I was dismayed by recent letters (Weyer, Oct. 26; Humphress, Oct. 29) calling for a no vote on the 50 North levy. I have been a member of the “senior center” for eight years. For me, the fitness center represents the reason to support the 50 North levy.
When I first started using the gym, a volunteer sat at a desk as a minor form of supervision if someone should be hurt. There were three to four pieces of used equipment. Now it is a state-of-the-art facility with new, safe equipment that ranges from ellipticals, reclining bikes, treadmills and weight machines to free weights, really more than I can accurately list.
The center is staffed with trained fitness experts who work with you to establish a routine to meet your fitness goals. I have fallen twice recently. After initial physical therapy, my doctor approved transfer of physical therapy to workouts at 50 North due to the competency of the staff. This saved me money, as I paid for therapy out of pocket.
The fitness center runs a full schedule of classes, something for all levels of fitness.
The Delay the Disease program for Parkinson’s patients offers hope for many, a way to live with that disease through fitness and camaraderie with other Parkinson families.
While the fitness center is where I spend most of my time, I’ve enjoyed lunch with friends there.
The art classes, card games, pool, travel opportunities, and seminars all serve to promote a vibrant lifestyle. Research shows that wellness depends on mental stimulation combined with exercise, as well as connection with others.
50 North provides all that for Hancock County residents.
Ms. Humphress’ letter states that 50 North is “seeking to double the previous levy.” Yes, it is asking each of us to vote for an existing 0.6-mill levy as well as approve an additional 0.6-mill.
The owner of a home valued at $100,000 will pay just $3.17 a month or $38 per year. That seems so little for all the quality services one can find at 50 North. Please vote “yes”!
Judy Hall

Today’s Democratic Party isn’t grandma and grandpa’s Democratic Party. John F. and Robert Kennedy were self-made millionaires. Their father gave them nothing. He made them work.
The Kennedy brothers loved public service and considered themselves servants. They were not interested in enriching themselves by selling out the middle class with trade deals like NAFTA, CAFTA and the TPP.
John F. Kennedy only took $1 a year as his salary as president. They also understood perfectly how vital industry is a bridge to the middle class, especially for many of our high school graduates and dropouts.
Robert Kennedy detested corruption in any form and didn’t care what his peers in the Democratic Party thought. Robert served on Joe McCarthy’s committee from 1952-1953, going after communists in our society and government.
Robert and Joe, who was Kathleen Kennedy’s godfather, always remained close friends, even when some discredited Joe. When Robert found out that the Teamsters were embezzling funds from workers, Robert aggressively went after the mob and Jimmy Hoffa.
Robert didn’t turn a blind eye to corruption, regardless of where it was.
The Kennedy brothers considered neither themselves, nor anyone else, to be above the law — no one, no matter who they were.
If Robert Kennedy were attorney general today, Hillary Clinton would be in jail. Also under investigation would be Lois Lerner, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch and Bryan Pagliano. Comey would be fired.
Donald Trump is a self-made billionaire who loves our country. He, like Robert Kennedy, wants to stop the corruption and have justice. He also wants to mine all of our natural resources, bring all of our jobs home, and protect our borders.
Please vote for Donald Trump and make America great again.
Dan McDonald

It appears Rick Rodabaugh (letter, Oct. 26) is a student of the Trump brainwashing school. All the things mentioned are not all true, as Trump has lied about many of them.
Why didn’t he mention all of Trump’s stupid remarks from the start? For example, that John McCain was not a hero because he was captured; wanting to deport 11 million illegal Mexicans who have been here for years with families; and showing his bigoted mind by saying a judge can’t handle a court hearing because he is Mexican.
He’s also made fun of a crippled person; insulted the Muslim parents whose son, a U.S. soldier, was killed protecting his fellow soldiers; suggested that he knows more than generals about fighting ISIS; and bragged about how he abuses women.
It goes on and on and never stops.
I’m 91 and every four years I watch the elections, but have never witnessed anything like this. Hillary may not be a creditable candidate, but her experience as secretary of state gives her definite knowledge of foreign policy, as she has met with dignitaries of all countries of the world.
You know if she wasn’t running for president that none of this malarkey about emails and Benghazi would even be discussed.
In all my years I have never observed anyone the likes of Trump. This guy is a lunatic who would know nothing about managing the good old USA.
Voters in Hancock County will vote for anyone on the Republican ticket, no matter what, but what excuse do they have for voting for a guy who is the devil in disguise?
Tom Daley

There’s an old saying, “No news is good news.” In the case of the 2016 presidential election cycle, no news on religious freedom from either candidate is disturbing.
Since our country’s founding, religion has always been seen as useful and beneficial in the United States in preserving peace, morality, cultural stability, and orderliness. The First Amendment rightly seeks to protect and encourage a person’s right to practice their belief or unbelief as a way of prospering and preserving the republic. This is what makes America unique: the freedom to practice what a person believes in a peaceful non-threatening way.
Where else does such a generous spirit of religious freedom exist?
The absence from the presidential debates about religious freedom, in light of the recent coercive pressures and mandated adherence to laws that go against the faith of Christians, should be and is troubling for people of all faiths and even non-faiths.
What will a Trump presidency or Clinton presidency mean for religious freedom? How can we know?
Silence on religious freedom from either candidate is not golden. Tragically, under the current administration religious freedom is coming under fire, for groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor have been pressured to violate their long-held biblical beliefs under the Affordable Care Act.
Or consider the case that the Supreme Court will be hearing about Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri, which is arguing that its preschool should not have been denied a state grant to make its playground safer just because it is a religious institution.
Which of these two candidates will stand up for religious freedom, Trump or Clinton? Which of these two candidates will seek to build on the trend of the current administration that can be summed up, “Believe whatever you like on Sunday but on Monday you believe what we tell you!”
In this case the old saying, “No news is good news” may well be tragically wrong.
Matt Shive

Joe Thomas’ rebuttal letter (Courier, Oct. 27) suggested that I misunderstood his point. I understood it, I just disagree with it. There is a difference.
I take exception to the characterization of support by evangelical Christians for Trump as misguided. Evangelical Christians are pro-life and that issue alone is sufficient cause to support Trump. Many find Hillary’s position of abortion up to the moment of birth deplorable.
I also refute Joe’s statement that theologian Wayne Grudem has withdrawn his support of Trump. Grudem’s website indicates he still favors Trump over Hillary.
As for megachurch pastors considering themselves evangelicals, calling yourself “evangelical” does not make it so.
That issue is determined by the alignment of church doctrine and Scripture. Misalignment there disqualifies you as evangelical.
There are fundamental differences between the Republican and Democratic parties and there are sound reasons for Christians to vote for Trump.
The future makeup of the Supreme Court is at stake. There is no such thing as a perfect candidate and this election emphasizes that point.
However, we still have the responsibility to make the best choice available.
Larry Richards

When involved in a serious debate, such as freedom of religion and speech, one should stick to the real issues. Instead, Joe Thomas (letter, Oct. 27) has tried to strengthen his view with personal insults, false characterizations and charges without facts. When logic is lacking, mocking is a substitute.
Thomas used a broad brush of condemnation against evangelicals. Thomas should be apprised that the first two amendments to the U.S. Constitution are at risk with Clinton and the Democrats.
I have been a serious student of the church, Christian ministry and theology for 59 years, with a BA in ministry and a Bth. in theology. However, degrees don’t mean that much.
It’s my love for Jesus Christ and a firm belief in the supreme authority of the holy Scriptures that explain themselves. Scripture interprets Scripture.
Neither is the Republican Party the source of my religious beliefs. The GOP is much closer aligned with the Scriptures than the socialistic Democratic Party. Creator God is obviously “pro-life.” Marriage was his original idea, one man with one woman. Same-sex marriage is a misnomer against nature and nature’s God.
God and the holy Scriptures are the foundation of the church, my personal belief and lifestyle.
Wayne Baldridge

People should vote “no” on Issue 6, the levy for 50 North.
I had a friend invite me to the volunteer banquet. The invitation said she could invite a guest, but a few days after she received it she was told she was no longer wanted as a volunteer. This lady had been a volunteer for eight years.
There were, at one time, a large number of volunteers but they have all been told they’re not wanted. Now these positions are held by paid personnel.
They have installed a specialty coffee area at 50 North. I don’t know of many 65-and-older people who even drink that, but I know those in their 50s do. Is it really needed in a senior center?
I know a lot of people over 60 who no longer feel comfortable going there, so they have stopped going. What has happened to our senior center?
Diane Weyer

I hate to burst your bubble, Ms. Boes (letter, Oct. 22), but the “Rules for Radicals” which you cite was not written by Saul Alinsky. And your suggestion to look it up online is a good one, because it is an easy way to disprove your claim.
Here are Saul’s actual 13 (not eight) “Rules for Radicals”:
“Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have. Power is derived from two main sources — money and people. ‘Have-nots’ must build power from flesh and blood.”
“Never go outside the expertise of your people.”
“Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.”
“Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
“Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”
“A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”
“A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”
“Keep the pressure on. Never let up.”
“The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”
“The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.”
“If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.”
“The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”
“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”
This information can be found at the following website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rules_for_Radicals
For every one of the quoted rules above, Saul added a brief explanation, such as the one following the first quoted rule. Due to The Courier’s word limitation, I have had to eliminate the explanations following the other 12 rules, but you can find them all in the Wikipedia article I have referenced.
In addition, Snopes debunks the eight “rules” Boes quoted at the following website: http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/alinsky.asp
Saul Alinsky was a community organizer. He worked with disadvantaged, minority and poor communities to help their members become better informed, more articulate, and better able to express their needs to the larger society. And isn’t this what democracy is all about?
Jim Flechtner

I have known Mark Gazarek for 20-plus years. He has always been truthful, honest and a conservative.
He and the county commissioners have helped the McComb Volunteer Fire Department and first responders with funding of the MARCS radio system and the fire response system.
Mark has always had an interest in the village of McComb and has always checked in on a regular basis to see what the needs are in the McComb area.
Mark’s common-sense approach and knowledge has made him a great leader, and a strong Republican.
Joe Wasson

It has been very interesting to read all the opinion letters in the paper, but I think that most people are missing an important part of the discussion.
I am of the baby boomer generation and it seems that too many of my peers have bought into the ’60s and ’70s anti-establishment philosophies.
Now a lot of them are very influential and/or in control of many facets of our lives, including education, media and government.
As a result, we have a lot of young people who are way too accepting of socialism.
Communist, socialist and Marxist governments have killed millions of people, and don’t have people risking their lives trying to get into those countries.
So regarding our presidential race, here’s another opinion to consider: Hillary Clinton is an over-the-hill child of the ’60s hippie-elitist bunch, whose only core belief seems to be that the end justifies the means.
Just something to think about.
Joel B. Harris

Terry Cook (letter, Oct. 18) gave us a compelling reason to vote for a third-party candidate, though not a popular one.
In the end it is a popularity contest.
I know what’s right and wrong. This is me casting the first stone.
Re: Barbara Rice (letter, Oct. 18): Make America see what it has become! A land of greed and gluttony, political leaders only fattening themselves, religious hypocrites preaching “my faith is better than your faith, my beliefs are the true beliefs.” My God will smite you.
America was not founded on these principles! It was founded to escape religious and political persecution.
Re: Wayne Baldridge (letter, Oct. 18): Any man who uses religion as a political stance should flush the Declaration of Independence. You are the reason innocent babies die at clinics. The reason jihadists exist. It’s an example of the holier-than-thou persona projected from ignorance granted by our great country’s Constitution being misused.
Anyone with differing views of Baldridge is subject to the poisonous remarks laid out on the Viewpoint page.
Jamie Wise