Tough Lessons!

Tough Lessons!
Posted by FoM on December 24, 1998 at 08:07:30 PT

Editor -- This is what my children (all of voting age) have learned from the impeachment proceedings: 1. It's OK to cheat if you are a Republican. As far as not lying under oath, what greater oath is there than the marriage vows taken in God's name? 2. Why bother to vote. We, my three daughters and I, voted twice for President Clinton and medical marijuana. Neither vote counted for a damn thing. 
I've voted in every election since I was 21. I'm now 57. I doubt I will ever vote again. For the first time in my life, I am aware of how little I am and how the bullies can power down anyone. How sad. JOANNA VALLO Redwood City THE SAFETY NET Editor -- Earl Rynerson's Open Forum piece, ``We Kill Them With Kindness,'' (December 15) uses the city's collective support of programs for the poor to build his case for denying General Assistance to homeless drug addicts and alcoholics. He also implies that the vast majority of General Assistance recipients spend their benefits on drugs or alcohol. He does not allow that these services and benefits are a lifeline for thousands of poor families and seniors, people living with AIDS, and homeless people who are clean and sober. He also does not acknowledge how difficult it is to kick an addiction, and that many homeless and drug addicts and alcoholics suffer from mental illness. He outlines a neatly defined problem and offers a neatly packaged solution -- to deny public assistance to these men and women until they get clean. This plan pushes us down a slippery slope toward a place where other behaviors may be suspect and we are suspect if we are compassionate. The San Francisco Food Bank distributes food to more than 400 after-school programs, AIDS service providers, battered women's shelters, neighborhood food pantries, drug treatment programs, shelters and soup kitchens. Should we cease to provide food to these agencies if they refuse to test their clients? San Francisco's social safety net is diminished and fragile, but it is helping to meet the basic needs of our poorest residents. Among these people are homeless drug addicts and alcoholics. We are not supporting their habits; we are enabling them to live. PAUL ASH Executive Director San Francisco Food Bank 
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