know of no other place I’d rather be. I like your paper. That’s why I subscribe, but let’s can Toles’ cartoons. You are fair to give all people a voice. Keep up the good work!
Eugenia Kendrick

Phone discounts can help in tough times
In these times with so many families struggling and many people out of work for the first time in their life, it is important for everyone to be aware of all the assistance that is available to help people stay afloat.
“Lifeline” and “Link-Up” are programs that provide discounts to low-income consumers on basic residential or cellular telephone service. These programs have been active for years, administered by the Federal Communications Commission and the Mississippi Public Service Commission, but at least 75 percent of eligible consumers in Mississippi do not take advantage of these discounts.
The basic concept of the discounts is simple: Lifeline involves discounts on your monthly telephone bill, and Link-Up involves a discount on the cost of initiating telephone service. These discounts are available for a primary residential telephone, even a cellular phone. The discounts are available everywhere in Mississippi, and the amount of the discount depends on the customer’s telephone company.
The basic federal Lifeline discount is as much as $13.50 per month or $162 per year. That’s $162 a year that can go directly back into the pocket of the consumer for other bills, medicine, etc. Link-Up discounts the cost of installing basic residential telephone service or activating a wireless phone that is the primary residential phone. The basic federal Link-Up discount is half the cost of installation up to $30.
I know many senior citizens in North Mississippi who have worked all their life in garment factories, on farms and otherwise who now draw a small Social Security check each month and that is their only income. There are also those who have fallen on hard times and are participating in a government program that provides assistance to them. These are the people that these programs are geared to assist.
Consumers qualify for Lifeline and Link-Up by participating in one of a number of federal assistance programs or by having income of 135 percent or below of the federal poverty guidelines. To find out if you or a loved one qualifies for this discount please contact my office at 1-800-356-6428 of 1-800-637-7722 or at northern.district@psc.state.ms.us
Brandon Presley
Public Service Commissioner
Northern District

Public option will undo the private care system
There are a few points that need to be made clear about the proposed health care plan.
Obama may be technically correct in stating that we can keep our doctor and insurance if we like it (for now). What he does not say is that if we get any public option at all, that will be the undoing of the private system. He won’t have to directly require us to do anything because the regulator of the private system (the government) will also compete and will result in private companies going out of business on their own (not his doing). Then we will be left with no other option but the government system. By then it will be too late, and he can simply say that the private companies couldn’t compete of their own inability (not true, but it won’t matter).
This is his plan, to get the “camel’s nose under the tent,” which will be all he needs to start the unraveling of our health system. The danger here is that this will be the destruction of a major portion of our economy, and the opportunity for the government to step in and take over our lives.
By the time we really discover the consequences, it will be far too late to fix it. It is like slow poison, no effect felt until it is too late to save the patient. We are in a completely different situation than we have ever been. Ordinarily, we elected a Democrat or Republican, wait four years or eight years, then undo it and life goes on. Not so this time. We are faced with such a drastic change, it will be like toppling the towers. We cannot just undo the damage with a vote, once the damage is done. We are at the edge of dropping our American way of life over the cliff. Once we fall, there will be no easy fix.
No matter what the outcome of all the other topics of the health care debate, we cannot afford to allow any public health care option under any name at all. To do so will be sealing our fate.
One last thought, if there is so much waste in our system, enough to fund Obama’s proposed plan, do we really think that the same government that has generated and allowed this waste and corruption will somehow find enough pixie dust to magically clean up the system? I think not.
Sammy Peach

Hull’s column had racist, unChristian commentary
This letter is in response to the commentary by James Hull on the Opinion page on Aug. 22. It was full of underlying racism. I can assure you that Dr. King, were he still here, would have been very disturbed to see anyone, especially of his own race, who claims to be a Christian, write such an article.
I do not care that our president is black. I am proud to live in a country where anyone can be elected president. It is called freedom. Hull is right that animosity toward Obama goes beyond the health debate, but it has nothing to do with racism. There may be a small percentage of people who suffer from their own misguided racial beliefs, but most, including me, do not feel that way. His article certainly implies that he does. The comments he made will only enhance those beliefs for that small percentage and create a larger racial divide. If he really thinks race matters, get Condoleeza Rice to run for president.
I doubt that anyone, as he suggested, thinks President Obama is intellectually inferior. Most people know he is very well educated. However, people do care about his principals and policies, and have every right to disagree. Many things he has done make people wonder about his principles. One of his early decisions was to free up American funds to go to foreign countries to be used for abortions. Then the comment he made without thinking about the professor Gates issue was improper. He later tried to cover up his mistake by saying he should have handled it differently, but that didn’t change what is obvious. He also deals with those racist beliefs.
I wish space would allow me to dissect every paragraph he wrote. Much of what he portrays as fact is very misleading, debatable and disturbing to the general public. He is helping build a society where we will need Dr. King as much as we needed him in the 60s, only in different ways.
Herb Wall

Questions about landfill persist in Alcorn County
We who oppose the proposed landfill had our first meeting with the Alcorn Board of Supervisors in May 2008 and explained the environmental, safety, and moral concerns about placing a landfill on Forest School Road.
For more than a year, we warned taxes would be raised and now it’s happening. They are raising taxes 4.33 mills and have spent almost $2.5 million dollars.
They’ve borrowed hundreds of thousands of dollars and are issuing $30 million in revenue bonds to build a jail.
Now we know the whole 4.33 mills isn’t due to the landfill, but well over $100,000 has been spent on landfill testing and paperwork and they are paying a lawyer from Jackson $250/hour. How many hours does the average Alcorn County taxpayer have to work to make $250 and how many more hours will we have to work just to pay the additional taxes? How many budgets were cut because money was wasted on lawyer and engineer bills?
Alcorn County continues to see high unemployment rates – higher than the state average. It’s harder than ever for families to make ends meet. Why add to that burden by spending money on dangerous, unnecessary, and morally wrong landfills – especially when we’ve shown there is a safer, more cost-effective option by hauling it out of county.
At first, this may have looked like a Wenasoga problem, but it really is an Alcorn County problem – and now everyone in Alcorn County is being forced to pay for it.
When you’re trying to put food on your table and pay your bills – picture your supervisors spending your tax dollars to pay a Jackson lawyer to let them bury garbage in your backyard! Kinda stinks, doesn’t it?
Ask your supervisor to stop before the only things we have left are jail cells and garbage trucks.
Lisha Hinton Hopper

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