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Siesta Key Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011 6 years ago

Letters to the Editor


+ Investigation looks vindictive
After three years of investigation, U.S. Rep Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat, has been cleared of any campaign violations by the Federal Election Commission. Now the U.S. Department of Justice has decided to re-plow the same old field. Not only is this a waste of time and taxpayers’ dollars, it has all the appearances of vindictive politics. Even the group in Washington (CREW) that pushed the issue admits it doesn’t expect anything to come from it. Clearly, it’s time to move on to important issues such as jobs and the economy.
Belinda Aubuchon

+ Writer misrepresents tea party movement
Dear Editor,

I was amused while reading Art Ginsberg’s letter (Oct. 20). Why did I smile? Because Art, as a true progressive/liberal, soundly demonstrates in his writings how “it’s the future that is certain, while the past is always changing.”

I called friends from Charleston, S.C., and told them if they still had their receipts for gas, food, and lodging in Washington, D.C., during the tea party demonstrations, they should send same to the Koch brothers to be reimbursed — or, in the alternative, they should send them to George Soros or Richard Trumka or possibly Cass Sunstein.

While tea party demonstrators left the Washington Mall as clean or cleaner than they found it, a New York Occupy Wall Street protestor was caught on camera defecating on a police car. His “partners in crime” took possession of a private park and refused to leave for one day so the park could be cleaned. They probably would have expected the cleaning bill to be handed to that millionaire developer who owns the park.

Then there is Oakland, Calif., where occupiers were pushed away from the front of City Hall because of the rats and controlled substances creating a health hazard. But of course, the Occupy Wall Street participants said they were the victims of a police riot: shades of the 1968 Grant Park riots in Chicago.

Then Art goes on to chide the tea party, saying the members “want their country back from the people with dark skin and Latinos.” However, Art never sent that memo to Republican U.S. Rep. Alan West of Florida or U.S. Rep. Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican, or our own U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio or even to Herman Cain, who is leading in the polls regarding Republican presidential candidates.

A news reporter interviewed a Los Angeles teacher/occupier who blamed the Jews of Wall Street for causing our pain. Anti-Semitic comments are rising as well in New York. But of course, we all know that Bush did it. Since Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid took over Congress in 2007, and Obama took the White House in 2009, we all agree the “unfeeling” Republicans thwarted every bill proposed and passed.

Art, have you told your grandchildren about their share of the debt that seems to continue to increase? If not, maybe Joe the Plumber can explain the redistribution concept, as explained to him by the master.
Dan Dragash

+ Solyndra investment was a good one
It might seem strange to some but when Solyndra, the solar panel manufacturer, went bankrupt, it proved that the U.S. government had made a solid investment. How so? 

First, the government did not just loan $527 million to Solyndra, it loaned $4.7 billion to 650 solar and 17 biomass projects to promote clean energy. This loan was just one of 667. The fact that one (and maybe a couple more that have not made the headlines) has gone belly up is not a bad record, with the rest of the loans mostly on track to be repaid. Remember how everyone complained that Obama had taken over the American automobile industry? Yet, GM and Chrysler, as planned, repaid the loans with a profit to the U.S.

Second, the purpose of the loan was not specifically for Solyndra to make a profit (although that would have been nice). The loan was part of a broad-based investment in the field of clean, alternative energy. The intent was, and is, to make solar, wind, biomass and water more competitive relative to fossil fuels — and to create jobs at the same time. 

One criticism of solar panels as a source of alternative energy has been that the cost of the panels has been too high. The reason that Solyndra and a few other manufacturers have gone bankrupt is that the price of panels has been dropping and they could not compete.

This is good news, because the lower the cost of solar panels, the more attractive they are as a source of alternative energy. While this may have been bad news for Solyndra, it is great for the country — and for investors who wish to make a profit, the theory being that with panels costing less, more people will buy them. With higher sales, the panels become less of a status item and more of a commodity; thus, prices will go even lower. With low prices, solar panels become competitive with fossil fuels in generating electricity and we can stop buying so much petroleum from the Middle East and Venezuela. 

This is capitalism at its finest — with a little help from government. And isn’t government helping capitalism what America has been doing since 1776?
Rodger Skidmore
Siesta Key

+ Pure voucher system is best school reform
Dear Editor:

The editorial on “Fatal flaws in public schools” was excellent as far as it went. However, the real purpose of the government is to insure the right of children to an education. The real problem is that the government tells teachers what to teach. When it becomes obvious to teachers that one size does not fit all, they are faced with the moral dilemma of teaching something they do not believe in or lose their jobs. This mode of operation gets passed on to the children (who always know what’s really going on), and thus learn to take jobs whether they believe they are doing the right thing or not. That’s the attitude that has created our current political, economic and educational system.

Secondly, no school should ever be operated by a for-profit business because businesses put making a profit before everything else. What we need is a pure voucher system with independent nonprofit schools and to let each family choose the education it wants for its child.
 Joe Savage

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