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Your Views: Depression-era work projects could help now
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The politicians of today are ignoring history. Senior citizens still recall the Great Depression of 1929. Jobs were not out there to be had. The economy was in absolute chaos. Homeless masses filled our city streets.

Along came Franklin D. Roosevelt with a workable solution. FDR, along with Congress and the rest of the federal government, created the Works Progress Administration, National Reclamation Authority and Civilian Conservation Corps camps.

The CCC camps took the homeless and jobless and gave them a place to stay, work to do and skills to learn. The workers had a place to live, a wage from which to send home some of their income and the regaining of self image. The economic community benefited from an influx in income from the wages the men earned and potential employers had a newly skilled labor force to draw from.

Smaller communities benefited from the civic improvements, increased fiscal environment and the reduction of the homeless community. The WPA built the Hall County Courthouse in 1936 and Gainesville City Hall.

The general overall population benefited from the improvements made at the state and national parks. Toccoa had a famous CCC camp that was later converted to an Army camp to train units of the 101st Airborne.

A drive through the mountains of the eastern United States will provide an illustration of the net benefits of the WPA and CCC work programs of the 1930s. U.S. 129 through the north Georgia mountains is an example. So is Vogel State Park. Anyone who has driven the Blue Ridge Parkway has seen the beautiful work done by the rock masons, etc.

Why can't we do something similar today, instead of all these federal giveaway programs? These programs could be reinstituted to expand and improve these parks and roadside stops. New parks could be created to expand the tourist trade to blighted areas.

This would provide a temporary home for the homeless that are willing to work and learn a trade. It would provide them with a much-needed skill to earn a living and would return a sense of respect in that they are contributing to society while being able to send home money to help provide for their families.

To provide all these government handouts is to deprive the American citizens of personal pride and self-respect. Lets work to give everyone back their sense of self-esteem and work towards solidifying our economy. A sound economic base is always a good investment. Its an investment in ourselves.

Contact your congressmen and talk with political candidates to let them know that there is an alternative solution out there. We've seen it and we know that it works.

Rickey Tumlin
Clermont

Why is government involved in TV switch?
On Feb. 17, 2009, barring abnormal sunspot activity or unforeseen power outages, a major milestone of the powers in the air will occur. At this time, all local and national television signals will be transmitted, and therefore must be received, in digital format.

I admit that digital communication is far superior to analog. However, I question the governments, ergo taxpayers, involvement in this changeover. From all the advertising hype regarding the changeover and the necessity of obtaining a converter box, at a government-subsidized discount, one would think the world is coming to an end.

Listening between the phrases, it appears that government involvement in this endeavor is just another step toward total socialization of America. True to form, the socialist mindset rather than encourage poor and economically disadvantaged citizens to get out from in front of their televisions and seek gainful employment is indirectly empowering Americas youths and adults to just set around and let their brans rot.

In my opinion, history will eventually show television, cable or otherwise, to be the major factor in the destruction of America as we now know it.

William P. Clark
Flowery Branch

Why feel sorry for those here illegally?
Times are very tough for everyone in the United States job market. Maybe there is a silver lining though. Illegal aliens can't find work either and so they leave our country.

The Times' articles would have us feel sorry for them for having to relocate. We are also supposed to feel sorry for them because they have to take cabs instead of driving without licenses and insurance. We are supposed to feel sorry for the Hispanic car sales owners who now can't line their pockets with money earned while ripping their own people off by selling them cars at exorbitant interest rates.

We are supposed to feel bad for the slumlords who line their pockets renting trailers and houses to illegal aliens that are so run down that nobody else would dare move their families into. Then we are supposed to question the police for unfairly targeting illegal aliens.

Well, I'm not buying into it. The illegal aliens should not be here to begin with, hence the term "illegal." The people who have capitalized on our lax immigration system are now seeing their gravy train rolling back south.

Law enforcement is doing exactly what it should be doing: enforcing the law, instead of trying to appease all of the liberal community groups. Since the county and city won't have to spend so much money educating the children of illegal aliens, giving free health care to illegal aliens and housing the illegal aliens in the jail, maybe the police officers will finally get the raise they deserve.

Robert Brooks
Buford

Political elitism is in the eye of the beholder
Southerners have to deal with various prejudices. Irrespective of the race issue, Southerners have to come to terms with another prejudice against people known as "white trash." This prejudice is provoked by a perception that some people apparently feel entitled to positions of authority for which they are not qualified and in which they might mess things up.

This prejudice dare not speak its name, though. Since it is seen as elitist and un-American it is a distrust of a "no-qualification-needed" attitude on which, some say, we built this country and made it great. However, this unspoken tension is observed in the phenomenon of Sarah Palin, and the large reaction to her folksy "I-don't-need-no-stinkin'-badge" attitude.

Indeed, the reaction to this winking, cutesy lady is sounded beyond the South, beyond even our borders and from offshore from those nations who already perceive us as feeling entitled yet generally unqualified. Within our own boundaries, we are not ready to come to terms with it, the prejudice or any conceivable basis for it (since we fear we will be considered elitists and un-American.)

But it's evident we can easily understand the continuous labeling of Obama as elite, from Republicans of all people! If we consider the label as a defense strategy to protect the ticket and, in particular, Palin's role in the demagoguery.

Robert Cuttino
Gainesville

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