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Siesta Key Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012 5 years ago

Letters to the Editor


+ Speech takes courage
Dear Editor:

Bravo, and many thanks for both your editorial about Obama and your response to his supporters.

Free speech often takes courage and a willingness to receive undeserved outrage. But, that’s what editorials often do, and I welcome your refusal to be intimidated.

Beyond the vitriol expressed by some of your readers, however, there is little substance and much confusion. Your editorial was no more “hateful” than scores of more severe references to George Bush when he was in office.

The selective outrage of those offended by comparing Obama to Chavez and Castro would be telling if those same readers smiled and slapped high-fives when liberals characterized George Bush as a modern-day Hitler. I suspect they did.

Your comparison, however, was more accurate. How best is a political leader characterized whose economic policies talk incessantly and proudly of wealth redistribution and “spreading the money around”? Is he more fairly grouped with Castro, Chavez and the European reform-Marxism tradition of the welfare state or with Lincoln, Jefferson and Madison?

Which group more distrusts and demeans free enterprise or individual initiative and which believes more in government as the solution to most problems? Indeed, which group is more American and which un-American? Your comparison was quite appropriate.

The anger of some readers is understandable because Obama’s “successes” describe his failures. The “stimulus” stimulated government spending and little else. “We” (read taxpayers) didn’t “save” the auto industry, we saved the UAW at great taxpayer expense and capriciously wiped out the property and wealth of bondholders.

Although it is not the proper role of government to “save” businesses, our principal job creators are small businesses that desperately need help. They fail by the thousands every year, in part because of oppressive government regulations. But they largely are not unionized and so are not a favored group. Meanwhile, small business job growth slumps.

With that record of “success,” criticism is inevitable. Success gathers accolades, failure attracts criticism. Where failures are rampant and obvious, harsh criticism is deserved.

I was struck also by the claim that your editorial “crossed the line” or was an “abuse” of free speech. It is the essence of free speech that it be defended when it is most offensive and disagreeable to some.

There would have been no need for our founding fathers to protect only that speech with which all agree. There is a reason I no longer read a long list of liberal-minded media, but read with great interest the Wall Street Journal and the Sarasota Observer. It would not occur to me, however, to urge others vindictively to avoid the ad pages or characterize their comments about George Bush or Republicans as an insurrection.

Tolerance for the rights of others means nothing if we try to silence the voices of those with whom we disagree.

Reasonable readers interpreted your “call to arms” for what it was: an effort to mobilize, rally and unite voters to elect as president someone who understands, appreciates and will dedicate himself to implementing those policies that reflect the American dream of liberty and the pursuit of happiness as free as possible from the yoke of government. Those are worthy purposes and much needed objectives.
Werner Hartenberger

+ Truth hurts
Dear Editor:

Congratulations for standing your ground in the July 26 Observer.

How interesting and how totally ridiculous that those liberals who vilified, cursed and bashed President Bush on a daily basis cannot take some of the nasty medicine they dished out for eight years.

The truth hurts. The letter writers trashing the Observer obviously haven’t and probably won’t read the book, “The Amateur,” and the other book “The Obamas,” both written by former employees, writers and editors of the liberal New York Times.

This country does not need a president who was mentored by the likes of hate-spewing preacher Jeremiah Wright, terrorist Bill Ayres and the communist Sol Alinsky. Nor do we need hypocrites who refuse to acknowledge both sides of the issues, to vote for a man who doesn’t understand the basic philosophy that built this great country — freedom of the individual.
JP Elden

+ You are ‘dead right’
Dear Editor:

Congratulations on having the guts to say what President Obama really is: a tyrannical communist who sneers at the constitution. Your editorial was dead right, and I would encourage you to continue to spotlight the president’s various assaults on our fundamental constitutional rights.
John Helms

+ Look who’s intolerant
Dear Editor:

I just read the letters severely criticizing your Obama article. I agree with the opinions expressed in the article.

The letter writers used phrases and words such as “hate-filled,” “hateful clap trap,” “crazy,” “disrespectful,” “dishonest,” etc. How do they know you are hateful or crazy or dishonest?

The problem I see with Obama supporters and many left-leaning persons in this country is that they will not tolerate any disagreement with their views. If you have a criticism of one of theirs they will lash out viciously.
Meanwhile, those same people have no problem attacking persons who have more conservative views than theirs — e.g. George Bush.
Paul Larson

+ They’re intolerant
Dear Editor:

I was not surprised to see the venomous responses to your editorial on Mr. Obama’s latest attack on private enterprise. I was also gratified to see that you are holding your position.

Liberals seem to have a real aversion to free speech when it does not support their beliefs. That was demonstrated in many of the letters last week. It seems that if you dare to speak against their beliefs, you are un-American and will be boycotted.

Opposing points of view should be aired and respected so the public can evaluate both sides of an argument.

Those who challenged you did not present opposing facts; they just shreiked that you are un-American and threatened your publication. That means either they don’t have any facts to counter your arguements, or they know you are right and they can’t admit it.
Bill Bauman

+ What about Bush?
Dear Editor:

I find it amusing that liberal Democrats are upset about the editorial calling President Obama un-American. Have they forgotten that from 2000 to 2009, they were calling George W. Bush a Nazi and a war criminal?
Liberal Democrats wanted to have Bush arrested and charged with war crimes and taken to the world court at the Hague.
John J. Clancy

+ Strip the mask
Dear Editor:

Bravo for printing your bold opinion that I totally support. That affable mask should be stripped from the Amateur’s face. His ploy of divide and conquer is so transparent ... the only transparency in his administration. Your critics must be blind to his tactics and constant falsehoods.

Open your eyes people. Evil doesn’t belong only to one party. Don’t be taken in by the grand master and his thug cronies who inhabit our White House. We need you to help us send them packing so they can do no more harm. The “shame” should be on them.
Iris Thirtle

+ Thanks for your stand
Dear Editor:

I was away for a while and just had the opportunity of seeing my copy of the Observer. Of course, the “Our View” certainly caught my immediate attention.

I said to myself, “Thank God” for someone finally taking a stand against the person or people who have been protected from 90% of the media. I could go on and on about TV and most of the newspapers that bombard us with far-left, one-sided and many times just angry opinions without good reason and details.

Your opinion covered the quote by the president and said it like it was. Although it was later said by the “media” and the president that he didn’t really mean it that way. He is the president, and when he uttered his words, they came from his brain and his real thoughts. It wasn’t a slip of the tongue. It was a serious, “anti-American” statement, and he deserved the headlines that followed.

I praise the Observer.
Joseph Fanelli

+ The ‘Unreachables’
Dear Editor:

I applaud your work, the skill you exercised and your courage to stand behind your words in discussing our president.

Isn’t it sad that opinion contrary to one’s own beliefs is considered “hateful” in our society? Yet, those people offended by your editorial don’t consider themselves “hateful” for clinging to their beliefs.

And then there’s that “teacher” who feels her version of reality is the only correct (and unbiased) one that her students should consider. What education curriculum did that come from?

Your discussions on the state of our presidency has clearly defined realities that should be considered by all voters.

Our problem is that facts and honesty are hard for the public to detect. These are not traits exhibited by our president, his staff and the mainstream media.

As your critics show, they are people who are “Unreachables,” too comfortable to consider the signals that America is changing on a transformational scale. There aren’t tanks in the square or mobs in the street, so what’s the big deal?

Ultimately, they will rebel at the changes, but the scope of change being implemented will be irreversible. They won’t recognize our country, they won’t like it and they won’t remember you told them it was going to happen.
Rod Scott

+ Please stop delivery
Dear Editor:

I was very upset by the Observer’s recent editorial about President Obama. I found it very misleading and untrue.

I found your editorial to be so biased, and because that is your opinion, I do not want your newspaper delivered to my house anymore.
Mary V. Carchiolo

+ Appalled by editorial
Dear Editor:

I have lived on Siesta Key for 22 years and have always enjoyed the Pelican Press for its local news.
I have long been offended by your paper’s attitude and ignorance toward teachers, but I am APPALLED by the editorial on President Obama. I have never seen a similar editorial written about President Bush.
Lilian Moore

+ Belief is not truth
Dear Editor:

I am grateful to the writer of the July 19 Opinion for reminding me that our right of free expression is, if not limitless, very broad, indeed.

Imagine, a disaffected citizen, in print and with impunity, accusing the president of being anti-American, “a poster boy for … Marxist control.”

It seems the entire accusation is based on the fact that the president was merely exercising his own right of free expression by suggesting that free enterprise and capitalism may not be perfect or sufficient to assure individual fulfillment and entrepreneurial success.

Nothing anti-American or Marxist about that, unless you believe that somewhere among the documents that define American freedom you will find passages that elevate free enterprise and capitalism to the status of unchallengeable, sacrosanct principles. I’ve never found such passages, have you?

Personally I have always defended free enterprise and capitalism. But can anyone seriously believe that they are beyond criticizing and that even the president should become a subject to censure for implying they are not perfect?

Anyone who does believe that is entitled to do so under our system. But being entitled to a belief and having the means to express that belief publicly, in print, does not endow the belief with logic, much less, truth. I would think the Observer would realize as much.
Dominic Martia

+ Truth, not hatred
Dear Editor:

My discussion group and I try to learn something new with your editorials but find that they are unnecessarily angry. We feel we cannot support the advertisers as long as the language is so strident.

I understand you feel it is the duty to mobilize citizens and to make them passionate for action, which at the moment is to excoriate President Obama. But for you to be a leader in this, or any issue, means understanding not just the weaknesses of people, but their drive for being of value.

“Enlighten and inspire” them on several levels: for a vision, for honor, for self-benefit and for love. Using inflammatory harangues against an individual and expounding on distortions of intent exposes the anger in your own heart.

So why use words like: “enraged, “anti-American” and “call to arms?” Don’t we have enough madmen in this country?

On July 19 you wrote that our individual freedom is at risk. All of this fear prompted by talk TV is to protect self-interest, not out of love or care for others.

Prove to me that this president has passed one law that hurts small businesses.

The business people you name are successful because of their hard work and skill. We all respect that. Yet, it is true: If I don’t purchase a home or have loan to do it, there will be no real-estate sales. If I don’t dine out, the restaurants close. We are all interrelated.

We all rely on customers to arrive in a car on a road; suppliers to deliver goods from international trade partners; agriculturalists to grow safe and reliable food supply; banks to maintain a safe money flow; etc. Do you think each businessman can administer all of these facts alone in a global world? Do you think if we eliminated most of the federal government, things would run smoother? Who will arbitrate between 308 million voices, each wanting things his own way?

What fear really lurks behind the idea that wealth and freedom are threatened by the president’s acknowledgement of our interrelated society? We are all intertwined. That was the president’s message, and you turned it into anti-capitalism and the fear of limiting your wealth.

Let the Observer become a really great paper. Why not champion the balance in our system instead of anger? Why not lead with quality writing and objective language? Why not shine on truths, details and opposing information to fulfill its true purpose: enlightenment.
Pennel B. Skinner,

+ Spare us crazy rants
Dear Editor:

There are well-considered political policy attacks and then there are attacks that are purely venomous, purely absurd, motivated solely by party line and that have nothing to do with reality.Yours in the Observer are the latter kind.

Essentially, you’ve just attacked people who’ve worked hard to help business owners succeed and know exactly what their contribution was to the building of those businesses — yes, from all those original ideas we bring to the enterprise — and through our taxes that pay for public education, infrastructure, SBA loans, scientific advancement and so much more.

Asserting that President Obama is anti-American is so loaded with far right-wing nonsense I can’t even imagine how you’d have the nerve to print such a thing. An anti-American is someone like a dictator, drug cartel head or Mafioso who hides his money in Switzerland or the Cayman Islands instead of investing in our great country. Oops, sound like someone whose name we all recognize?

Your editorial is an insult to everyone with an understanding of how the economy of the United States works.
I am writing to your advertisers. I will ask them to withdraw support of the Observer and spare us further crazy rants like this one.
R.S. Villanueva

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