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What Do You Think?

August 17, 2009

Editor's note: Each week, The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on its Web site. Readers also may submit comments about the poll question when voting. Each Sunday, a sampling of edited reader comments will run in The Herald-Mail.

Last week there were two poll questions. The first question was: Should taxpayer money be used to send Little League families to playoffs?

o "No! They can have fundraisers or seek private donations like we all did as children."

o "I got two questions. Why should it be the responsibility of the taxpayers? All my children are grown up, so why should I have to pay? Parents want their children involved in sports, then they have to cover the cost. It's their responsibility, not the taxpapers."

o "It's absurd to me this would even be considered an option. This is an extracurricular event that is the responsibility of the parents and/or organization. If it can't be afforded by those groups, sorry for the luck. I fully support kids playing sports and participating in activities, but it's not a taxpayer responsibility."

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o "Folks, this is one of those opportunities to help nurture individual family togetherness, bonding and strengthen the family unit. It's kind of nice to hear something positive about our kids, and why the heck not. We just spent billions on the Cash for Clunkers program, we're about to spend trillions on health care, and we gave $43 billion away in earned income credits in 2007, in which many of those individuals did not pay any taxes. So when we as a community get to do something this nice then I believe we should all support their success."

o "I voted no on this poll, but our commissioners created this situation when they donated our money to the team that won the state championship last year. Is one team different from the other?"

o "I'm not a family member and I have no problem with the Board of County Commissioners giving $10,000 to our state Little League champs. That costs each taxpayer about 10 cents. What is the big deal ... it's for a good cause. C'mon people ... have some Washington County pride."

The second question was: Do you approve of the strategy of drowning out speakers at town hall meetings held by members of Congress?

o "Normally, I would say no, but it seems as though these people who serve at the pleasure of the people have forgotten they work FOR the people. Phone calls and e-mails get disregarded and we have bailouts, Cash for Clunkers, huge deficits, cap and trade, and now this health care bill shoved down our throats."

o "If Congress refuses to listen then town hall meetings allow the public the opportunity to speak louder."

o "The strategy is to disrupt the process of beneficial information-sharing and to induce fear. No, I do not approve of such tactics."

o "Being belligerent or overbearing usually ends up hurting one's case, not helping it. How many conservatives don't care for (Rush) Limbaugh because he makes them, as a whole, look bad? Or same with liberals and Keith Olbermann? It takes numbers on the money in their pockets, voters in their state and supporters within their parties that will sway them ... not aggression or demonstrators."

o "You can't find out valuable information if people are shouting over what is being said. Seems some want to yell before they know all the facts."

o "Anyone who interrupts a speaker, in that speaker's own designated time to speak, should be ejected from the meeting. That said, there has to be a fair procedure for recognizing speakers."

o "While I share frustration with those that are weary of staged events and those that feel that a party in power ignores those that aren't, any group or individual that shouts a person down when they have the floor during a public or private forum (a tactic to which both liberals and conservatives resort), even when one vehemently disagrees, not only takes a cowardly departure from civil decorum, but disrespects those that want/need to understand the speaker's opinion. If you want to protest, hold up your sign, hand out your petition, write letters to the editor, blog, comment online, vote - but respect those of us in attendance who want to hear what is said."

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