Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - July 3, 2007

Here's what they're thinking

Mr. Daly, the answer to "What is the White House thinking?" probably is this: Regarding the hate crimes legislation, the White House probably is thinking that everyone should be treated equally under the law and that the law exists to punish criminal actions, not someone's thoughts.

Regarding the (embryonic) stem cell research bill, the White House probably is thinking that over 70 diseases are now being treated with adult or umbilical stem cells and that not one disease is close to being treated by embryonic stem cells, so there is no need to wantonly destroy human life for utilitarian purposes.

Austin G. Abercrombie

Fort Mill

Kids should learn about '50s and '60s

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Russia's launching the first satellite; a communications device about the size of a basketball. It was dubbed "Sputnik" by Americans. Just before that launch, Jack Kerouac's culture-shattering book, "On the Road," was published and gave birth to the "beat," a term coined by Kerouac in the 1940s when Herbert Huncke mentioned the "Lost Generation" and Kerouac responded with, "... then we must be the beat generation."

In a conversation between Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Lawrence, in Paris after World War I, she mentioned that the group of American writers who moved to Europe, disillusioned by world events, were the "Lost Generation." The beats were soon labeled "beatniks," which soon changed to "hippies" and then "flower children."

The cultural revolution of the 1950s and '60s was triggered by, first, the Harlem Renaissance, then the beat writers, and Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, who changed the way many Americans thought of the arts, race, politics, music, sex, dress, looks and many other facets of life.

Many people today, who lived during that period, still have no idea as to the impact the 1950s and '60s had on their lives and history. Very few younger people, if any, know anything about that cultural revolution. I think it behooves Americans, who truly want to be culturally literate to investigate the 1950s and '60s, especially the writers.

This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the "Be In" in San Francisco, which brought together thousands of young flower children from all over the country. Not to be outdone, the East created "Woodstock." which marked the beginning of the demise of that part of the revolution because drugs had taken over the innocent, naive kids who merely wanted to have a joyous cosmology.

Charles Blackwell


This baby boomer doesn't want to swap

I am really thankful for Terry Plumb's columns. They keep my keyboard from sticking and my fingers limbered up.

If I may, this is not about undocumented immigrants. (The term immigrant lends itself to the legal form of leaving one country for another.) I believe we are speaking of illegal aliens. Not PC, I know, but oh well ...

As a member of the generation known as "baby boomers," I do take offense at the very premise of this column. Kidding or not, sometimes within the words of kidding, the truth manages to come out anyway.We do not have enough prisons? I don't believe that anyone is saying that we should arrest all of these illegals at once, but as we do uncover them, deport them. One at a time, two at a time, a family at a time, just enforce the law.

As far as being a hypocrite, I can live without the "cheap" labor provided by illegals -- especially since it would be offset by what they cost in services, health care and education.

So, no, Mr. Plumb, I would not be willing to emigrate to Mexico on a one-to-one swap. I wasn't born in Mexico, and I did not spend eight years under arms to defend the Mexican constitution or their way of life.

As to the point of "they don't look like us, etc.: My prejudice extends to behavior and attitudes, not people. I don't care if you are black, brown, yellow, red, purple or polka-dotted as long as you abide by the same laws I have to.

Anyway, thanks for the opportunity to excercise my keyboard, fingers and thought processes. Try it sometime.

William Yeater