News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Sheriff deserves sound beating from voters

I was under the impression that it was against the law to hire a child to do a man's job. Well, someone needs to check the age of the person who calls himself the sheriff. In all my 63 years, I have never seen a grown man who whined as much as he does about absolutely nothing, just like a spoiled brat.

Since the lawyer representing the inmates and the judge who ruled on the case previously said he had enough manpower, he has done nothing but run from lawyer to lawyer to judge to pitch his little childish temper tantrum to get some attention. It is like a child who pitches a temper tantrum until the parent gets tired of it and then the child gets the thing he deserves: a beating.

That's what this crybaby needs and the parents (the voting public) need to give him the beating he will never forget at election time. He needs to save all the money he has off the inmates' meals, rather than spend it on lawyers to try to blackmail or intimidate the county commission, because he will need every dime of it to survive. No one will want to hire him after he gets the thrashing he deserves. The old cliché is, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease." In this case, the whiny brat will get the thrashing he is overdue for.

Aaron Potts


Understaffed jail costs more in long run

I've listened to the arguments about funding the jail, and I'd like to give a different perspective.

I worked in corrections and juvenile justice for 12 years. Those of us who have done this kind of work believe we're doing our part to keep the community safe. In doing so, we go to work each day and put our health, and indeed our very lives, at risk.

And what thanks do these men and women get for their trouble? They work with people you can't afford to let your guard down with, because doing so might mean you're not going home that night. You work for a public who thinks you're lazy, overpaid and sadistic. And you work in conditions where you're doing the job that, in all honesty, three people ought to be doing. And trust me, you never get paid what you're worth.

Our commission could possibly run that jail with fewer jailers, but can they afford the medical bills for the injured inmates and injured staff members that will definitely come down the pike? Can they afford the lawsuits they'll face for injuries and deaths as a result of negligence due to understaffed facilities? Can they afford the cost of training staff they'll have to constantly hire to replace those overworked officers who finally have enough and decide it's just not worth it?

I personally think it's time our elected officials stopped playing the personality game and started doing the jobs we elected them to do. How about them spending a night in jail, and then tell us what staffing pattern recommendations are appropriate?

Jenny L. Threet


Protecting Earth everybody's

I appreciate Cal Thomas and his columns. However, I do not agree with the headline "Evangelical Christians not called to protect God's creation" of Feb. 15. He made a reference to the verses in Genesis 1:26-27 which "speak of being good stewards and 'taking care' of the earth" ("... God created man ... male and female He created them. And God ... said to them 'fill the earth and subdue it ...' ") He also gave them responsibility over various creatures and vegetation.

Mr. Thomas seems to attempt to negate that responsibility for Christians by stating, "that was before the fall of man." It was not limited to Christians, it was an assignment for all mankind (only two at that point). And it was not limited to pre-fall people (would multiplying and ruling be limited to pre-fall people?).

The columnist also attacks Pastor Rick Warren for signing on "to the global warning doctrine." Many Christians are taught observation, interpretation, and application as a method of Bible study. What do I see, what does it mean, and how does it apply to me?

Rick Warren makes concern over global warming his application. He can do that. I haven't. I can do that. Pastors must be cautious about turning their application into a biblical command.

Bill A. Troth


Creation isn't necessarily an
ignorant belief

Why are people who believe in creation instead of evolution considered to be ignorant?

The theory of evolution is just that — a theory. The scientific method consists of a hypothesis, then theory, then fact, if evidence is found.

Charles Darwin, in his "Origin of Species," observed changes in birds over time, or microevolution, which can be observed in any species. He thought that evidence would be found in the fossil record where one species changed into another, or macroevolution. That evidence has not been found. That fact is overlooked by evolutionists, who are still looking for the "missing link."

There are scientists who know that evidence for evolution does not exist. Many Christians believe in theistic evolution, meaning that God directed evolution to create man. Listen! If God directed evolution, then creation is true. The problem with theistic evolution is that true evolutionary scientists do not believe in God and teach that life came about accidentally, over millions of years. Of course, if you believe in accidental evolution, there is no basis for morality and you don't have to answer to God for your sins.

Alabama was given an "F" by some so-called educational group for including creation along with evolution in textbooks. Who cares? Alabama is one of our many states tired of an unproven theory being taught to our children as fact. Consider this: when Jesus the Word created everything in John 1 and Genesis 1, Adam and Eve were grown, plant and animal life were grown and the oceans were finished. How old would the world have been calculated to be if present-day dating methods had been applied?

As a scientist and a Christian, I'm going to continue to believe the creation story in the Bible.

Charles M. Forman


Many virgin areas of Earth to explore

This news story may not mean much to many of you, but it has its place in the human-interest genre. It's a good diversion from the hard news of the day (war, crime and the continuing breakdown of families) and a welcome change from local politics, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Some elected officials are starting to sound like a bunch of hogs feasting on slop.

The news story I'm referring to was carried in THE DAILY on Feb. 8. It was an Associated Press story from Jakarta, Indonesia. A scientific expedition funded by the National Geographic Society has found a land that time forgot.

In some of the most remote areas of these mountains, where possibly no man has ever walked, a new species of bird and many near-extinct animals have been found. A place where man has not ravaged and every creature that moves is not shot at, is a new concept. No wonder scientists have dubbed this lost land "the Garden of Eden." With 2 million acres of tropical forest, the search has just started.

Now, for the irony. In man's search for the unknown, he has explored the moon at a cost of about $4 billion a year, yet four-fifths of this planet has not been adequately explored or even surveyed.

It proves my point that there are things on this planet and around it that are far beyond anything you can imagine.

Jimmy Robinson


Iditarod cruel to participating animals

The "feel good" piece about Iditarod volunteer Amy Golden blithely ignored the very real cruelties associated with the race and the suffering of the dogs forced to participate ("Musher Mania," Feb. 16).

In the Iditarod, dogs are forced to run more than 100 miles per day, with few — and brief — intervals of rest. They are subjected to biting winds, blinding snowstorms, sub-zero temperatures, and falls through treacherous ice into frigid water. Their feet become bruised, bloodied, cut by ice, and just plain worn out because of the vast distances they cover. Many dogs pull muscles, incur stress fractures, or become sick with diarrhea, dehydration, intestinal viruses or bleeding stomach ulcers. Dogs have been strangled by tow lines, trampled by moose, and hit by snowmobiles and sleds.

Jennifer O'Connor

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Norfolk, Va.

Majority of dogs that start race
don't finish it

Amy Golden says she's still learning about the Iditarod. When she digs beneath Iditarod hype, she'll learn that the race has a long, well-documented history of dog deaths, illnesses and injuries.

The short list of what happens to the dogs during the Iditarod includes death, paralysis, penile frostbite, bleeding ulcers, broken bones, pneumonia, torn muscles and tendons, diarrhea, vomiting, hypothermia, fur loss, broken teeth, viral diseases, torn footpads, ruptured discs, sprains, anemia and lung damage.

On average, 53 percent of the dogs that start the Iditarod do not make it across the finish line. According to a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, of those that do finish, 81 percent have lung damage. The Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine reported that 61 percent of the dogs that finish the Iditarod have ulcers versus zero percent pre-race.

How do sick animals run the 1,100 miles across frozen tundra and through icy waters? Veterinarians give them massive doses of antibiotics to keep them going. Anemia tires the dogs, but mushers force them to run mile after grueling mile.

The Iditarod administration promotes the race as a commemoration of the 1925 Anchorage to Nome diphtheria serum delivery. The truth is that the delivery was done by dogs running in relays, with no dog running more than 100 miles. It is not like the grueling 1,150-mile present-day event.

To learn the truth about the Iditarod, follow the money trail. That should be easy because it's splattered with the blood of puking dogs.

Margery Glickman

Director, Sled Dog Action Coalition

Miami, Fla.

March 5 concert will reaffirm faith in youth

Occasionally, we adults in my hometown of Valley become discouraged with our young people, as I'm sure some folks in Decatur sometimes do. The good news is that's about to change, as your area will soon host a group of young men who will be performing at the Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts on March 5 at 3 p.m.

They are known, and have been known for 35 years as the All-American Boys Chorus from Southern California. They have performed in our town three times in the past six years and everyone here is anxiously awaiting their return.

Unlike most boys' choirs, the 32-member All-American Boys Chorus performs the music that makes America happy. It's music we can all relate to, from Irving Berlin to the Beach Boys, country to classical, pop to Broadway and patriotic to Dixieland. They do it all and they do it as only dedicated, highly trained young people can — with pride and enthusiasm. They have performed in 48 of our states, plus in Canada and many countries in Europe, Asia and South America.

I have had the pleasure of seeing and hearing these young men perform a number of times and it is something I will always remember. I am absolutely confident that people in Decatur who attend this outstanding concert will be thoroughly entertained and leave with a much brighter outlook on all of our young people.

Bill Gilbert


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