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Your Views: Bush deserves credit for funding treatment of Africans with AIDS
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The world news page in The Times Jan. 12 presented an AP article describing the George W. Bush program helping Africans with AIDS. The numbers are astounding: "treatment for more than 2 million Africans and support for 10 million more." According to the article, the program has revitalized the global fight against the disease. The program began in 2003 and was unique in that it went directly to those in need.

Oddly enough, the only praise for "W" has come from the people being helped. The Hollywood gang repeatedly condemn the president for not doing anything about AIDS. According to the article some detractors complain the money spent should have gone to the United Nations. (You have to wonder how much would have gotten to the people in need if the money had gone to the UN).

Until today, I had no idea how much effort the Bush administration had put into the African AIDS and to what effect. But I do, now.

As the hard information leaks out, it seems the "W" legacy grows in stature.

Bruce W. Hallowell
Clarkesville

Cut waste by having officers turn off cars
The nation's economy is in a mess, the state of Georgia is considering the elimination of the homestead exemption statewide, state, county and city officials are furloughing employees to cut costs and the city of Atlanta is discussing turning off the street lamps on the downtown connector.

Yet, we see Hall County Sheriff's vehicles, on a regular basis, sitting parked with emergency lamps flashing and engines idling while deputies are directing traffic at churches and poultry plants. It is discouraging to see an officer to come driving in to a grocery store parking lot in his county-owned vehicle, jump out wearing a ragged T-shirt, cut-off jeans and flip-flops, proceed into the grocery store and shop for groceries.

Back in the 1980s, the Hall County Sheriff's Office instituted 12-hour shifts to give the officers every other weekend off and an automatic 11« hours of overtime built into every pay period to give a raise by way of the "back door." Now to furlough each officer one day a month is just bringing them down to 160 hours in a four-week pay period, as is the case for most other county employees.

There are any number of ways to cut back on waste in government. We just need to look for them. Government officials have become way too lax in their expenditures. They have become poor stewards of our tax money. It is up to us to call them to task.

If you have a suggestion on how to cut costs, call or write the appropriate officials. If that doesn't work, send a letter to the editor.

Rickey Tumlin
Clermont

Isn't it time to leave racial focus behind?
Why do we place so much emphasis on divisive racial labels? Is there a better way to talk about a partial Caucasian president of the United States who is also partially African (or a partial Hawaiian who is part Kenyan)?

Most religions agree with me on the principle that "we're all God's children, equal in the eyes of the Lord." Modern DNA research confirms that belief. Genetics show there are no characteristics or traits - not even a single gene - that can be found in all members of one group that are also totally absent from other groups.

Stating that positively, it means there is nothing that can be found in one so-called racial group that cannot be found somewhere in other groups. Regardless of which gene you look at, any individual fits into several different larger categories.

With this understanding of our human mixture, we must confront the truth that our racial concepts are more functions of culture and history instead of a physical or, if you please, divine reality.

With this knowledge, and the example of a new First Family, I hope we can erase racial labels and focus on each person, including the president and his family, as individual humans with unique talents to offer to our world.

Paul Von Ward
Dahlonega

Thank you, President Bush, for 8 safe years
Thank you, President Bush, for keeping us safe. You were terribly and unfairly treated by the biased news media. The surge was a success in obtaining victory in Iraq, but never acknowledged. Hopefully freedom there will continue to build and be contagious in neighboring countries.

I feel history will be kinder to you if truth prevails. Thank you for keeping us safe.

Maryann Lee
Gainesville

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