Religion, soda both offer variety
Why is religion like soda? Well, for one, there are a variety of different flavors including Islam, Pepsi, Judaism, Hinduism, Mountain Dew and Fanta. Even people that don't believe in any religion have choices: atheists have water, agnostics have juice and free thinkers have tea.
Even for the different divisions of types of religion are represented. Christianity is split up into a variety of different tastes or divisions: Catholicism is like Cherry Coke, Presbyterian like Coke Zero, and Lutheran like Vanilla Coke. Each has a small distinct difference that sometimes is enough to scare some away.
Sometimes people try to mix and match the religions to believe their own thing. This can create a variety of different tastes and a great sugar rush. So if we are only separated by a few different tastes, why the squabble between religions?
For thousands of years religions have fought with one another over these small tastes. I say, if you want a little taste of my vanilla, go ahead and have some.
Make local water restrictions known
Referring to the commentary, "City's restrictions on water use are discriminatory (April 9)," I agree with Mr. Blahnik in that the water restrictions in Gainesville seem as if they haven't been thought out properly. One cannot wash one's car, but we can pay a car wash to use a lot more water to do so.
I think that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should review the restrictions and improve them. They should also attempt to consult with Florida and Alabama about the water problems since they have no restrictions at all.
The city also needs to make the restrictions more public. It was a big deal when the lake first started losing water, but now people have lost interest. The news and other local channels need to continue to stress the water restrictions so that more people will be aware.
I can guarantee that many people have no idea what the restrictions are, especially the young kids. I can tell you, as an example of the youth in Gainesville, that I'm not always thinking of how long my shower is or when I can or can't use the hose.
Bring drugs, alcohol in the open
Props to The Times' staff for writing about the party in Buford and how it got busted for underage drinking. I think people need to be more aware of what goes on in our community and its children.
When I hear about things like drug busts or underaged drinkers getting caught, I like letting the whole city know, not just letting it be secret talk when in reality everyone still finds out anyway.
Is freedom being abused?
Starting in 1606, many settlers came to this country pursuing freedom. As a country, we have embraced different opinions and cultures. Now, the people of America are taking advantage of the First Amendment.
How many people purchased a "holiday" tree last Christmas? As a sales associate, I was asked to wish people a "Happy Holiday." Several shoppers even complained that the greeting was too generic.
Religious freedom, however, is not the only overexaggerated issue.
Have you ever listened to a rap song? Rappers use vile names for black people left and right, but if a white person ever spoke the same way, they would be crushed by society. I am not saying that that type of language should be accepted, but shouldn't the chastening be on both sides?
Hybrid cars are the way to go
The issue of global warming is growing more prevalent across the country every single day. The nation is going green. Global warming is an issue and we must accept it.
Everywhere, bulletin boards, television commercials and newspaper ads are advertising products that are beneficial to the environment, including hybrid cars. However, even with the media's influence, I very seldom see hybrids on the roads of Gainesville.
The question here is why aren't more people buying these fuel efficient cars instead of wasting their money on some gas-guzzling, carbon-emitting SUVs? Hybrids aren't much more expensive than regular vehicles and they save a tremendous amount of money on gas considering the rising gas prices.
The people of Gainesville need to start getting involved, especially if they want their future children to grow up in a -- hopefully -- healthy environment. Get involved: Buy a hybrid or better yet, buy a fuel cell.
Women in power are long overdue
With all of the media surrounding the next election, I am well aware of how much Hillary Clinton is hated in the South. But what gets me the most is how many Southern women I hear saying that a woman, or any woman for that matter, should never be allowed in the Oval Office.
It is utterly horrifying to me that any female in this country would think that a woman isn't capable of being in a position of power, especially after how hard we've worked over the past century in order to gain the recognition we deserve. It's disgusting, and goes against everything women have struggled for to be known as equal to men, which we certainly are.
US must spend more on education
I am worried about the future of education. With the failing economy, the education system is getting less and less money and therefore putting a strain on the parents of the students. This concerns me because the future of America lies in the hands of the students. They are the ones who will have to be the leaders of our nation.
I think that we need to send more money to education because the growth and prosperity of our nation depends on it.
Discrimination can be reversed
Reverse discrimination has become a distressing problem. News stations' main focus has shifted from presenting the facts to presenting opinions, and a good percentage of the stories they show involve discrimination.
If an African-American man killed a white man, then not a word about racism would be brought up. However, if a white man killed an African-American man, then all the stories would be concerned with the races. It would be classified as a hate crime instead of maybe a robbery.
Although racism and discrimination are still problems facing minorities, most Americans are open and tolerant to different races and ethnic backgrounds. If America was filled with racists, then there wouldn't be an African-American presidential candidate with such a good standing with the citizens.
Another huge indicator of reverse discrimination is scholarships; there are hundreds of scholarships that are available for only black people. However, you would be hard-pressed to find a scholarship for a white person. That would be seen as racist.
As an incoming college freshman, I am frustrated with the lack of scholarship opportunities being a white female.
No Child law only treats symptoms
I am responding to Jeff Gill's online blog about school funding. It is my personal opinion that President Bush's program should be renamed from No Child Left Behind to No Child Left Ahead.
A present-day government program should not be based around a solution to a problem in 1965. We are a more modern society with more modern problems to face.
It has been proven clear that the punishment for poor test scores does not stimulate better grades, but instead takes away crucial funding for schools flooded with at-risk kids. Also, shuffling around students who are struggling to different schools fixes nothing; it just creates instability in the educational system and in these students lives.
Like so many of our president's ideas, they target symptoms of the problem instead of the problem itself.
It's time to give Fair Tax a try
Recently in my high school economics class, we discussed the Fair Tax. As I researched it, there came to me many positives in putting into place this new system.
There would be no more taxes coming out of your paycheck; you'd receive the original amount and you'd only be taxed in goods that you buy in the calendar year. So I questioned why, we as Americans, wouldn't vote for this. I mean how many times do we sit there looking at a paycheck and see how much it's totaled up over the past months, and wish we had that money to use elsewhere?
For me, it has become an issue of what the government says is best for us. Does it not push the Fair Tax because of lost jobs in the IRS? Are they more worried about their well-being rather then that of the citizens of this country?
I feel the Fair Tax offers Americans our freedom to have what we earn and gives us a chance to put the power back where it belongs, in we the people.
Elderly need driving tests
We all know that the roadways are a dangerous place to be, everyday we hear on the news of car accidents claiming peoples lives. Why shouldn't we make the roadways a safer place by setting age limits on drivers licenses?
I know many people worry about their parents and grandparents driving by themselves. While some elderly people are still capable of driving, others can be a danger out on the road due to loss of hearing or eyesight.
In my opinion once people reach a certain age, for example 65, they should have to take a driver's test that extensively tests their hearing and eyesight. Then he or she should have to repeat the test every five years in order the make the roads a little safer place to be.
US must reach out to the world
Regarding Kassie Millwood's recent article (April 4), I think that she is right. I believe that if we can donate money (sometimes millions), then we need to do more than that.
Why can't they just get a green card to work here and raise money to support their families back home? Instead we just sit at home crying and dreading over the things we see and watch on TV. As we all know, money won't and can't solve everything, but at least we could try to help a little more than we already do.
Also, as we know, they also need medical help and advancements. We could help them by allowing those in college to come to school here and learn what we already knew. Then we could make some technological advancements over there and maybe the world would be better for not only us, but everyone around the world.
Lake Lanier needs our attention
Lake Lanier has recently been rising, but it is still at a low level, 14 feet below full pool, and just a few months ago the lake reached its lowest point in history. This causes many dangers to lake users and prevents many people from even using the lake.
Lake Lanier should not have been lowered in the first place, but now that the water supply is limited, we need to be more conservative with our water use and help the lake rise again. We've heard many concerns before, but not enough action is actually taking place. The rain is unpredictable and will not cause the lake to rise alone. But with rain and people conserving their water, something may be done.
High gas prices take a heavy toll
I am currently in my high school economics class doing a project in which I decided to write to you as part of it. The subject of this project is based on a current economic issue that effects me as a young adult. Being 16 and a sophomore in high school, I decided to discuss the current rising gas prices. I have recently received my stepfather's 2001 Honda Civic, and personally love the 37 miles-per-gallon it gets.
Although it may not be such a gas-guzzler of a vehicle, having to fill up each time at the pumps is becoming dreaded more and more as prices skyrocket. It may not be much coming from a young adult, but it sure seems to many of us that there just may be no light at the end of this never-ending tunnel.
To this day, it bugs me to hear these elderly folks chat amongst themselves on how prices were in "their time," and how low they had been. Another issue concerning the gas prices is that a majority of each paycheck we receive is spent filling up our car from riding to school and work.
Everyone should pay taxes on time
Why can't people do their taxes on time? Why do they have to wait until the very last minute to mail them in?
If you talk to someone that files their tax return at the last minute, they'll probably say something like, "I didn't have the time," or "I didn't know how to do them." Everybody has ample time to do them, but some people are just too lazy. If you don't know how to do them, then get someone to do them for you!
All you procrastinators out there, April 15 doesn't have to be when the world ends for you.
Offensive video hurts us all
Recently, there was an attack upon a teacher in Baltimore by one of her students. Where were all the other students while this was going on? Videoing the fight. Cheering. Laughing.
Don't teenagers have any respect or dignity? I'm 18, and I am hurt and offended that people my age show such little ability to be mature. This is why some restaurants refuse to serve teenagers. This is why adults watch us when we walk into a store. This is why cops are more likely to pull over a student than an adult.
Because of people like these students, all the teens in the nation are suffering. Thanks a lot, guys.
Drought still a concern in area
Coming from someone who spends many hours during the summer out on the lake, I am very concerned if that will even be possible this upcoming summer. This is a very big issue for our town, yet and I see where The Times has stated that not much effort has been put into stating the ongoing severity of the drought.
Many people throughout Gainesville and the surrounding areas of Lake Lanier have the same concerns as I do. Why isn't more being done?
County schools are too crowded
The issue today, in my opinion as a student of Chestatee High School, is that the schools here in Hall County and surrounding areas are becoming overpopulated. With the rapid growth of population in Gainesville, the Hall County school systems are becoming crowded.
Due to the overcrowding, the government will soon be forced to construct more schools. This means that the government will have to put out more money to fund constructional machines, workers and school buses that are going to go toward the new schools.
In my opinion, this could be a successful solution to help the problem of overcrowding. Another way to possibly solve this problem is to balance out the population of the students at each school, or maybe even build on to each school evenly.
Hall County and the surrounding areas will continue to grow rapidly. If we don't act on this problem soon, then this could become a very serious issue.
Christian concerts need support
Over the past couple of years, local churches and various small venues have been hosting concerts featuring a number of different Christian metal bands. These weekly shows have given numerous kids a place to go on weekend evenings where parents and students alike do not have to worry about the usual concerns such as drugs, violence and alcohol that fuel many teenage parties.
The concerts, which can be found all over North Georgia, provide a safe haven for Gainesville's youth, keeping them away from the negative influences which have been known to ruin lives. The only thing these concerts need in order to continue is the support from the people who keep this town going.