News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Let sheriff handle security at courthouse


Sheriff Greg Bartlett has been assigned to take care of courthouse security. Let him take care of it.

If we get bombed by one of the courthouse employees, or one of the local attorneys, then take Sheriff Bartlett to the slaughterhouse. If the County Commission wants to micro-manage, then let them go in and screen all persons who enter the courthouse. Then they can stop complaining.

Herb Tapscott


Misses icon of Decatur crossroads


Maybe this is not the most important subject in our times, or no one else cares, but I was wondering what happened to the white-bearded gentleman who used to stand at our busiest corners and wave to those driving by?

The first time I saw him was at Beltline and Danville roads. He stood, gently pounding a staff on the cement. Though we never heard him speak a word, we got that he was a preacher and he had a message. He became a welcomed presence at the bridge, or Alabama 20 and 67.

Imagine after a long day at work, with the car full of children and driving up on this Godsend.

It made me pause and remember my father in heaven at a time of day when worldly demands held my full attention. He was constant and glad to see you as if he knew you well. Isn't that just what we hope God is like? The Good Shepherd genuinely happy to welcome us home.

After a while he changed to holding a white cloth in his hands. Again another message. Live life in simple purity. Maybe I am missing what his words would have been completely, but I do know he served his divine master well in his presence on the street. Maybe others got a different message. More than likely we are of different faiths, but isn't the message the same for all?

This is to tell him I heard his silent word and he is missed. And when I think of him I pause and hope that God the father will be that welcoming and happy to see me when I go home. I remember that there is a constant presence in my life around every corner. I want him to know I am grateful.

Maureen Redler


Diplomacy, more troops needed


"We will stay the course; we will not leave until we have won."

I think that means that we have to win the war either diplomatically or militarily with Iraq as well as Iran, Syria, Lebanon-Hezbollah and Palestine.

I believe Iran and Syria are controlling the bloodbath at the moment.

That means we need more ground troops. Maybe start the draft? Or we must get more support from our allies England, France, Germany, Canada and Japan. We could use support from the mighty countries of China and Russia (questionable?).

I believe a diplomatic start would be to answer the Iranian premier's letter or invite him to a visit to the White House or United Nations. We definitely need some powerful diplomats to talk with the governments of those mentioned above.

Leroy Carlisle


Pardon Libby for alleged lies


In a 2003 New York Times op-ed, retired diplomat Joe Wilson accused the president of lying about Saddam Hussein seeking uranium in Africa. Wilson's claim of authority was that the vice president requested the CIA to send him to Niger in 2002, to see if Saddam tried to buy uranium there.

Columnist Robert Novak disclosed that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, worked at the CIA and she recommended Wilson for the job. Plame had once been an undercover operative. Concern was expressed that the leaker had violated the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. Wilson, Democrats and their press allies accused the White House (President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Karl Rove and Scooter Libby) of unlawfully divulging Plame's name.

Wilson's charge was important because it marked the beginning of the Democrat mantra, "Bush lied" about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But investigations by the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Robb-Silberman commission and the British Butler commission all concluded that Wilson lied and that Saddam had indeed sought uranium from Africa.

Now we know that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage inadvertently told Novak that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. Special Counsel Robert Fitzgerald knew all along that the leak was inadvertent and the Intelligence Identities Protection Act wasn't violated. Yet he persisted in a sham prosecution. The act applies only to those who are operating undercover overseas, or who have done so within five years. Plame had been manning an analyst desk at CIA headquarters for longer than that.

Pardon Scooter immediately.

Edwin R. Hyatt


All must be willing to do more in war


The prospect of another 9/11 attack worries me a great deal. With the reports of the activities on both our southern and northern borders, we are in great danger. Why aren't we informing our communities regarding disaster preparedness should such an event, or events, happen?

It may be that police, firemen and first responders, etc., are being briefed, but the public needs to understand that our culture is threatened and we must be prepared for what lies ahead of us. As a young girl during World War II, I remember everyone was involved in the war effort, even the children. Now, we are told to keep on living our lives as though there is no global struggle going on between the West and the East. It should not only be our military and their families that are bearing the burden of this struggle, but each and every one of us.

President Bush may truly be doing what needs to be done in the fight against terrorism, but he has been unable to inspire his countrymen. I pray to God that we haven't lost the desire and will to defend our nation.

Marion Scott


Article brought attention to important topic


There is no doubt that more air traffic controllers assigned to the Huntsville International Airport control tower would be beneficial for the controllers and also more reassuring to those who utilize the airport.

However, no matter how many controllers are on duty, the safety of every flight still is dependent upon the people in the aircraft. With respect to the Kentucky tragedy, a minimum of two people completely and utterly failed to perform the most rudimentary tasks. The crew failed to follow signage, or clarify their position if there was not a sign for the runway they turned onto and ignored, or at least failed to verify their heading indicated by the electronic equipment and augmented by the old fashioned compass.

So, how could not one, but two people make so many critical mistakes? Perhaps it is because with all of our wonderful technology and abilities, we are still human. Humans make mistakes. The control tower personnel are also human, so let's be certain that we do not ask too much of them. Give them the support and shift structures that promote alertness and allow for sufficient rest by staffing the towers accordingly. Humans can't always be at 100 percent. They need more maintenance than machines do.

Therefore I thank you for the article, which drew attention to our local airport. Put politics aside and do what is safe and best for us all. Also, I say thank you to the professionals who do a great job keeping us in the air, and we never even notice them.

David Childers


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