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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2006
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Bush realizes war is only way to attain peace

THE DECATUR DAILY:

I would like to address the Democrats who are all too willing to smear the president — a president who finally was wise enough to do something about the terrorists who got away with murder, literally, in attacks on America.

He came into office with a 40 percent decimation of our military brought about by the appeasement policies of the former administration, who turned a blind eye to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, the late 1993 cut-and-run in Somalia which emboldened bin Laden to laugh in our faces and call us "paper tigers." We had heard of the Khober Towers incident, proven by Louis Freeh to have originated by Iran, but President Clinton did not act, the attack on the African Embassy "inciting" Clinton to bomb an aspirin factory and, some say, did minor damage to a camel. Then of course we have the big one, the attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, that claimed around 3,000 lives.

We have paid a dear price for President Clinton's appeasement and finally we have a president who understands that the only way we can have peace is through strength. For this the American people should be grateful.

Lazelle Parker

Somerville

Border security should be our top priority

THE DECATUR DAILY:

I was a strong advocate of the Iraq war in the beginning. That is no longer the case. I feel just the opposite.

America is a wonderful country, but we are in deep need of protection here. Our borders, both along Canada and Mexico, need to be, and can be, controlled.

Every day, there are hundreds of illegal aliens coming into our country. They receive most all of the public assistance available here in the United States. This is placing a strain on the American taxpayer. It also takes dollars away from legal citizens who need help. We are supporting illegals, which many feel is not by choice, but because we don't have the personnel to stop illegal immigration.

Just the other day, THE DAILY headlines reported that Marines are being recalled because our military is short on personnel. If we bring our military home and put them to work here, we can protect our own country by controlling our borders. We are not going to stop violence in the Middle East. That fighting has been going on for thousands of years, and only God can stop it.

America is doing without protection in the homeland so our government can police the world. I hope our politicians soon discover Americans need and very much want protection.

Betty Weikert

Decatur

Mechanical aids, cruelty ruin horse shows

THE DECATUR DAILY:

I attended the Spring Celebration in Priceville and was surprised at the number of horses that were padded up and chained. Another thing that stood out were the number of Walking horses exhibiting the exaggerated motion these mechanical devices cause.

Racking horses move differently from the high stepping, "fixed" Walkers, and there were a scant few of them in the show. It didn't seem like a Racking horse show at all.

There are fewer and fewer shows owners can show their horses in without being "fixed," either through these mechanical devices and/or a questionable judge being in place. Trainers are going to have their favorites and it seems highly inappropriate to have them as a judge as was mentioned in the article.

Walkers and Rackers both have beautiful natural gaits they are born with; that doesn't seem to matter much to the big players who push these horses into the "big lick" movements through a variety of often painful and cruel methods.

There are some of us who recognize the damage of this practice, not to mention it's illegality through the Horse Protection Act, and would welcome a fair showing of these horses in their natural gaits.

Seems the big no-no, using mechanical devices referred to as one of the founding principles of the Racking Horse Breeders, has been well forgotten. I see very little difference in the Walking and Racking Horse shows.

Long gone are the days when a horse was judged on its natural ability. That's enough to turn more than a few people off to showing against man-made gaits and the power of big money and egos.

It's not fun anymore. It's not fair anymore. Is it any wonder the RHBEA has seen such a decline in membership?

Sunni Evan Montgomery

Birmingham

Youth trip to Italy was more than a vacation

THE DECATUR DAILY:

I write regarding Melanie Smith's Aug. 26 article about the St. John's Episcopal Church youth group pilgrimage to Italy.

Smith took what I thought was a healthy perspective on the importance of building relationships in an environment of faith, and the need to forge trust between young people and their adult leaders. It is something I've always tried to do when working with young people, letting them know their church or youth group is a safe place, a place of refuge and comfort from all of the landmines of growing up in today's culture.

Smith, however, failed to mention the tremendous amount of work the young people invested in the fundraising part of the pilgrimage — something I think witnesses to others their commitment and dedication to the vision of the trip.

More than two years of planning, fundraising and involvement by both young people and adults led up to the 10-day journey.

Also, all of the spiritual portions of the trip — praying in all the visited churches, studying their own faith, journaling, morning and evening prayer — were left out of the story.

It's unfortunate those crucial elements of the pilgrimage were omitted from her story. I think inclusion of that information shows the reader this wasn't a vacation or a frivolous adventure, but rather a pilgrimage by committed young people to sacred and holy places in church history where they could examine their faith and experience the presence of something much greater then themselves.

Having worked on a newspaper staff, I understand space is limited and editors change stories.

But I think that missing information alters the perspective of the reader, leaves several questions unanswered and misrepresents the journey to the audience.

Grant Thompson

Decatur

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