living in the red, vol. 3

a smattering of recent letters from the local paper. my comments are bolded and in italics.

1. 

We need just as much as Haiti

I am so sorry for the people of Haiti, but enough is enough. I am really tired of our federal government always, always, always sending hundreds of millions of our taxpayer dollars to other countries. Sure, it was a horrible thing that happened, but it is a horrible thing that is happening right here in America. We need help too.  (You are a moron. No really. I hate to resort to name calling, but if you honestly don’t see a difference between 1st world poverty and 3rd world poverty, then you are a moron.)

There is no reason why the minimum wage can’t be increased. The poverty level needs to be increased. For a specific example, I tried to apply for food stamps and was denied. The reason? I make too much money. That’s a laugh. One week my net pay was $239. Another week it might be $300. Then there’s the house payment, car payment, electric bill, other bills and, oh yes, food. Well, you get the idea. (No one has ever said that there are not poor here in the U.S.  There are many people that do need assistance.  and yes, we should continue to raise the minimum wage in this country.  But the very fact that you have a house, a car, electricity, and food puts you leaps and bounds ahead of millions around the globe, including many Haitians.)

Our government needs to spend money on us, not them. (sigh)

CONSTANCE LOWERY
MONTVALE
 
2.  Godless path will reap fate of Haiti

Three cheers for Pat Robertson. We need more men of God with the backbone to stand up and tell the truth.

Curses are real, and if you align yourself with Satan, you are under a curse.

Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy. If in fact Haiti made a pact with Satan, the people made Satan their god, and they have reaped what Satan sows.

America, this could be your fate if you continue on the godless path you are on.  (The fact that Pat Robertson could make the assertions regarding Haiti that he did is just sad and somewhat laughable.  He’s crazy.  But the fact that there are people out there who believe it? That’s even crazier. )

VICKY SLAYTON
ROANOKE
 
3.   Neither party cares about Americans

It becomes increasingly evident that the American electorate is being short-changed by both political parties. Americans aren’t being heard and neither party seems to care.  (Hey- two sentences I actually agree with!)

Please be informed that the major nightmare lies within the Democratic Party, currently holding complete power.

In the past, this party represented the populist forces of the nation with a profound bond. This was a party of great men. Sure, they leaned somewhat left, but nothing compared with the socialist element controlling this party today. They would have never voted for socialized medicine, government control of the banking and auto industries or cap and trade.  (Oops, I think we’ve managed to part ways here… i love that socialist has become the new buzzword for conservatives.  just in case you are wondering though, here is the proper definition of socialist according to Merriam-Webster:  one who follows or believes in socialism–a system of governmental ownership  and administration over the production and distribution of goods, where there is no private property.   Yeah… that’s exactly what we have going on in the U.S. no one has private property.  And that damn government telling you how many and which brand of TVs you can have in your house.  Commie socialist bastards, every last one of ’em!  … p.s. socialism =/= communism.  they are actually two different things.)

Then there’s the GOP possessing no leadership in its ranks. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is a non-producer in ability and action. Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has no personality or any clue on how to meet the public with a smile. He is totally incapable of conveying a convincing vibrant message.

The Eastern moderate element is constantly at odds with GOP conservatives. Local county units are no more than social clubs caring less about voter involvement or participation.

Maybe these parties need a wake-up call from a new tea party offering a voter-oriented agenda of integrity, totally absent of career-minded politicians.  (What, we should all be looking for leadership from this guy? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyoCRC-oT0A&feature=player_embedded)

VINCE GOLLE
SALEM
 
4.   Health care isn’t a constitutional right

Re: “Health care is a fundamental right,” Jan. 25 commentary by Robert Boyd:

Why should health care be a fundamental right? (Because it falls under the “life” part of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?  Because it’s simply the right thing to do, to take care of your fellow human beings?  Because it’s better for all of us, in the long run, to have a healthy and productive populace?)  It certainly wasn’t the ideal of the founders for it to be so. (And we know this how, considering that medicine/healthcare in basically every facet has changed enormously since then?)  In fact, it was the opinion of those who drafted our Constitution that providing a commodity or service to someone before they have legitimately done something to secure it for themselves would require someone else to sacrifice something they have legitimately worked for. (I reallllly don’t remember this part of the Constitution.)  This would, in a sense, put the giver in servitude to the receiver, thus limiting his liberty.

I would refer Boyd to a publication by the Claremont Institute, “The Rise and Fall of Constitutional Government in America,” by Thomas G. West and Douglas A. Jeffrey. It is a study of the founders’ philosophies of constitutional government.  (Or how about we look at sources that are, shall we say, a little less biased?  If you’re interested in learning more about the conservative Claremont Institute, who by the way have former VP Dick Cheney lined up as a guest speaker for the upcoming 30th Anniversary dinner, then please visit: http://www.claremont.org/)

Boyd’s concern seems to be more a problem with the quality of the services rendered. He does, however, retain the right to go to another doctor.  (Unless of course he has no health insurance and can’t afford it.)

JEFF MARTIN
BLUE RIDGE
 
5.   Obama’s presidency isn’t as promised

The State of the Union was delivered with President Obama’s familiar style, but we now must measure him with more than his words and not just the failures of his predecessor; for this is his presidency, his promises and his decisions alone.

The president repeated his promise to make government transparent. Yet, we have seen secret deals to buy votes, the exemption of unions from taxes and a deal with Big Pharma all carried out behind closed doors. (Of course there are also numerous documents available online that you could read to see what the White House is up to, but gosh, that would take too  much time wouldn’t it.)

We were again promised reform of the earmark process. Yet, we remember that he signed a stimulus bill riddled with pork and a budget filled with enough entitlements to solve most states’ budget deficits.

Obama promised an independent judiciary. Yet he scolded the Supreme Court for a decision he disagreed with, thereby breaking with decorum and the notion of separation of powers.  (Actually that is the very definition of the separation of powers.  When one branch of government is not doing its part and falling down on the job with bad decisions, it is the job of the other two branches to step in and call the 3rd branch out.)

Obama is not the leader many expected, deserve or want. (You are correct.  Many people expected miracles.  Many others truly do not deserve to live in such a great nation where men like Barack Obama can be elected to the highest office in the nation.  And some people are too pitiful to understand what they truly want in life.)  The people of Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts have already spoken.   (Yes, they have spoken against bad campaigns run by poorly chosen Democrats in each race.)  A host of others will have an opportunity to do so in November.

BILL STEPHENSON
BLACKSBURG
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