published: Friday, May 04, 2012
It's time to take country back from smart ALECs
We hear the pleas of "we want to take our country back" without any mention of whom we want to take it back from. If Native Americans were doing the pleading, we could understand.
There is a real unelected organization that has gained a strong foothold in making laws for all of us. That is ALEC -- American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative organization financed by the 1 percent created to push the agenda of the 1 percent.
ALEC serves as a clearinghouse to coordinate the agenda of the 1 percent in all 50 states. It does more then lobby for particular legislation in legislative bodies; ALEC actually writes the bills that support the agenda of the 1 percent.
It was not by accident that a number of states passed laws restricting voter registration and suppressing the vote of the young and minorities. Nor was it a coincidence that antiunion and privatization bills were introduced and passed in many states.
ALEC does the hard work of actually writing the bills for legislators to introduce, and many have been passed almost word for word.
ALEC has had a close relationship with the NRA and supports bills sponsored by the NRA in return for its support with other pro-wealthy and pro-corporate legislation. Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law has been passed in 20 states, due mainly to the coordinated efforts of ALEC and the NRA.
Yes, I want to take our country back and I know whom I want to take back from and it is the 1 percent that the Supreme Court gave it to with their Citizens United ruling.
We became a plutocracy almost overnight. In a plutocracy, the wealthy rule and make the laws to benefit the wealthy.
When you vote this fall, vote for those who stand with the working/middle class and start returning power back to the hard-working Americans who have been losing their voice in our government for the last 30 years.
Marvin Jacobson | Clermont
Do the right thing, and let politics take care of itself
I would agree with Mark Fisher of Mount Dora but there are times when the Senate should just do the right thing and do its job.
Failing to bring a bill up for a vote is not right; especially if the reason is to make sure your fingerprints are not on the bill. If you will not take a stand, you should not be there. How can we look up to our senators if they are cowards?
I give Sen. Alan Hays credit for trying to force the Senate to act like senators and stop acting like a bunch of bureaucrats.
Ronald Reagan said, "Just do the right thing and the politics will take care of itself." Sen. Hays did the right thing, and we should thank him not criticize him.
Joseph Tomanelli | Clermont
Dangerous intersection needs an 'All-Stop' sign
I am concerned about Grand Highway and North-ridge Boulevard and Pitt Street in Clermont.
Trying to turn right or left from Northridge onto Grand Highway is horrendous. You cannot see cars coming up the hill in either direction.
With all the construction going on in this area, I feel an "all stop" sign is needed.
The amount of traffic has and will double especially when the road is closed for change.
I have lived in this area for a while. No there hasn't been any major accidents but many close calls, and I don't want one to happen.
A. Ellen Milburn | Clermont
In death, Charles Colson deserved recognition for his ministry work
Once in a while we get the rare opportunity to see something which puts our societal values under the microscope, and the view I got recently would seem to give a graphic example of what we value.
A short while ago Dick Clark, a well-know entertainer and entrepreneur, passed away. He was a very successful businessman who enjoyed a long career in a tough business and, we are told, did it without resorting to any of the ethical shortcuts so prevalent in today's world. Newspapers and the electronic media praised him lavishly for all his contributions to entertainment.
On April 21, a giant among men died as well. His name was Charles Colson. The media promptly drag-ged out the Watergate scandal of the Nixon years and related that Colson had gone to prison for his part in that sad time.
Watergate happened almost 40 years ago, and for the past 36 years, Colson dedicated his life to serving God and serving his fellow man. He started Prison Fellowship ministries, which manages prisons all over the world. They are in charge of the number of inmates returning to prison after release has dropped dramatically.
I could go on for pages on all he has done because that is just one of the efforts he has made to make this world a better place.
For the past 37 years, Colson has participated in and preached an Easter service every year at a prison somewhere in the world, and in some cases in some of most vile prisons in the world. Alas, this year God called him home.
Please don't misunderstand me, I do not intend to take anything away from Dick Clark. What I find so ironic is that on the one hand we have a man who spent his career entertaining people to make money, and on the other a man who after he paid his debt to society dedicated his life to serving those let fortunate for little pay, and while the one get accolades and front-page pictures, the other gets a small picture and a review of his sins from so long ago, and no mention at all of how he paid for that sin a thousand times over.
If this is a fair statement of where our values lie, that we value being entertained more than we applaud those who commit themselves to serving their fellowman, how then can we be so surprised by all of the corruption in government and the suffering we see all around us every day?
Could it be that by embracing these values we give our tacit approval.
Jon VanderLey | Leesburg