The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Our Readers Speak

November 17, 2012

Our Readers Speak — Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012


One lobbyist has Congress by throat

A recent letter writer asked, “Who is Grover Norquist anyway?” So I looked him up.

He is the Republican lobbyist who created the No Tax Increase Pledge. So far, 238 representatives and 41 senators have pledged to oppose all tax increases and all reductions of tax deductions and credits. If any of them violate this pledge, they will most likely be defeated in the next primary.

This means that even if a tax increase is a wise choice, as Barack Obama says, or if Mitt Romney says he will offset tax cuts by eliminating deductions, either can never happen as long as the signers are in office.

Republicans have foolishly discarded their ability to compromise, a fundamental pillar of democracy. This one lobbyist has Congress by the throat and has done significant damage to America. And Congress, for its part, has granted him more influence over our government than 300 million citizens.

Walter McGraw


Games can be played without spectators

I would like to make a few comments about the parents’ behavior at games.

This is my 40th year in public education and a coach many of those years. I have seen the shift in parental attitudes, not only on the playing fields, but also in the classroom. Many now feel that simply because they pay taxes or pay admission into a game, they have the right to say and do whatever they want to and no one is going to tell them differently, which has been proven wrong in the courtroom.

If administrators and supervisors at games had the courage to remove these individuals at the first sign of trouble, it would cease. I know some will say this is easier said then done. But I have done it before as an administrator and an athletic director.

Another reason that individuals behave the way they do is because officials no longer have control, not only of the game, but the crowd as well.

At one time in history, they were cognizant of improper behavior in the crowd and took steps to get rid of it. I remember one time when playing basketball for Meadow Bridge and we made a trip to Talcott High School. During the game, the crowd became rather loud and threatening. I was involved in a play, and the fans began yelling profanity and making disparaging remarks.

The official stopped the game and these were his words: “Any more behavior of this type and I will call a technical on your team. If it continues afterwards, I will clear the building and we will play the game without you.”

One thing we must remember from all is that the game is for the kids. Some may be destined for greatness, but nothing is a certainty. The games can be played without you.


Mark Redden

Williamsburg, Va.

formerly of Fayette County

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