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Letters to the Editor

High school referees have tough job

I would greatly appreciate you not writing any more articles on officiating in high school sports. Articles like this ("Referees booed with good reason," Sports, Dec. 5) do nothing more than create hostility towards officials before the game even starts.

The U.S. is already facing a desperate shortage of officials in all sports, including high school athletics. We are so shorthanded in our area that schools are having to play games on Saturday in some cases so we can cover the game.

We are in a society where officials are beat up on home video at youth sporting events. Corey Clark's article actually says it is OK to boo them. Do you understand that booing is unsportsmanlike conduct?

I am not saying that the officials were right in the least bit. But articles like this spawn hatred and have no place in youth athletics.

- David Pienta

Crawfordville, Fla

Member of Big Bend Football

Officials Association in Tallahassee

Name-calling, criticism are different

It is unfortunate that some people do not understand the difference between name-calling and criticizing someone's policies.

Case in point. Ernest Wade lists Democrats with "attack-dog" rhetoric and tries to compare this with the name-calling prevalent among conservatives like Bill O'Reilly ("Conservatives' vocal nature makes them vulnerable to criticism from the left," To the Editor, Dec. 1).

I do agree that a couple of his examples do occasionally stoop to O'Reilly's level, but most of his examples stick to actual facts and issues. To help Wade understand the difference, if I say President Bush is the biggest liar we have ever had in the White House, this would be name-calling like we are accustomed to hearing from O'Reilly.

However, if I say that President Bush continues to lie to the American people about the Iraq war and refuses to face reality, then I am stating facts about the issue. If I say his failed policies have already killed more Iraqis that Saddam killed in his lifetime, I am not calling him a murderer. George Morin simply believes we should stick to facts and stop the absurd personal attacks.

People like O'Reilly know their arguments are so lame that they can only muster support by demonizing those with reasonable opinions.

As to the idea of a "liberal" media, this only demonstrates how some people like Wade allow themselves to be trapped into erroneous ideas through the name-calling from the right.

- Jan Erb

Lawrenceville

Obama may be once-in-a-lifetime leader

It is dangerous to put all of our hopes in one man; however, every once in a while an individual rises from the ashes to become a mirror of what we want to become.

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has repeated several times that we need to turn to common sense and practical solutions. This approach is fundamental to healing the social, political, environmental and global problems created since the Sept. 11 attacks.

It'll take more than Obama to accomplish this, but he is the only potential candidate willing to address the source of our illness rather than putting Band-Aids on the symptoms.

- Bob Berlon

Buford

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