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Your Views: Stimulus spent on roads while schools need help
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Driving along Mount Vernon Road in northern Hall County, one cannot miss the brand new DOT signs proudly announcing the upcoming road work. It is tagged the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009."

Now, my question is this. Why pave Mount Vernon Road at the cost of $1.2 million? As a frequent traveler of this road, I cannot recall my car falling into a pothole lately. Why begin to pave now that school is back in session?

Speaking of schools, according to item 1, the act is to "preserve and create jobs." How many teachers lost their jobs this year due to the massive budget cuts to education in our state? Our local county and city school administrators are doing the best they can with what money they have. My two children in elementary school are the ones who will ultimately pay the price, or more appropriately, the ones who will pay to have Mount Vernon Road paved. Just think of how much technology could be purchased for their classrooms as well as hire the teachers to teach them versus a new layer of asphalt.

I am aware that I have not been taught the new Singapore math that my kids are learning today. Yet I do know in calculating the money being spent to put people to work by paving roads that are still in good shape and cutting funds from our education system that, well, something just doesn’t add up.

Karen Baston

Don’t push through health changes in Kennedy’s name
I was engulfed with mixed emotions as I viewed Ted Kennedy’s funeral and the pageantry that Cecil B. DeMille would have been proud of. I am not a fan of Kennedy’s, but he did pass legislation with the biggest taxpayer obligation in Senate history. Whether you agree or not, it is difficult to deny him that glory.

When tax time comes around, I get a little peeved, especially when I remember the 40 years my husband worked for the same company. We never received any entitlements; we were thankful to have a job. But then I remembered Kennedy came from a family supported by taxpayers for generations. So it makes sense that one could be liberal and extend great generosity when they are spending the taxpayers’ money, yours and mine, while achieving their own purposes.

Kennedy’s influence will be felt for generations to come, not so much by his family but by the people he managed to place in positions of power. He used his office to influence the Supreme Court and other positions in the financial sectors that continue to have great impact on our freedoms.

Kennedy was a man of enormous influence, and when an effort is being made to use his name to influence passing a health care reform bill, and credit it to his honor, I have to say to the power-hungry politicians "shame on you." Americans can see through your attempts to usurp our God-given freedoms, as stated in our Constitution, and change the free enterprise system that made America great.

If any honor is to be given, it should be to the men and women who are fighting and dying in foreign countries so others can speak out and object to injustices from those wrapped in the flag and ceremonial garb.

Health is one of our most precious possessions, but when it is controlled by the government, it can become a tool that can bring us to our knees. How you would react if someone told you that your life depended on how you voted? It is my prayer that this will never happen, but if my memory serves me, that was the mistake the Jewish people made in Germany in the 1930s.

It is vital that we be vigilant. Listen to and understand what is spoken by our elected officials and hold them accountable for all those promises they made. Question their positions and their advisers’ positions on funding for abortion, free enterprise, funding of more entitlements and taking over American industries. Thanks be to God for people who can attend the town hall meetings and speak out.

When "change" was promised in 2008, many of us did not have a full understanding of the type of change that was being promised. Sadly, we did not ask enough questions.

I implore every person to take a look at what is taking place in Washington and ask questions before it is too late. Above all, remember there is no free lunch or free health care. There is always a price to pay, and many times, the cost is freedom.

Will my grandchildren know the freedoms I have known? Will yours?

Barbara Chatham
Chestnut Mountain