Letters to the editor – 4/8/15
The good old GOP
In Susan Page’s column about Down syndrome, she gave credit to President George H.W. Bush for signing Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law in 1990. But it was Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat from Iowa, who authored the bill and was its chief sponsor. And ADA was approved by the Senate 91-6 and passed in the House of Representatives 377-28. Congress had Democratic majorities, and in those days both parties of the legislative branch and executive branch worked together.
Then, in 2012, it was 38 Senate Republicans who voted against the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to ratify a U.N. treaty aimed at creating equal opportunity for disabled people around the world. Even Bob Dole was wheeled into the chamber appealing for Republican support, to no avail. This shows how the Republican Party has changed.
Our First Amendment right to free speech is listed only after the right to freedom of belief. Why then would anyone think it can mean that we can use it to trample on the beliefs of our neighbors whose faith we do not share? Do you think it was appropriate to print the column by Chuck Shepherd referring to “the Jesus and Mary World Tour” (sightings of them on everything from the fur on a dog’s ear to a rusted air-conditioning unit) during the week we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, or any other time for that matter?
Kimon Nicolaides III
After reading Bob Jones’ column “The Mayor’s Selective Love for Parks,” I was amazed at his lack of compassion for the homeless in Aala Park.
I will admit I used to be like him. If I saw a homeless person coming my way, I would cross the street so I didn’t get accosted by them. I would say, “Why don’t you get a job?”
Then suddenly the shoe was on the other foot and I was homeless — one of those filthy, frightening people who stopped the good citizens’ enjoyment of Aala Park. You can go from one to the other in the beat of a heart.
Most of the homeless don’t want to be homeless. The loss of a job, an illness, even a disaster can render you a filthy and frightening person. I thank God every day that I made it out alive. My friends died there.
Homelessness is but a symptom of a far larger problem our society has created: the cost of living, of medical care for mental and physical illness, the lack of facilities for the homeless. We need to work on our society’s illnesses to help the homeless.
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