Columnists

Thu
27
Jul

David Rauschenberger: Democrats are at fault when Obamacare fails

David Rauschenberger

I remember when President Barack Obama, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were shoving Obamacare down our throats. My friends supporting socialized medicine were ecstatic.

I had one observation that was mostly ignored. That prediction was that, ultimately, Democrats would blame Republicans for the failure of Obamacare. And I was right. Oh, was I right.

I compared Obamacare to other unsustainable entitlements. And, entitlements live forever. Never forget it. Reducing or eliminating benefits doesn’t sit well with members of the trough.

As I predicted, the “blame-spin” is starting to ooze. I first heard the ultimate spin on Fox News. Some backbencher was trying to sell that Republicans are just as much to blame as Democrats for the coming implosion of Obamacare. She actually said that Democrats resisting change mitigated their blame.

Thu
27
Jul

Russ White: Rich, right-wing special interests have taken over the GOP

Russ White

Russ White

On Nov. 8, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote, “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are … a few … Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.” He neglected to mention they were also incredibly rich.

Thu
27
Jul

Letters to the Editor: On good police officers, water meters and the Old Spanish Sugar Mill

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

DeLand cop makes a good impression

Editor, The Beacon:

Something happened to me recently that made me feel good. At 7:30 a.m. on a Monday, I was working in my front yard. I looked back and saw a DeLand police cruiser parked in front. Officer Thomas Gillan stepped out and walked over to me.

He introduced himself and asked how I was doing. He informed me that it was a friendly visit just to meet residents. He asked if there were any problems in the neighborhood.

Officer Gillan let me know that police officers were always available and that I should never hesitate to call them if necessary.

What a “feel good” impression he left in me. Kudos to Officer Gillan and Chief Jason Umberger.

Paul Marcinuk

DeLand


$485 for a water meter!?

Editor, The Beacon:

Mon
24
Jul

Letters to the Editor: On sustainability, flooding and saying thanks

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

That’s entertainment

Editor, The Beacon:

Whether you are amused or offended by the many tweets emanating from the president’s account, you should bear in mind that it may be a smoke screen that diverts attention from what is going on in the executive branch.

As when we watch a magician saw his apprentice in half, we are distracted from watching what is really happening. In our case, managers are steadily reversing a history of annoying but effective national standards for safety, the air we breathe, the water we drink or use for crops, food for people who have none, and free public education for everyone. The list goes on.

The riveting, breathtaking entertainment is papering over losses we hardly know are going on.

Joan Carter

DeLand


Take needed steps now for a sustainable world

Editor, The Beacon:

Fri
21
Jul

Diversity and inclusion are among our greatest assets

Humanist perspective — Athena Jeanne Hale of DeLand, a member of the Central Florida Freethought Community, delivers an invocation to open the DeLand City Commission meeting July 5. The City of DeLand invites a broad diversity of spiritual leaders and others to open its meetings, which occur generally on the first and third Mondays of each month at DeLand City Hall, 120 S. Florida Ave., and are open to the public.

Humanist perspective — Athena Jeanne Hale of DeLand, a member of the Central Florida Freethought Community, delivers an invocation to open the DeLand City Commission meeting July 5. The City of DeLand invites a broad diversity of spiritual leaders and others to open its meetings, which occur generally on the first and third Mondays of each month at DeLand City Hall, 120 S. Florida Ave., and are open to the public.

PHOTO COURTESY CFFC

Editor’s note: As part of a rotation of spiritual leaders, the City of DeLand occasionally invites a member of the Central Florida Freethought Community to give an invocation to open the City Commission meeting.

The most recent speaker, Athena Jeanne Hale, agreed to share with Beacon readers the invocation that opened the July 5 meeting.

Thank you, Mayor Apgar, commission members, staff, and members of the community for inviting me to give a Humanist invocation this evening.

My name is Athena Jeanne Hale, and this is a special honor for me, as an alumna of Stetson University, and as someone who happened to move to DeLand four years ago today with my wife so I could attend Stetson.

Fri
14
Jul

Letters to the Editor: On climate change, legalizing drugs and protesting

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Facts prove climate change is a serious threat

An open letter to David Rauschenberger, Gov. Rick Scott and all other climate deniers:

So yesterday April 29 was 1 degree short of a record temperature in Central Florida. And 2016 was the hottest year in the history of climate records. And the past 10 years have all broken temperature records, each exceeding the previous year’s record temperatures.

These are facts, not subject to debate. Confirmed by other facts — i.e., the ice caps are melting. (Please look up the definition of facts; there are no alternative facts.)

Fri
14
Jul

David Rauschenberger: High-school grads should be ready for college

David Rauschenberger

David Rauschenberger

A recent editorial in The Daytona Beach News-Journal reads, “Shortchanging state colleges.” I was drawn to it like a moth to a flame.

Those responsible for their editorials never have the guts to sign their names, but I always post a direct line to my inbox. I digress.

In a nutshell, the News-Journal editorial laments a reapportionment of funds for college education. Twenty-five million dollars was shaved from the state budget, and Daytona State College lost a little more than $2 million of it. Those cuts are to remedial programs, my comrades. And that’s all you need to know.

The remainder of the scathing editorial sets up the straw man that these are the most deserving among us and they need nearly unlimited remedial help. I have a differing opinion.

Fri
14
Jul

Russ White: GOP may be forced to work with Dems on health care

Russ White

Russ White

Today, I read the best description I have yet seen of the six years of Republican obstruction on Obamacare: Since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, the GOP (Government of Putin, today) has been throwing nails and tacks in the path of Obamacare, and then complaining about, and refusing to fix, all the flat tires. I’m paraphrasing, but the metaphor is spot on.

And now, like the dog that caught the car, Republicans control the Congress and the White House, and that disloyal opposition has come back to bite them in the backside. Big-time.

For six years, Democrats virtually begged Republicans to come to the table to work with them to make what was an imperfect law better. Had the GOP done so, instead of wasting more than 60 useless votes to repeal it, the flaws in the law might have been fixed by now.

Fri
07
Jul

Letters to the Editor: On license plate privacy, driverless cars and gun violence

You’re welcome to write a letter   Want to write a letter to the editor? Click "Send Letter to Editor" at www.beacononlinenews.com. Or, mail your letter, marked "for publication," to 110 W. New York Ave., DeLand, FL 32720. You can also email your letter to info@beacononlinenews.com. Letter-writers must include their name, their city of residence, and a phone number or email address.

You’re welcome to write a letter

Want to write a letter to the editor? Click "Send Letter to Editor" at www.beacononlinenews.com. Or, mail your letter, marked "for publication," to 110 W. New York Ave., DeLand, FL 32720. You can also email your letter to info@beacononlinenews.com. Letter-writers must include their name, their city of residence, and a phone number or email address.

Why would we want driverless cars?

Editor, The Beacon:

I don’t get it! What is all the excitement about driverless cars?

In 2014, there were 32,675 people killed in 29,989 crashes (Wikipedia); the estimated cost of these crashes — including medical expenses, wage and productivity losses, and property damage — was roughly $150 billion (Newsweek). Since June 2009, when GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy, more than 500,000 jobs have been created in the auto industry.

Why in the world would we want to reduce or eliminate all these jobs: hospitals, health care, ambulance drivers, police, firefighters, lawyers, insurance companies, not to mention auto-industry workers and associated fossil-fuel-industry workers, and road-building workers, and toll-takers, and mapmakers, and road-sign companies, etc., etc., etc. by building fewer, more-energy-efficient, safer driverless vehicles?

Sun
02
Jul

Letters to the Editor: On climate, atheists and the state of the republic

Letters to the Editor

Write a letter

Want to write a letter to the editor? Use our online form. Click "Send Letter to Editor" at www.beacononlinenews.com. Or, mail your letter, marked "for publication," to 110 W. New York Ave., DeLand, FL 32720.

Summer program needs a van

Editor, The Beacon:

In the heart of Spring Hill, at Temple Learning Center, there is a woman, Voloria Manning, who for the past eight years has offered a summer program for children of the area.

Her goal is to provide the 20 or so children who show up every day with a moral compass as well as a happy, active summer experience.

She succeeds at this because of her prodigious musical and athletic talents, with props so limited that most of us would not even think to try.

The children experience singing training and performances, and all the summer activities you might have had yourself: movies, swimming, bowling, as well as receiving breakfast and lunch.

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