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Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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Published: Tuesday, 11/5/2002

The people of Haiti need our help

I cried when I saw the photo of the detained Haitian refugees. This past summer I spent a week in the city of Port-au-Prince. I was invited by a Haitian former college classmate to participate in the closing ceremonies for the school that he has established there.

Never could I have imagined the horror that I witnessed. I was mentally prepared for the intense poverty of the country. What haunts me, however, is the deep sense of fear and hopelessness that I sensed from the people of Haiti. I continue to have nightmares.

My host is blind. Therefore, of necessity, I drove his car through the streets of the city. I will never forget the children who clung to the window of the car begging for money. Nearly every building of consequence is surrounded by razor wire with broken glass embedded into the concrete.

Trash is dumped into the streets, where an occasional bulldozer disposes of it. Waste flows freely down the streets. Food is prepared and sold with direct contact to the waste inevitable. The unemployment rate approaches 70 percent and illiteracy is the norm. When I was there, the main hospital in town closed.

Most of the natural resources of the country have been depleted. Thousands of Haitians have fled to the city, where they find circumstances that are even worse. Unfortunately, living conditions have not improved under the leadership of Aristide.

The people of Haiti need our help. Now that the doors are beginning to reopen to the possibility of aid to the country, the worldwide community must respond. Accountability by Haiti's current leadership, however, is paramount.

CECILIA JOHNSON

Gunckel Boulevard

A recent article reported on the prospect of shipping condoms throughout the world to fight AIDS, while dismissing the idea of abstinence. This was no doubt applauded by some in the media who would have you believe that contraception is the popular choice, and that in the “real” world, sexual restraint is a myth.

However, our new Miss America, Erika Harold, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of Illinois, has become a spokeswoman for Project Reality, a group that develops abstinence-education materials for schools. This “no-contraceptive, no-sex” until marriage approach is taught to 750,000 children in 450 schools in Illinois.

It seems pretty clear that Ms. Harold, and the millions of young Americans who emulate her, are not buying into this “popular” choice thing, and that they have made their own choice.

The right one.

EDWIN F. DURIVAGE

River Road

So often good values and morals are pushed away in order to allow popularity and fame to come forth. When we were weak and lacked the capacity to have our message heard, we longed to make the world a better place. Yet now, where is that dream, that place? We give up on this world simply to compete with society. Look ahead. Where is society really going?

TODD PRENTICE

Holland

Where should I begin in response to that sweet-talking charmer, Eileen Foley? I am restricted, of course, by the power of the press to a 300-word response to her 700-word diatribe. Let's take a look at some of her chosen words: fanatic (five times), spineless, dimwits, know-nothing (twice), terrorized, ignorance, addicted, pollute, gutless, illiterate, ridiculousness, laughingstock, delusions, immature.

Was she fuming about snipers or Saddam Hussein? No, her vicious and libelous attack was aimed at the vast majority of Americans, who, in every poll ever conducted, prefer that all of the scientific evidence regarding origins be made available to students. Ms. Foley, who hypocritically stated that here in America, we allow for differences, but are well-mannered enough not to impose our personal credos on others, would nevertheless dictate her view to be the only one taught.

In my experience, those who don't have the facts to back their position resort to name-calling and personal attack. Evolutionists are absolutely terrified by the possibility that the general public might be made aware of the voluminous scientific evidence in all of the disciplines from astronomy to zoology that screams “false” to the fantasy of evolution.

To set the record straight, those who want the scientific evidence supporting intelligent design and contradicting evolution to be included in science classes do not want religion or the Bible taught in those classes! The thousands of scientists who reject evolution do so on a solid scientific basis.

I would be delighted to debate Ms. Foley on this issue any time with no references to religion allowed. Just the facts, ma'am, the scientific facts. (She would, of course be permitted to call me all those nasty names!)

STEVEN McCONAUGHY

Chelmsford Lane

What a great idea to study the feasibility of using a different type of fuel at the Davis-Besse plant. The options, while not pollution free, would be a far safer means of generating electricity.

There are several reasons why we should do away with nuclear power.

  • Nuclear reactors can have accidents that would devastate the region in which they operate.

  • Nuclear reactors create radioactive waste that will remain hazardous for 240,000 years. We have already lost track of some of this waste, endangering the lives of future generations.

  • Nuclear reactors create the material and technological expertise to make nuclear weapons.

  • Nuclear reactors are an expensive and dangerous source of electricity.

  • Nuclear reactors are a national security threat.

    Four plants in the United States have been successfully switched to either coal or gas to make electricity. The costs to do this may be less then what they have spent and are planning to spend to restart the facility. Then it still needs to pass NRC inspection and get approval to reopen.

    Davis-Besse should not be restarted under any circumstances. We need to protect our environment for future generations.

    THERESA M. SMITH

    Brame Place

    I cannot remember political ads ever being as obnoxious and constant as they are this year.

    I don't want to vote for any of these people.

    My television and radio are turned off until Wednesday.

    LOU O'BRIEN

    Grand Rapids



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