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Your Views: Sunday booze sales a diversion from real issues
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From all indications, the "demon rum" is once again a topic of interest to deceiving politicians and Bible-thumping Christians. I refer to the ongoing debate of Sunday sales of alcoholic beverages.

The Georgia Federation of Young Republicans Clubs and the Young Democrats of Georgia are joining forces to support a state Senate plan to allow sales of alcohol on Sunday. As most of these people are most likely underage, I don't understand their interest.

Critics of Sunday sales say it would sully the Sabbath and lead to more alcohol-related driving deaths. Just like major league sports don't sully the Sabbath and other types of drugs don't contribute to driving death.

In my opinion, the debate over Sunday sales of alcohol is just a political smokescreen to deceive religious do-gooders and keep others in the dark. When compared to illegal drugs like meth, cocaine, heroin and the abusive use of legal pharmaceuticals, alcohol is an angel of mercy.

I don't claim to be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I think I have finally figured out why politicians insist on majoring on minors. They simply have no means of correcting the major factors that plague our society.

The Sunday sale of alcohol falls into the same category as handicap parking, buckling up and no-smoking legislation. It doesn't make a hill of beans as far as the average law-abiding citizen is concerned. But the ability to control and manipulate people, regardless of how tripe an issue, makes our otherwise useless politicians seem important.

William P. Clark
Flowery Branch

Guevara's story offers a link to Gainesville
The letters on Ernesto "Che" Guevara were very interesting. He should not be forgotten nor relegated to the trashcan. Americans need to know about him as Che and is very much alive in the minds and hearts of the young people of Latin America.
Forget the faults and cracks in Che's makeup; they are not so important or meaningful in other cultures.

What is so compelling to the young people of other cultures is they know Guevara and saw and experienced some of the utter poverty of Latin America on his trip northward after medical school. Jon Lee Anderson (no relation), in his 800-plus page book "Che," said the motorcycle died very early in the trip and Guevara and his companion, Ernesto Granada, also a doctor, but a man of different sensitivities, became totally dependent on the local people in each area for food, a place to sleep and transportation.

The poverty he saw hasn't gone away. Presidents Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Evo Morales of Bolivia both used the people of the barrios to vault into the control of their countries.

At some point Guevara acquired the common nickname given in Latin America to Argentineans. Some say the name "Che" resembles a distinctive sound in an Argentinean's accent.

Guevara represents a large "what-if" in the minds of many people. What if he had not been wounded in Bolivia and had escaped capture? What if he had been successful in engineering a socialist revolution in Latin America? How different would the history of Latin America be?

My interest in Che evolved many years ago as I searched for information about Angus McNair, a high school friend, who had been executed by a firing squad in Cuba in 1961. Was his execution ordered by Che? Anderson's book had no information. So I turned to "Shadow Warrior," a book written by Felix Rodriguez, the Cuban-born CIA agent who was allegedly in the next room when Che was executed in Bolivia.

This book also failed to shed light on Angus' execution, but it yielded a wonderful Gainesville story. Rodriguez went on to serve in Vietnam where he met an older CIA agent, Tucker Gougelmann. Gougelmann had adopted a Vietnamese family and had returned to Saigon after his retirement in an effort to get them out. When the U.S. suddenly pulled out of Vietnam, Gougelmann was left behind.

He was captured, tortured and eventually died at the hands of the communists. He was later honored with the 78th star on the wall of CIA headquarters. Gougelmann is buried in Arlington Cemetery, next to the grave of Georgia native Gary Powers of U-2 fame.

Gougelmann's adopted family eventually got out of Vietnam and settled in Hall County. The children have continued to use the name Gougelmann out of respect for their father.

When you go to the mall, stop in at the jewelry store across from the cafeteria. Anita's Fine Jewelry belongs to Anita Gougelmann and her husband, David Nguyen, good people.

Several references to my executed friend were found in dubious accounts of JFK's assassination, but no ties to Che were ever found. It took a barroom conversation years later to reveal the story.

Dave Anderson

Tax is an extra burden
This SPLOST tax is nothing more than a burden on people in Hall County. They say, if we don't vote FOR this thing, that our taxes will go up. Is this right?

Edward Beazley Jr.