Letters to the editor
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Our long period of collective malaise is over
Nov. 4, 2008, will be remembered as the day America's zeitgeist changed. We are emerging from the fear, anger and hopelessness that has permeated our entire nation since Sept. 11, 2001.
Barack Obama has already completed what may be considered his crowning achievement as the 44th president of the United States. He has converted our collective malaise into a feeling of hope and cautious optimism, an act that repudiates the noxious and cynical campaign that was performed against him and his supporters.
That act alone, that fulfillment of the often apocryphal American Dream, is the ultimate realization of the limitless potential of our nation.
MATTHEW T. McGRATH
Continue to unite
With tears in my eyes, I experienced Barack Obama winning the presidential election. As a registered Republican, it counters my party, but it fully satisfies my desire for a better America. I feel that we reached a point in our country where the electorate has finally believed that race is not a factor in the quality of a person. It has been long overdue!
Yet, I pray to the good Lord that the man who will proclaim to cross the lines of politics to bring this country together will do so with a vigilance that is critically important to this country in this time of need.
Mr. Obama, congratulations. Mr. Obama, steer our country right! You have united us in an election. Unite us in making a better country for the whole.
Let's get to work
On Tuesday, America spoke in unison and with great measure. People of all walks overwhelmingly chose to reshape our country into a nation that shares the challenges ahead, instead of one that takes sides. We chose inclusion over division. Acceptance over "tolerance." A tone of decency and personal respect over one of deception and personal destruction. The Obama Dream over the Reagan Myth. And, perhaps, most importantly, Americans unquestionably pronounced that, "We're all in this together," and that no American is on his own.
The election of Barack Obama presents not a victory, but merely an opportunity. One of great potential and, yes, hope. This is not the time for parades; it's a time for hard work. Collectively. And with determination and great purpose. The challenges ahead are far-reaching, but not insurmountable. But we can only face them as a unified nation.
The spirit of America was on full display Tuesday night. Only by working together and sharing responsibility can we show the world our true character.
A tribute to America
We did it. The election results speak for themselves. The mere fact that we have come together as a nation to elect a man like Barack Obama should demonstrate in a way that no amount of diplomacy can that America and Americans have come a long way since Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963.
When Barack Obama first entered the race, most people I spoke to, even black Americans, insisted that he was unelectable. His election as the next president of the United States is a tribute to his brilliance, his humanity and his ability to touch those who listen to him. It's also a tribute to American voters that we can look beyond race and beyond tactics intended to instill fear and loathing, and vote for someone who is clearly best equipped to lead our nation.
My hopes now
I'm reminded today of the quote "Government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have."
After a lengthy and historic campaign, we have a new president-elect, and I have two hopes for this country. First, I pray that President-elect Obama's brand of change is a change that will grow this country and unite its divided citizens, without changing the foundation of the greatest nation on this planet. Second, I hope Americans realize that change is not simply delivered by one man or governing body. We must be willing to make our own change.
Freedom allows us the opportunity to help ourselves and create our own American Dream, and that, my friends, is something I pray doesn't change.
As one of the many subscribers who protested Monday against the offensive statement by the National Rifle Association printed in bold letters on the wrapper containing your morning paper, I find Diana Block's defense completely unacceptable ("A Note to Our Readers," Nov. 4).
Freedom of speech and value-neutral sale of advertising space are poor arguments in this instance. The NRA's claim, on the eve of a critical election, that to defend our "freedom" we must oppose Barack Obama, is at the very least political; at worst it is deceptive, inflammatory and false.
Putting it where everyone must see it sends a strong message of legitimacy and implied endorsement. A political statement here is completely different from a paid political ad inside the paper because its uniquely prominent location allows for no possibility of rebuttal. It is not the equivalent of the usual perfume or breakfast cereal ads. Your paper would do well in the future to prohibit political propaganda on the wrapper.
Upper St. Clair
Shame on the PG
My Nov. 3 Post-Gazette arrived in a plastic bag from the NRA, with the words "Defend Freedom" and "Defeat Obama" printed in large letters.
My Tribune-Review arrived in a plain red plastic bag. I would like to think that the carrier mixed up the bags, but I don't think so. I am disappointed that the PG would sell its wrapper for a political ad one day before an important election.
Not again, PG
First ... DVDs about Muslims and Islam ... now the morning paper (my own personal little creature pleasure) delivered in NRA wrappers? I find both of these actions reprehensible and they should be accompanied by a disclaimer from the PG -- or some balancing information. I know you need to earn ad dollars, but why this in-your-face stuff?
This is getting to be enough. If there is more of this, I may need to cancel my subscription.
Anything for a buck?
First it was the New Testament and that horrid, horrid hate-filled DVD, then Monday, my paper is delivered courtesy of the NRA advising me to defend freedom by defeating Barack Obama.
I've always agreed that the Post-Gazette was "one of America's great newspapers," but if you don't knock this stuff off, I will cancel my subscription.
You can't need the money that badly!
Transit workers should feel lucky to have such a contract
I have been a loyal patron of the Port Authority for almost 14 years, and I just read with great concern about the impending strike of the Port Authority slated for Dec. 1 if a new contract is imposed on the workers ("Union Says 'Work Stoppage' Likely If Port Authority Imposes Contract," Nov. 5).
Looking at the terms of this contract, it would certainly be a dream for me -- in my years of working, I have never had such benefits.
For instance, paying 3 percent for health care -- I wonder if the workers realize just how lucky they are to only have to pay that much. I pay about 15 times that figure (no exaggeration).
Then, the wage increase of 3 percent per year. I haven't had that in more than five years, even though our health-care costs went up way more than that.
Then, there were the post-retirement benefits for health care. What are those? Under my "retirement," I will have to pay it all out of pocket.
I don't see what the problem is. I would love to work under those "conditions," especially at $20-plus per hour.
I implore the Port Authority workers to think long and hard before making any snap decisions. Too many people rely on you for transportation, and I feel if a strike occurs, you are going to make things a lot worse for yourselves. Unlike the last time, a week of free rides (I was in high school at the time of the last strike and I remember this bit) may not make up for a month of inconvenience this time.
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First Published November 6, 2008 12:00 am