News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Can't we go one day without a drink?

We have a problem in our country, our state, and our city, when some people cannot go 24 hours without a drink. (I believe that some of these people are in rehab for substance abuse.) Some people would sell their soul to get another dollar and we wonder why we are a crime-ridden city, state and nation.

I believe that the Decatur Convention and Visitors Bureau and Valley Budweiser could better serve the community than to create a lobbying group: "Progressive Legislation for Economic Development Coalition." I have heard that a person with a problem would hide behind anything to get a fix. I guess this proves it.

Before Decatur went wet a few years ago, liquor sales were going to make our city one of the best in the nation with all the revenue that came from the sales. Today, we do not have enough money to put the needed police officers on the street, not to mention all the other needs facing our city like streets, traffic, drainage, run down crack houses, etc.

Now if you want a drink, stand up like a man or woman and say so, and don't hide behind some false and fancy name to get it.

We do not need Sunday sales! Some of our citizens — in fact, a lot of them — like to go out to eat on Sunday after church with their families and would prefer that booze not be floating around in their face.

Ed Fricks


Lee analogous to bin Laden; column disturbing

As a white United Methodist minister from Decatur, I find Mitch Chase's column about Robert E. Lee disturbing. I am always suspicious whenever someone champions a view that soothes the dominant, culturally controlling group. In the three all-white United Methodist Churches that I have pastored in Alabama, I have never had anyone respond in anger about the Robert E. Lee portion of the holiday. I have had people respond angrily about Martin Luther King. I am sure that most people are historically ignorant when it comes to the issues surrounding the Civil War, but if we are going to lift up portions of history that would be good for people to know, it would be much more advantageous for white Alabamians to understand the civil rights movement than the biographical details of Robert E. Lee. However courageous Lee may have been, battlefield courage is more common than prophetic courage. The kind of prophetic courage exemplified by Dr. King is rare. Jeremiah, Jesus and Gandhi come to mind.

The primary issue is one of identification. Mr. Chase's column attempts to get the reader to identify with the misunderstood Confederate war general. This is an identification that many of your readers are perfectly willing to make. However, I do not see many white people who seek to identify with African-Americans. For black people, General Lee is a figure analogous to Osama bin Laden. Yes there are distinctions, but those distinctions do not apply at the gut level of experienced pain and suffering. Continuing white willingness to somehow redeem the South's role in the Civil War is, in itself, an indication of how badly we need more Martin Luther Kings and fewer Robert E. Lees.

John Tucker

Ontario, Ore.

Make certain organizer is qualified, certified

Lauren Howard's wonderful article of Jan. 11 ("A place for everything") overlooked one valuable resource for finding a qualified professional organizer.

Anytime a consumer (or a business professional) is considering bringing a professional organizer into his home or office, he should always check to see if the organizer 1) is a CPO Certified Professional Organizer, 2) has verifiable standards of education and experience and 3) belongs to a trade association with an enforceable code of ethics.

The industry standard CPO certification designation is administered by the Organizing and Management Institute ( under the umbrella of the International Association of Professional Organizers. IAPO (www.organiz is the only membership association in the organizing industry with an enforceable code of ethics and verifiable membership standards of education and experience.

For a free IAPO fact sheet and a free industry resource list, visit the IAPO Media Center.

Paula Ryan

IAPO Director of Public Relations

New York, N.Y.

Immigrants perform jobs American workers won't

Re: Illegal immigrants taking jobs. To some extent this is true, but it comes down to supply and demand. There is a demand for unskilled or semi-skilled labor that cannot be met by American workers. Most of these workers are on some social program that pays them to stay at home, so why work?

Our company pays a minimum wage of $8 per hour for unskilled labor and we cannot hire American workers who want to work. The Hispanic workers will work harder and longer because their only option is to return to Mexico at 25 percent of the wages they receive in the United States. They are at work every day and rarely do they call in sick.

In the construction industry, you work when weather permits. This may mean an 80-hour week this week and a 30-hour week the next. Most American workers want 40 to 50 hours maximum. If there were not a void to fill, the immigrant workers would not be here.

Mike Walker


Medicare crisis is worse than Social Security ills

If President Bush thinks the individual can make more of his investment by buying in the stock market, why doesn't he have the Treasury Department (or appropriate department) buy back the bonds that Social Security is holding and invest in the stock market to make up the shortfall?

Bush is making another crisis like he did with Iraq. Social Security is not in crisis and will last until about 2020-40 before it becomes a problem, and even then its shortfall is minimal.

If the United States could create more jobs, then more money would flow to Social Security.

Bush ought to be working on Medicare, which is the worse problem. It is growing at a rate twice or more than that of the national economy.

Leroy J. Carlisle Jr.


Tsunami a huge disaster; legal abortions worse
THE DECATUR DAILY: I am encouraged by the outpouring of compassion by the United States in the form of aid to the victims of the recent tsunami in Asia. We view 150,000 deaths as one of the worst calamities in history, as well we should.

But compare those deaths to the more than 40 million that have taken place since 1973 in this nation under the guise of legal abortion.

You have to wonder about the true compassion of a nation that would allow such a genocide.

Cameron Reeder


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