News and Tribune

December 28, 2008

LETTERS: Dec. 28, 2008

What made Farr think letter was about abortion?

Nice letter, Mr. (Larry) Farr, but why did you think my letter was one advocating a position on the abortion controversy? It was not about “pro-life” or “pro-choice,” it was about how you perceive the role of government and laws as they pertain to the fetus and the newborn. There were two references to the abortion controversy: The first was in the first paragraph and referred to the semantics, not the controversy itself; the other was in response to a question you raised and concerned the right of both groups to form and express an opinion on the controversy.

The Evening News did not print my letter in its entirety. Had they done so, you really would have had a field day. They also removed a question mark from behind the word “adequately;” this would have indicated how I think governments handle most problems.

Your last sentence implies that I have a choice in the matter. No, Mr. Farr, I do not have a choice about an abortion since I will never be in a position to make that decision. I do, however, have an opinion, but have never made any effort — other than voting — to influence or coerce the government in any way to change or alter existing laws. I do support people’s right — on both sides of the controversy — to do so.

You are correct when you say, “I did not say,” in your third paragraph. If you noticed in the letter, your exact words were indicated by quotation marks. What you refer to was not a direct quote — notice the absence of quotation marks — it refers to what I thought you were implying. Since you gave no reference to anyone else having made the statement, I could only assume that it was your idea. Considering your intelligence, I figured that you would recognize that. I was lax in my sentence construction in that I did not clarify this. Sorry about that.

Am I safe in concluding that you consider life to begin at conception, since you say, “a fact that I do not disagree with?” If there is life and you take that life for any reason, you have committed some form of homicide. Many societies have, and some still do, practice some form of infanticide. Ours has opted to practice that form which occurs before birth. From an anthropological point of view, ours is not to make a value judgment on a particular society, only to observe and record our observations.

I am not quite sure how you view autonomy — the right of self-government. The mother of a child born in the United States does not surrender that child’s autonomy. Actually, the government bestows autonomy to the child and entrusts the parents to safeguard it until the child becomes an adult.

When does a fetus acquire government protection? You claim, I think, that this occurs at birth. Try this, “a viable fetus is a person under the New Mexico Wrongful Death statute,” (Salazar vs. St. Vincent’s Hospital). How about the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 that recognizes a “child utero as a legal victim.” By the way, Sen. Richard Lugar was “yea” and Sen. Evan Bayh was “nay.”

As to your reliance on the immutability of laws, laws change. Laws are the result of the prejudices and political machinations of the legislators. Laws concerning a fetus differ from state to state, and existing laws can be overturned at any time, depending on the makeup of the legislature or judiciary.

Why do you consider the opposition of the “pro-life” people to be advocating unfounded government intervention? Do they not have the same right to petition and lobby legislators as the “pro-choice” people? Are you implying that the “pro-choice” people never took any action to further their cause? Wherein lies the difference between the two?

— Donald M. Dillon, Jeffersonville

Parent on NA-FC budget cuts

As the parent of a Floyd Central High School student, I did not understand why FCHS would have any loss of teachers. FCHS is already in a seven period per day program. But that's not really what got under my skin.

Nowhere in the proposed budget cuts were there any positions to be cut at the New Albany-Floyd County Schools administrative building. This seems to be an ongoing problem. It's proposed that we give up teachers and accept larger classes, but there is no reduction of personnel at the administration headquarters. Is it me, or does anyone else agree that we can have a reduction in force at the administration headquarters before we give up one teacher?

Too many chiefs, not enough Indians. And the bottle neck is always at the top. What say you, Mr. Brooks?

I'd rather see a reduction in force at the NA-FC Admistrative Services Building along Grant Line Road, a reduction in pay for NA-FC School administrators along Grant Line Road and a critical eye focused at the administrative headquarters and its costs. I'm tired of being told there will be fewer teachers and larger classes.

Kudos to The Tribune running the letter to the editor about how too much money is being spent on education without the results nowadays. It's the truth. And here we go again with the students and teachers paying the price.

Betsy Madden, Georgetown

Nash: ‘Don’t cross paths with many like Gordon’

Gordon Martin is retiring? What a loss that will be! You don’t cross paths with many like Gordon in your lifetime. Gordon has worked in New Albany city and Floyd County government for many years. His knowledge and experience was mentioned in recent news articles.

Beyond that, what impresses me even more about Gordon is the type of person that he is. To say that he cares about New Albany, Floyd County and its people is an understatement. Gordon worked for a least two city administrations in addition to working for Floyd County for 25 years. Whatever the problem — drainage, bridge work, getting funding, attending meetings or splitting precincts — Gordon always went about his work in a pleasant manner. I have never heard a cross word from him in the many years that I have known him. Even when people around him were upset or angry, Gordon was always steady and business-like and was always looking for the solution to a problem from his long experience and his common sense.

During his time with Floyd County government, Gordon worked with many different County Commissioners. He attended meetings as its representative to KIPDA, River Hills and other organizations. He has worked on many bridge projects.

Enjoy retirement Gordon — you have earned it. And the residents of Floyd County will certainly miss you.

— Warren Nash