A reservoir of good will

Lately I’ve been watching less TV news and reflecting on what these words “a reservoir of good will” could mean. With less MSNBC, CNN or Fox News am I interning some Pollyanna-ish illusion? If there is such a reservoir, then where is it?

The only reservoirs we’ve been hearing about lately are ones like the  reservoir of oil spewing out all over the Gulf, soaking birds’ feathers and endangering both wildlife and the livelihood of those who make their living along the Gulf coast.

And who knows what other damage will emerge from this huge disaster?

Then there’s what appears to be a reservoir of anger abroad in the land. People are frustrated. The government is doing too little.

The government is doing too much.

Unemployment is still too high. Add to that list if you wish. There is a reservoir of racism, a reservoir of fear, a reservoir of paranoia. a reservoir of distrust, a reservoir of violence.

Perhaps what we collectively need is to take a deep breath and just stop, look and listen a bit more. Can we discern some signs of this reservoir of good will? I sense it volunteering in Valdosta.

It happens as a doctor takes time to sit by my 95-year-old father to listen to his stories.

It might be the smile on a woman’s face who has just received several e-mail greetings from friends expressing their love, often with a touch of humor added.

I see signs of it in “random acts of kindness” from total strangers returning a set of keys or giving us directions to a place we just can’t find.

People get a glimpse of it in the midst of pain and loss, bereavement and separation.

What evidence have you seen of this reservoir of good will?

George Bennett

Valdosta

Wolf in sheep’s clothing?

The Valdosta Daily Times published a letter on June 23, with a heading; “Understanding Race,” in which the author offers as a rebuttal to another letter on race. The author first argues the semantics of the actual word “racism” by quoting the views of the People’s Institute of New Orleans Louisiana, a far left, black liberation type, pro reparations leaning organization. He then suggests reading “Undoing Racism” by Ronald Chisom and Michael Washington. Chisom is a “community organizer” and the founder of the fore mentioned People’s Institute of New Orleans Louisiana.

 The vast majority of Americans deplore racism. The vast majority of people aren’t racist, but it does exist, both ways; that’s not the key issue here. Political victories of the far-left as of late have emboldened many extremist groups whose agendas often overlap and make them allies; such as environment extremist, socialist, Marxist, the global warming debate is over people, race baiters and social justice liberals, cap and trade entrepreneurs, and a multitude of other far-left zealots.

All of these movements and the organizations and publications such as the author subscribes to have things in common. They position their cause as good and righteous and hide their true agenda. They unanimously have a visceral dislike of America, desire for political power, and ambition to fundamentally change this country by rewriting our history and Constitution, expanding government and redistributing wealth.

I support the author’s first amendment right, and as a fellow retired military salute his service. But make no mistake, the movement and ideology represented in his letter has a hidden agenda if played out will have dire consequences for our children and grandchildren regardless of the color of their skin.  

Bob Faircloth

Capt. USAF ret., Valdosta

Apathetic America

Does anyone else get mad about articles in the paper?

June 20th crime beat Hispanic male has no license, no insurance and rear ends another car. Cops will give him tickets to pay but the victim car owner is on his own for repairs.

Then there's an illegal immigrant student going to Harvard on a scholarship. This stops a legal citizen from attending Harvard and denies a scholarship to a legal citizen but Harvard intends to do nothing. Then you have VSU's admissions director who believes it's a federal government problem and if an illegal made it through our school system this far, why should he ask for a birth certificate with a raised state seal and social security card. Then in today's paper you have a lot of Hispanics doing forged checks.

All of these are cases of fraud that cost us, the U.S. taxpayer. All that Arizona wants to be able to do is check the immigration status of those they arrest. If illegal, they should pay their fine or restitution, go to jail if required and then be deported.

When teachers have a pay reduction or lose their jobs because the state coffers are empty just remember, "I'm only doing my job.”

Mark Parker

Jennings, Fla.

Cats create problem

Residents at the Azalea Towers retirement community have explained that a former facility manager moved away but left two of her pet cats behind. The former manager would then return periodically leaving bowls of dry cat food for the pets under an outdoor canopy used for resident enjoyment. A simple scenario, right? Standby, the plot thickens.

The covered area was soon invaded by wild raccoons who enjoyed the free cat food while mingling with frightened elderly ladies who weren’t quick enough to get out of their way.

Next, observe the arrival of a Valdosta Humane Society  volunteer bringing raccoon cage traps and heaps of additional cat food to potentially attract even more wild creatures than before! And who is this mysterious volunteer? The former manager of Azalea Towers who originally brought the cat food that attracted the invasion of raccoons in the beginning!

More than a week later, no raccoons were trapped and some cats have disappeared, possibly having been eaten by the raccoons. Now blue jays and blackbirds hop in and out of the raccoon traps emptying the cat food bowls while the elderly stare out of their windows at the forbidden area in disbelief. If this is an example of modern intellectual achievement, heaven help us all!

C. James Matuschka

Valdosta

Getting dirty

The terrorist lurks beneath the surface like a fish, camouflaging himself not in complexity, but in simple anonymity.

 The United States has, unquestionably, the most powerful military in the world.

The threat of terror comes from individuals and small groups willing to harm civilians, and running at the sight of our military presence.

We are fighting a war which we are not accustomed to. It’s not a matter of firepower, logistics, or training. All of these things we possess in dominating abundance. It’s a matter of mindset. We are fighting today’s enemy with yesterday’s mindset. What is a “war on terror”? What does it mean to be victorious in such a war? Can we be victorious in such a war?

If our goal is to eradicate terrorism, we are being foolishly naïve. We will never win the race against terrorism with such a finish line. Our enemy is not going to obey the rules of war that we have ourselves constructed. There will be no peace treaty signed and no surrender.

The rules of war went out the window when our enemy made it known that he was not bound by such honor.

We’re going to have to get dirty. That means going under the surface, hunting the fish like another fish. It means living with gills and seeing the world through the hunted’s eyes. We can sit here and argue about constitutionality or the American people’s appetite for war, and all the while our enemy laughs because he is beating the most powerful military force in the world.

That is not a high road we can afford to take. We must think like our enemy, use the resources we have, and go hunting.

Clint Thompson

Valdosta State University

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