The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

March 3, 2013

Letters to the Editor 3/3/13

The News Courier

Never too early for re-election rules

Dear Editor:

Obama is a failed leader and his Democratic leaders Pelosi and Reid and their cohorts are going to destroy this nation. The Iranians are financing any group sympathetic to them or antagonistic to the United States. The Israelis have their fingers hovering over the button, and the few stable Muslim governments are using back channels to urge U.S. military action. As hopeless as the Middle East is, sub-Saharan Africa is seen as ten times worse.

This country is on life support and the energy coming from the Middle East is our blood supply. Without it our country dies. What if we let Iran get a nuclear weapon?  There won’t be any way for us to combat their influence in the Middle East. We’ll end up in a groveling contest with the rest of the world to see who gets the chance to spend the rest of their lives kissing Persia’s rear.

Our military is being gutted and border patrol’s getting its budget cut to provide Obama more funds to spend on unnecessary programs like giving benefits to illegal immigrants. Most people don’t understand that Obama demands another tax increase before further spending cuts. He wants to collect taxes from the people who are willing to work, so the politicians can turn around and “redistribute” that money to the people who couldn’t, or more often, won’t work, the ones who keep voting Obama and his cohorts into office.

The average American is a hero. It’s heroic to get up in the morning and go about your business, do your job, and take care of your family, when all the while you’re being belittled by the elitists and crushed by a tax burden that you’ll never get out from under. Obama’s people will use any means to grab more power while none of them care how badly the average Americans are hurting. When is the taxpaying public going to resist and emphatically state “no more”?

The government also wants to violate your Second Amendment rights and take away guns from its law abiding citizens while letting urban gun related crime continue unchecked.  Why no mandatory minimum heavy penalties for illegally carrying a concealed weapon or using ones in committing a crime and no stop, question, and frisk law? The urban gang problem is unresolved because they belong to Obama’s voting base.

Let’s make it clear, no re-election for gun grabbing, spendthrift politicians.


Quentin D. Anderson Sr.



Thanks from Chili Challenge

Dear Editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the large number of volunteers who made the 25th annual Hospice Chili Challenge a resounding success.

Thank you to the Hospice staff, board members, area students and their cooperating teachers and administrators, Athens High School, media outlets, chili challengers, judges, my silent auction committee heads and their members, the Country Store, kitchen, entertainment coordinators, sponsors, donors, individuals and businesses who contributed to our silent auction and country store, and all who bought tickets and took time to participate in this year’s challenge.

This community knows no bounds when it comes to helping others. I feel so blessed to have been able to chair this amazing event, and witness firsthand the benefits of everyone working together for such a worthy cause.  It is my hope you all will plan to join us next year and continue the tradition of the wonderful experience.


Amanda Speegle

2013 Hospice Chili Challenge chairperson


Correcting staircase information

Dear Editor:

This is in response to Mr. Quentin Anderson’s letter from Feb. 24, 2013. I will give factual information concerning the marble staircase in the Limestone County Courthouse.

The $256,000 mentioned by Mr. Anderson, which is really $252,000, is not what it will cost to replace the elevator if the staircase isn’t removed, but is the cost of the architectural firm’s design for the courthouse renovation.

In fact, Mr. Mike Watson, 2WR Inc. architect, stated at the work session of the commission on Feb. 13 that it would be less costly not to remove the staircase. He presented a plan that met all the disabilities act requirements, public safety issues and did not remove the staircase. The old elevator would be replaced and would extend to the fourth floor.

The Limestone Historical Society asked that the commission on Jan. 16 allow us to contact the Alabama Historical Commission to work with Mr. Watson to see if all of the requirements could be met and not remove the staircase. We do believe that to take down one staircase would destroy the aesthetic beauty of the courthouse as intended by the original architect in 1916.

We did ask for an opinion from the Alabama Historical Commission. The plan was presented by Mr. Watson on Feb. 13 who said all the requirements for disabilities and safety were met without removing the staircase. If the historical commission had said it was not possible to save the courthouse, then we would have been satisfied.

The court backlog has nothing to do with taking down or not taking down the staircase. You are comparing oranges and apples. This situation in the courts has needed to be remedied for many years. Also, the original plans for the renovation of the courthouse did not indicate the staircase would be removed.


Linda W. Nelson

Limestone County Historical Society


How about go-to public?

Dear Editor:

I felt compelled to write this response to the letter written by Mr. Diggins last week.

In that letter, he complimented Athens councilman Wales' fiscal accountability. This was especially directed to the reported income generated by the 2013 extra 1 percent Athens city sales tax. 

I have not seen any of those numbers, so I cannot speak to them.  What I can speak to is the attitude of councilman Wales and his peers of last year, who with the single exception Jim Hickman, voted to institute the extra 1 percent sales tax, despite public outrage against it. 

I was at the council session where Mr. Wales, et al, basically told their constituents that it did not matter what the public thought, the council would do as it pleased.  When Mr. Diggins claims that councilman Wales is the correct “go-to” guy for answers, but I know the type of public behavior he has exhibited in the past, it makes me shudder.

I would suggest that rather than Messrs Diggins and Wales meeting privately in early April for further discussions of how these funds are being handled, that all of Athens and Limestone County should be invited. There should be a scheduled and announced meeting wherein an in-depth analysis is presented to the public to divulge the details for the 1 percent funds.  This should include overall retail sales, how much “extra” was really generated, what was spent and how and what is being planned. 

When the council went against public opinion last fall, they presented a plan for how the increased revenue would be spent. The announced projects were frivolous and related to the pet projects of the then current council members, so they were not something really needed by the city of Athens. 

Our city needs to encourage people to spend more money here, rather than provide people an excuse to shop elsewhere. The state recognizes this when they declare state sales tax holidays for certain occasions and certain items, so it would seem to be a similar good business practice for Athens, rather than the opposite approach of increasing tax rates. 

Raising taxes in such an environment is irresponsible, selfish, counterproductive and generally just downright stupid. It is time for the current council members to correct the erroneous activity of the last council by repealing the 1 percent extra sales tax. 


Mike Wahl



Editorial insults ‘our republic’

Dear Editor:

Is Athens News experiencing vestibular editorial syndrome? (Stumbling and falling to the weak side; in this case to the left.)

“The election is over. President Obama won. The philosophy of “I’m going to take my ball and go home” isn’t one that works when thousands of Alabamians are depending on these GOP leaders for our very livelihoods.” — The News Courier’s editorial from Feb. 24.

Our republic is not the property of the executive branch or the Senate. The comment President Obama won is an insult to our republic.

Allow me to present a short block of instructions on the Unites States Constitution as I see it. Despite what you were taught about the three equal branches of government: Congress, executive and judicial a brief read of Article I, II and III clearly give the majority of power to the Congress with the House retaining the keys to the treasury or the ultimate power of the purse.

The House is also the closest to the people and answers directly every two years by election to those citizens, therefore we can clearly see the House most closely represents and protects the interests of the individual and their community. You discredit and dismiss the responsibility of the House of Representatives in your opinion piece.

The Seventeenth Amendment — a result of the progressive movement — was designed to remove the presence and power of the state from the federal government, and severely damaged our state and federal government, creating irreconcilable differences within.

Large population centers elect the Senate and president, creating a hole in the representation of the state. Prior to the Seventeenth Amendment, senators were elected by the state legislature, assuring the state government was properly represented in the federal government. That amendment was the decline of our United States as a republic.

The House is doing its job and doing so very well — no tax increases, reducing spending and balancing the budget is their objective. Sequestration, a very bad idea introduced by President Obama and accepted by Congress, now remains the only means for reducing the threat of bankruptcy under the current government. 

NASA and Redstone will not survive without a solvent federal government, so, a little pain now or destruction later. With this rant I must also admit the president and the Senate too is doing their job, neither side likes it but it is the design of our constitutional protection over the powers of government.


Rex Davis


Beware evils of money

Dear Editor:

Money, money and more money also the many sins connected to it. What a necessary and wonderful thing when it is used correctly. Unfortunately it comes in contact with many people that just can't get enough, which is called greed. These people do not seem to care what happens to persons that are not blessed as they are. However most of the ones with little money will probably receive their blessing on judgment day. For the life of me, I just cannot understand that most of the rich and the Congress want to prey upon the most vulnerable citizens because their lust for money and “power.”

Many of them claim to be some kind of “Christian.” Which they may be some kind, but do not seem to know or really care what the Bible says about greed, bribery, corruption, the love of money, abuse of the poor and a proud heart. I have some friends and relatives that have a few million, and to the best of my knowledge, would not want to pay a nickel more in taxes to help the less fortunate.

Please don’t get me wrong, I would love to have plenty of money, not to brag or have fancy toys or things. I like to share my blessings with the people that can’t pay their utility bills, mortgage, homeless and hungry.

I don’t believe that I would want several billions of dollars (for status), a $50 million house, also some in other countries, several expensive cars, million dollar yachts. What good is $40 billion if it might be the cause of spending eternity in a very, very hot place.

I would like to quote a friend of mine: “The ones with the most toys wins, is that success? Having your dreams come true? Getting all you want? Earning enough money that you never have to work again? May I tell you what success is? And I say this without equivocation. Success is the progressive realization of the will of God for your life. That’s what it is. It’s not how much money you have, it’s not how famous you are, it’s not how healthy you are, it's not how many friends you have or how many toys you have acquired. Success is nothing more nothing less, than the progressive realization of the will of God in your life.” Please read, Romans 12:2.


Capt. F.E. “Jack” Morgan (retired)