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Dec. 12 Letters to the Editor

Let Detroit fix Detroit

Legislation which increases taxes, arrogates more power to the state, diminishes national defense-security, erodes the free market system, or encroaches upon individual freedom should not be enacted.

The government’s rush to “rescue” the failing auto industry meets this proscription. Political interference will inject inexperience and federal level ineptitude into the free enterprise system. This will compound the incompetence that brought U.S. auto-makers to the brink of collapse. Who, but the taxpayers, will toss the necessary billion dollar life rings to those foundering companies whose hemorrhaging should rightly be stanched by management and the UAW?

Government dictated strings attached to rescue packages will hamstring decision makers with fascist-style controls mandating production output, regardless of buying public preferences. The effectiveness displayed by the “Drug Czar” to combat drug use should exemplify what can be expected from a “Car Czar.”

Government conceived plans to achieve particular goals or standards within a specified time smacks of Soviet-style government, which incidentally, we exerted considerable effort to vanquish and prevent others from adopting. How many of us truly believe that those politicians who were major contributors to the current economic turmoil are capable of overcoming their own incompetence or self-serving interests?

This country became a world-class economic and military power by observing conservative-based principles. That we are now departing from that successful paradigm because of what experts predict are short-term difficulties is a typical narrow-minded, knee-jerk government reaction which bodes ill for our long-term political and economic health.

Ron Goldstone



Unfair Bush bashing

Even for the usual anti-Bush leanings of the BDN, the Dec. 8 edition was one for the record books. I would like only to respond to Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s OpEd. (Arthur Greif’s OpED was merely sophomoric.)

It is unfortunate that a person from the African continent could not least acknowledge the incredible progress of disease fighting aid that has reached Africa during the Bush Administration. In 2003, the $15 billion that PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) was budgeted was the largest investment ever by any country in history. At the time, only about 50,000 sub-Saharan Africans were receiving AIDS treatment; now close to two million people in the region are receiving treatment. This past summer the Bush Administration requested that funding be increased to $30 billion.

It would have been much better balanced if the BDN had run an article stating these facts, but I suppose the temptation for Bush bashing is too strong to resist.

Chris Morrison



At the flip of a switch

I was really surprised when reading Tom Gocze’s column in Saturday’s business section. He said “What a million dollar idea it would be if someone came up with a snow melt system for porch steps.”

When we built our former home in Dover 44 years ago, our Shawnee steps had a built-in electrical system so when there was a chance that we’d have ice all we had to do was flip a switch and it was taken care of. We loved it.

Barbara Herrick



Poison pot

I’ve always wondered how much support there is out there for medical cigarettes. After all, a lot of people say that it helps to calm their nerves.

Cigarettes have three to five times less tar then marijuana, and unlike marijuana, cigarettes have no connection to schizophrenia. Whether or not some of the chemicals in cigarettes stay in your system for three months as does marijuana, I don’t know.

Webster’s Dictionary describes marijuana as capable of producing disorienting or hallucinogenic effects when smoked in cigarettes or ingested. With medicine like this, who needs poison?

I quite smoking cigarettes 40 years ago. As for the Lefty Luckies, I wouldn’t touch them with a 10-foot pole.

Galen Vainio



Auto bailout rules

Re: The auto industry “bailout”: I am urging our members of Congress and Senate to resist any and all bailouts that do not have the strongest industry reform measures incorporated within them.

Some examples: strict adherence to increased CAFE (mpg) standards, dropping the rule that allows SUVs to be classified as trucks for the CAFE calculations, and more stringent pollution control requirements.

Further, a ratio must be set between lowest to highest paid employees of the companies of no more than one to 50; that means that if a laborer is paid $10 hour for a 40-hour week (gross yearly pay of $20,000), then the CEO of the company cannot make more than $1 million, including all compensation, stock options, golden parachutes, etc.

Similar reforms should be required of any industry that is deemed “too big to fail,” such as banks, insurance companies, paper mills, lobster fisheries, etc.

Either we have capitalism with all the risks and rewards associated for the investors, or we have corporate welfare with all the rules as needed. If mothers are limited in what they can and cannot spend their WIC or EBT allotments upon, then GM, AIG, Bank of America, etc. should also be told how to operate by their new partial owners: us, the U.S. taxpayers!

Paul Sheridan



The power of marriage

Marriage is about the love and commitment of two people who have promised to spend their lives together. Because of the rich history and meaning of marriage, society bestows on married couples a dignity and respect unequaled by any other institution — including civil unions. No other word has the power of marriage and can provide the social and cultural protection that marriage does.

Excluding same-sex couples from marriage denies them the dignity and respect they deserve as loving, committed couples.

Paul Carney



Wrong priorities

I am sitting here stunned by what I have just read in the Dec. 9 BDN. The Eastern Agency on Aging has decided it will no longer provide breakfast to seniors in assisted living. Well, isn’t that a revealing look at our society’s priorities?

Here are people who have worked all their lives and contributed to their communities in innumerable ways, and we can’t afford to spend pennies a day to feed them breakfast. Yet we can spend billions on political campaigns, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and bailouts for almost everyone who asks.

I realize budget cuts are sorely needed, but to take food away from people who are vulnerable and frail seems unconscionable.

Honor thy elders? I guess not. Not in America.

Jessica Brooks


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