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Your Views: Carter goes off deep end with racism charge
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"To know nothing is the happiest life" — Desiderius Erasmus. A philosopher said that several hundred years ago.

I heard our former president, Jimmy Carter, say that opposition to President Barack Obama’s policies was inspired by racism. So, those of us who disagree with the president’s agenda of health care, etc., are racist. According to Carter, the people who oppose Obama’s plans truly believe that a black president isn’t capable or competent to govern. And that drives the opposition.

I don’t think that is true. I personally don’t care and most of the folks I know don’t care, if the president is black, white or purple. It really doesn’t matter to me. But, it does matter to me that he embrace the ideals upon which this country was founded.

I resent the implication that if I disagree with the president (or any elected official for that matter) it is inspired by racism. To me, that’s demeaning to the folks who suffered and died so that a person of color could compete and win the office of president.

I remember many years ago, while working at The Times, Jimmy Carter came by on a campaign visit. At the time, I didn’t care for nor respect the man, so I didn’t go to shake hands with him. Now, much later, I’m glad I didn’t.

Author Hunter Thompson said of Hubert Humphrey, "There is no way to grasp what a shallow, contemptible and hopelessly dishonest old hack Hubert Humphrey is." I think President Jimmy’s honesty can be viewed similarly.

I just wish I could be more like that old philosopher. The more I know, the less happy I am.

Rick Chapman

Gainesville wrong to leave convention & visitors bureau
Where have the logically thinking elected officials in Gainesville gone? The City Council’s decision to pull away from the CVB seems to be another counteractive move by a council that is running from the inevitable.

City and county need to combine forces instead of promoting separately. If the council thinks that the CVB is not helping to promote the city, then what do they call Tour De Georgia, City Chicken Festival or Dragon Boat races?

I looked on the CVB Web site this morning and in the events section it lists 23 upcoming events. Nineteen of those are within the city limits of Gainesville. When I have attended events in the city and the CVB was there, their staff was always smiling, cheerful and helpful to all.

It is quite evident that the dedication the CVB staff has to promote the county not only benefits city residents but also those in the county as well. It is time to take off the blinders. Promoting our fine city and county is the best way to go with one staff, not two.

Randy Sheppard

Private sector management of health care is a failure
The letter by Michael J. Riemann of Sept. 2 is beautifully written, worthy of any first class PR advertising firm. His concern for Wall Street and the insurance industry is touching. The geniuses of free market capitalism, failed profoundly. They pleaded with the people to "take them over." They are already back and flourishing while many ordinary people still can’t find work.

Medical care is not a luxury to be foregone, nor a commodity with competitive styles and versions. Priest or pauper, care is good enough or it is not. The health insurance industry has been an abject failure. A model demanding big profit is simply too expensive.

Mr. Riemann cites Pharaoh as a metaphor for the cruel and enduring consequences of concentration of resources in the few. Pharaoh was not elected by the people. He was placed and sustained in power by class and religion. Pharaoh was not a democrat and he certainly was not a socialist.

He more nearly resembles business doing what business does: exploiting desperate people’s needs and extracting maximum treasure. It always works until the treasure runs out. The appetite for wealth never seems to run out.

I am also intrigued with Mr. Reimann’s rhetoric of the ’50s. I wonder why we are seeing language reconstructing Third Reich history again. It has for years been familiar only to those alive during the McCarthy era.

Almost immediately following the end of World War II, American supporters of fascism began to rewrite history by conflating the Nazi movement with the Marxist Bolshevik revolution. Mr. Riemann’s letter repeats the misrepresentation.

Hitler was not a Marxist socialist of any stripe. The Nazis early on dropped "workers" from their name while retaining the word "socialist." They never delivered on the promise its use suggests. It was set up with the collaboration of German and not a few admiring American industrialists.

Among the American enablers were John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, the Mellons and the Carnegies. It was Rockefeller that almost single-handedly exported the racialist philosophy, eugenics, to the medical establishment of Hitler’s Germany. Eugenics, of course, provided half the rhetoric fueling the holocaust. Violently anti-Marxist, the Nazi movement provided the other with propaganda inflaming fears of Red Menace. Sound familiar?

Well-read and educated scholars universally accept the term fascism as most descriptive of the managed economic system of Hitler.

Wealthy and ideological entrenched powerful men fear democracy. They fear a democratic government which empowers the people to share in the resources of the nation. It’s not democracy we should fear, and the Bolsheviks are buried in Red Square.

W. Lorraine Watkins

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