published Friday, December 30th, 2011

Require candidates to do hard labor

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Require candidates to do hard labor

Republicans are doing everything they can to raise the retirement age for Social Security and Medicare. Almost all the members of Congress are millionaires who have never done a day of physical labor.

Most average people began work and paying into Social Security and Medicare at the age of 18 and continue to do so for at least 47 years. These are jobs that require hard labor. I wonder how long the likes of Gingrich, Wamp and their ilk would last on an assembly line doing the same movements over and over, day after day, as fast as possible? Many jobs require heavy lifting, working in all kinds of weather and are dangerous (roofing perhaps?).

I think no one should be elected to a public office until they have worked at hard labor for at least six months and required to live on the wages they make. Only then can they begin to represent the average citizen.

EDNA TAYLOR

Course of action for Iran insane

I read with interest your editorial (Monday, Dec. 26), "Reject the military option." Actually, I had to re-read it.

In the first paragraph you said, "All diplomatic efforts to halt the (Iranian nuclear) program have been rebuffed by Iran."

After your discussion of possible pre-emptive action by Israel, I was somewhat amused to read, in the last paragraph, "A carefully crafted, international diplomatic-economic initiative to isolate Iran and to neutralize its nuclear ambitions remains preferable to military action of any sort."

Albert Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

My friends, it would seem that if Einstein is correct, the course of action you are recommending is insane.

RONALD KOHLIN

Soddy-Daisy

Include others with Christmas

With the winter season and the various celebrations that come with it, including Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa complete, New Year's around the corner, it seems that we still have boundaries we're not as willing to cross. Christmas is clung to as the default holiday for all people in America.

Some Christian groups oppose celebrating it on the grounds of it not being something Jesus told his disciples to celebrate as opposed to his resurrection on Easter, and also the increasing secularity of it, melded as it is with the ancient holiday of Yuletide, which coincides with Christmas day on Roman calendars. There's also the verse in Jeremiah 10:2-5, which many take as a precursor to the Christmas tree of today.

But any differences between these different traditions can be eliminated with the use of the phrase "Happy Holidays" that so many conservatives bristle at the very sound of. No one's trying to remove Christmas as a celebration from our culture, but simply include others alongside it. Sharing the spirit of fellowship with humanity and generosity is something we should all do this time of year, Christmas or otherwise.

JARED COWAN

Sewanee, Tenn.

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riverman said...

You're an idiot Edna.

December 30, 2011 at 6:12 a.m.
anniebelle said...

It's easy to work until your 90 if you do nothing but sit behind a desk and have your servants do the heavy lifting. The repukes have proven time and time again they just plain don't care about the working class. They will send others to fight their filthy wars while they sit in their ivory towers, much like this idiot above me.

December 30, 2011 at 7:07 a.m.
librul said...

Don't worry, Anniebelle, the repukes and their fawning horde of tea stained nimrods will get theirs. It's a testament to the power of propaganda that the puppet theatre over at Fox has got ANY working people so brainwashed that they would actually support that clown car full of repulsive elitists.

It would really be a hoot to see the whole gang of snooty, racist blowhards in hard hats, coveralls amd muddy boots, especially Michelle Bachmann.

December 30, 2011 at 8:03 a.m.

Hmm, insanity? Then I guess the confrontational approach suggested over the past few decades with Iran would also be such, as would a military invasion.

December 30, 2011 at 8:52 a.m.
moon4kat said...

Riverman is mistaken. Edna Taylor is far from being "an idiot." (That term might more appropriately be applied to someone who can't respond to the substance of an idea, and resorts instead to ad hominem attacks.)
Ms. Taylor makes some excellent points. And, while she may be naive in hoping it could ever happen, I like her suggestion of requiring public officials to work physical labor for at least six months, and live on those wages. It would give them a dose of the reality experienced by a large number of the people they purport to represent.

December 30, 2011 at 8:55 a.m.
Plato said...

Elected officials in Washington DO work at hard labor right now - they all spend at least 8 hours a day at fund raisers, or on the phone raising money for their reelection campaign :)

December 30, 2011 at 11:02 a.m.
riverman said...

So I guess being a Community Agitator and teaching people how to complete welfare applications qualifies one to be President according to Edna? Let's face it , most working people work in hard labor jobs because they are not very smart, like Edna. If you don't won't to labor hard all your life, then get an education. Since most uneducated people are Democrats( 2 to 1 margin for people with less than a high school education in the 2010 election according to the CBS exit polls) then it is only natural that the Democrats cater to their wishes. And before anyone asks, I have been a laborer, a construction worker, a production line worker and spent 6 months in Basic Training at Fort Knox. So I do meet Edna's requirement and can now run for public office.

December 30, 2011 at 12:32 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

That's too simple, riverman. Some of the smartest people I have ever met were people who worked at hard physical jobs. They either fell through the cracks in our one-size-fits-all education system or their family did not have the means for them to pursue an education. Some older ones did not finish high school because they had to help support their families. They can out-think, out-read and out-reason most people I know.

On the other hand I have met some with college degrees that didn't have the sense Dog gave a turnip. They work at specialized white collar jobs, making far more than many of us. Dog help them if they were ever forced to survive in a meaner, tougher world-they would be helpless.

Statistically, minorities support democrats and may not in numbers have as much education as whites. Given the message coming out of the GOP, one can hardly blame them. In addition, those with higher education are more able to see the world in shades of gray, and will more likely vote Democrat, primarily because of the claim of certainty and absolutism that is the current GOP message. I do not believe that today's GOP reflects the original character of the party. The extremism shown by the GOP candidates today is a political ploy to bring the social conservatives together. It's rather a brilliant move, having worked well in the past to attract white, socially conservative middle class voters who believe that these candidates can reverse what they see as moral decay in US society. It's a false promise, though. The GOP can do nothing to take us back to the mythical suburban white-bread middle class church-going two parent, mom-at-home America.

Disclaimer: I and my husband have graduate degrees and have always voted Democrat, not because the Democrats always had the best answers, but Republicans insist, for the reasons I posted above, on denying gays full civil rights, denying sound science, inserting religious sectarian practice in schools, making scapegoats out of other religious groups and interfering with reproductive privacy.

December 30, 2011 at 12:51 p.m.
chet123 said...

REPUBLICANS CONGRESS ARE RICH AND GREEDY.....IF THE AVERAGE WORKING CLASS DID AS LITTLE AS THEY DO....YOU CAN WORK UNTIL YOU ARE 100.....THEY DONT DO REAL WORK...

TRY TELLING A COAL MINER HE NEED TO WORK UNTIL HES 70YEAR OLD.....

December 30, 2011 at 12:58 p.m.
chet123 said...

REPUBLICANS ARE OUT OF STEP WITH MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICAN

December 30, 2011 at 12:58 p.m.
riverman said...

You make some good points Ikeithlu. I enjoyed the people I met in the jobs I mentioned above while going to college. The only Republican in the field I can really support is Romney who looks like he is surging right now. Your point about higher education is not exactly correct. The only higher education level the Dems won was the PH.Ds(barely) and that is because of the Liberal Arts grads who are some of the dumbest people I have ever met. I enjoy the company of working people a lot more than Liberal Arts elitists who have never done anything in their life.

December 30, 2011 at 12:59 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Can't say I've met anyone with a PhD in "liberal arts". The ones I know have degrees in particular fields: history, biology, physics etc. Most of those have done extensive research in their fields; the scientists in particular. Although I have met a few that seemed otherwise helpless, most I know are accomplished at many things.

December 30, 2011 at 1:03 p.m.

I believe the attribution being made is to the concept of a work ethos, which has long been a political point, at least as far back as Abe Lincoln, and I might go back to Andrew Jackson.

I could also make a few references in older mythology, even into the Bible.

December 30, 2011 at 2:42 p.m.
dabbscr said...

Riverman. Out of 14 comments you are the only one with any thing to say. They need not to forget to include Obama in that hard labor.

January 1, 2012 at 7:58 a.m.
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