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Letters to the editor 3-23-2012

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Staff Sergeant Thomas Bales,
Where does the real fault lie?

Now that the problem has arisen in Afghanistan with the killings there, we must look where the real fault lies. This is a more far reaching problem than it first appears, and raises its ugly head. First, they say he was drinking, then they said he had marital problems and finally financial problems. All these statements by the army brass to save their rear ends. Do you recognize this as pushing the blame somewhere other than where it should lie? Absolutely. In fact we should have never been there.
Think back on the My Lai massacre of the Vietnam War. We start seeing a pattern here. Of course it’s called Post Traumatic Stress Battle Syndrome (PTSBS). This man was deployed four times, wounded more than once, had serious brain injury and part of a foot blown off. Now, I ask you, who or what is really at fault.
Let’s look back at previous wars in the 20th century. How about WWI, no problems there. WWII, those returning had no problems even though there were many who were prisoners in Japan, Italy and Germany, plus some survived the Bataan Death March in the Philippines, and those who had limbs amputated in German prison camps. Bear in mind, some of the men and women were deployed for years at a time. Not sent home for OR&R and sent back, but for years. I had an uncle who served in Europe and he was gone most of the war.
Then there was Korea, a so-called police action. That’s a bunch of crap. I guess Ensign Jesse L. Brown, the first black Navy pilot killed, while flying from the USS Leyte CV32, would take umbrage with that. He crashed landed near Hagru-LI, after his plane was shot down by ground fire. He posthumously received the Distinguished Flying Cross. Then there were the battlefield soldiers and other navy men and marines who died in Korea. In actuality Korea was sort of an extension, although a feared extension of WWII. We were still gun shy. WWII and Korea were manned by men and women from the last great generation. Yes, the last great generation. Having served aboard the USS Leyte CV32, an aircraft carrier, for 2 1/2 years, during Korea, I’m proud to say, I’m one of those guys. When we put to sea it was generally for six months and no one was stressed out, before, during or after.
Then there was Vietnam, the drug war. I’ve never seen or heard so much caterwauling as those who were in Vietnam. I had a son-in-law who was there for a long time and he said it was a war with drugs at every turn and he was a victim. Fortunately, he got cleaned up. Are you seeing the pattern yet?
Then there was the first Iraq war, if you want to call it a war. I call it and the second Iraq war, the Bush oil war. Finally the big Iraq war and the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Why are we there? Because of a lying president and vice president after 9/11. And thus it was handed down to President Obama, and on and on and on.
So, who or what’s to blame. A decayed permissive society, that puts more emphasis on which new computer program is coming out than the lives of troops on the battlefield and even parents concern for their children is almost non-existent. Remember, everything starts in the home, period! This society is disgusting. There was a colonel quoted, in another newspaper, as saying that the military wouldn’t tolerate Sergeant Bales’ actions. I wonder how many of the high ranking officers lost their lives or even served on the front lines. A miniscule few. If they were career military, they looked out for themselves.
This society started decaying from the very beginning of its founding a Republic, which is very war like from its inception. You say I’m rambling? Nonsense, facts are facts. But, it seems to have really gone down hill after the Korean War.
Sergeant Bales did a wrong thing, but is he the only one really at fault? How many officers and political leaders, had their fingers on the trigger of that gun that night and maybe more importantly, whose head was in charge of Sergeant Bales that night. A multi-wounded, and multi-decorated soldier, who it’s been admitted had a serious brain injury caused, through battle, as well as losing part of a foot are responsible for sending that man back, again and again into battle with those debilitating wounds, Those above Sergeant Bales, must and I repeat MUST, stand with him at trial, as they too are just as guilty. Murder is never condoned. Even in civilian trials, accomplices are as guilty as the one who actually pulled the trigger. It should be no different with the military. In the end, those of us who served will always remember there is always someone above you who gives orders through the chain of command.
Bill Ford
Ocala

Underserved
As of 2010 estimated population of Marion County was 325,510. According to the 2010 census, statistics demonstrates that 12,118 persons of Marion County’s population are visually impaired. That is a significant amount of people suffering from visual difficulties within Marion County.
The basic programs offered at Florida Center for the Blind are Vocational Rehabilitation/Transitional, Independent Living, Orientation/Mobility, Braille and Assistive Technology.
Most of these programs are funded by the Department of Blind Services at no cost to our clients. We have been informed by DBS that funding for 2012-2013 will be reduced, placing further stress on our program offerings.
A very small percentage of blind and visually impaired people are employed or receiving job training/job opportunities. Other significant needs are for cultural activities such as, music lessons, art, public speaking, etc.
The Center is interested in implementing these programs that will enhance and assist in improving the quality of life for our clients.
In order to succeed in the important endeavor we need community support in donations, corporate sponsors, job training, and work opportunities.
If you feel within your heart that you would like to join our team in bringing a little more light into the lives of our clients, please call the Florida Center for the Blind at 873-4700. For more information go to our web site www.Flblind.org. We are located at 7634 S.W. 60th Ave., Ocala. Come see us, we would love to show you around.
Edward Brewer, President
Florida Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Me vs. we
Are you a Me voter, or a We voter? Will your vote be determined by a $20 SS raise, or a hedge fund, derivative dividend, or by the need to secure our liberty?
As long as we have liberty you will receive a SS check, and will be able to invest.
Lose our liberty, and it is bye bye to SS checks, and investment dividends
Does your vote center around “Me” or around “We”? When a government promises everyone everything they want, for free, I call that the: Plummet like a Rock Theory. Everyone’s standard of living plummets. No government or country has enough resources to give everyone everything for free. There are not enough resources to make heaven on earth for everyone. Just not possible. Someone has to work to produce something of value.
There are those at the top and bottom, who feel entitled, while those in the middle always tote that barge, and lift that bale. The middle is being squeezed harder than ever, as the top, and bottom want more, and more.
If we lose our liberty, those at the bottom, and top will still want it all, and the middle bears the brunt.
Nothing gets better if you change one set of elites for another. It gets worse, if the new elites think they know what is best for everyone but themselves. They dictate vs. liberty. Is that an acceptable trade off? Does an extra $20 equal a fair trade for our liberty? Not mine, thank you very much.
Changing a few laws would cure the ills at the top, and bottom. But the will does not exist to fix anything. Finding smart caring legislators is near impossible. People cannot see the need for fairness. They can all be bought off. We, humans are indeed a sorry lot.
D.I. Larson
Ocala

Romney’s world
Romney’s position on the economy is to handle the country the same way that he saved some corporations. You must really think hard about what kind of America you have left after saving the corporations from their leaders.
To make corporations successful you must cut the non profit areas and remove the dead wood that is costing you the opportunity to make your goals.
Profits then go to those on the top that moved this corporation in that direction and where the less productive are thrown to the wolves to fend for themselves.
America is not a corporation and should not be given to the rich as some part of a prize for using their positions of authority to make themselves beyond rich. America is more then a corporation. The working class is what made our country great and our leaders must realize that we have an obligation to protect and take care of everyone regardless of class.
Under Romney, America would no longer be the home of the free but just a playground for the rich.
Jerry Segovis
OTOW

Stearns must go
Our too-long-serving congressman has been toeing the negative Republican line too long and we need someone who can see both sides of an issue.
So far this year he has gone after Planned Parenthood, demanding every document that they have, joined the birthers questioning the president’s birth certificate and now wants to sell off parts of the national parks.
Next he will want to sell off paintings from the National Gallery since only intellectuals and Washingtonians look at them.
It appears he might have even had friends try to buy off a competitor with the promise of a government job.
I know Ocala is pro life and predominantly Republican, but issues of the economy and the budget are far more important than social issues.
He wants to protect the millionaires from tax increases and ignore the problem of most of his constituents who are nowhere near that bracket. He’s a Tea Party favorite because he caters to all their wild theories.
I don’t care if we elect a Republican or Democrat but we need someone else to represent this area in Congress who will not be an obstructionist or rubber stamp for either party’s leadership.
Steve Jacobson
On Top of the World