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Sarasota Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011 6 years ago

Letters to the Editor


+ Kudos to truth on occupiers and tea party
Dear Editor:

Thank you for Rod Thomson’s very accurate article pointing out the differences between the occupiers and the tea party. I consider myself a member of the tea party and attended some of the events. The occupiers do not want to take personal responsibility for their lives and want others to take care of them. What were their parents thinking when they raised them like that? Maybe they could get a job if they studied a major that is actually needed.

One area that all Americans can agree with is that the government needs to treat everyone on an equal playing ground, no more bailouts or crony capitalism. That makes everyone mad.

I find it very promising to have any in the media speak the truth as you did.
Jennifer McCann

+ Occupy and tea party differences backward
Dear Editor:

I agree with the headline to your “My View” opinion in your Oct. 13 Pelican Press, “Occupiers not like tea partyers.” However, you have not included some of the major differences. 

The Occupiers are not well financed, or not financed at all. The tea party was launched with, and still largely is financed, by the billionaire Koch brothers, whose lifetime goal, like their father’s before them, has been the dismantling of FDR’s New Deal. They want to eliminate Social Security and its later, citizens’ helpmate, Medicare.  Their main tools are the financial strangling of the government’s income and the privatizing of both plans to for-profit enterprises. Look at the attacks on the Occupiers group and the goal is clear.

The tea partyers I have talked to are definitely not unified in this goal. However, the far right has, for decades, convinced the voting public to vote against its own best interests. Many of the tea partyers have a single objective. They are pro life, or they want their country back from people with dark skins, both African Americans and Latinos. They are angry, but most are not so angry they would carry automatic weapons to a political rally or carry placards equating President Obama with Hitler or calling him a Communist.  Yet, tea party rallies, even in our nation’s capital, have featured those actions and more.  Contrary to your editorial, many of these people are unemployed, and they blame Obama as if there had been no president for the two terms preceding his election. 

The Occupiers have no sugar daddies financing their movement. They are not bums, nor do they physically threaten anyone. I walked among the Occupiers here in Sarasota and observed people from all age groups, some well dressed and some not. They are mad at the banking, financial and insurance institutions that negotiated sweetheart bailouts with the Bush Administration, with no strings attached, such as making the firms lend money to the disappearing middle class. They carried signs, but they were calm and, as on-the-scene law enforcement officers stated, they were not unruly or disruptive. Some dressed like hippies, but they weren’t. 

They want America back to the point where the top 1% doesn’t continue to get richer and richer, while the middle class is destroyed. Please don’t tell us that those among the top 1% are the job creators. They have benefited from the Bush tax breaks for 12 years. Where are the jobs?
Art Ginsburg

+ What happened to just working hard?
Dear Editor:

I read Rod Thomson’s article (“Occupiers not like tea partiers”) with great pleasure. It was so to the point and accurate regarding what is happening today. Your facts and comments are right on.

I come from an old, hard-working family whose members always were able somehow to make a living and never too proud to take any honest job as long as it put food on the table.

Unlike the protesters today, the people who were rich in our time were considered heroes. They gave us the incentive to want to do the same, and we did not hate them for their success and wealth and what they were able to accomplish. We were taught to study and better plan our future, which never included partaking of other people’s wealth.

I know that unemployment is high and some people do try, but it brings up an old memory from when I was a young boy in Pittsburgh. My dad was a very accomplished custom tailor and was suddenly out of a job in the 1940s. My mother told him that he was available for unemployment insurance and told him where to go to apply for it.

Of course, he put on his best suit, tie and polished shoes and went to the unemployment office. He returned a short time later and told my mother, “That’s where all the local bums were,” and he didn’t belong there.

The next day, he went to town and came back with a job.

I am not implying that some of the people on unemployment are “bums,” as my dad put it, but coming from my dad at the time, it was sort of a little lesson in life.

Again, thank you for a column well written.
Joe Fanelli 

+ More questions about county arrogance
Dear Editor:

Reading the front-page story about Chris Brown’s third lawsuit brought two thoughts to mind. First, what a coincidence, that Brown files suit against Sarasota County, wins then finds a county tax assessment egregiously out of sync with the rest of the community. Second, it makes a person wonder why a law-abiding citizen, especially one who supplies jobs and sends six-figure sales and real-estate tax checks to the county, should fear his local government.

The answer to the latter question is arrogance. It has been well documented how Sarasota County manifested its arrogance in allowing county employees to spend county tax dollars without supervision. The arrogance was then compounded when county whistleblowers were vilified. Now the county puts arrogance on display again with its presumptuous claims and assumptions on how the parking tax assessment will be applied. Oh, sorry, Chris Brown, you will be punished here.

To the former issue of coincidence: Here, in the explanation of the Sarasota County action, coincidence is the word to use when we can’t see the levers and pulleys behind the government screen.
Bruce Ruzgis
Siesta Key

+ Occupy groups nothing like tea party
Dear Editor:
Thanks for your excellent “My View” column pointing out the differences between “occupiers” and the tea party.

Many in the media are trying to convince Americans that the two are related. I attended the first tea party in Sarasota April 15, 2009. The signs I saw reflected the goals of those who attended: Taxed Enough Already, Cut Spending, Give Me Liberty Not Debt, Smaller Government, Wake Up America and Follow the Constitution! These people were “patriots” who expressed love for the U.S. and a desire for fiscal responsibility. Many wore red, white and blue and carried American flags.

They were local people who were not bused in or paid to protest. There was no outside money or radical groups sponsoring their rally, and they picked up their trash and left the location cleaner than they found it.

The occupiers express a desire for larger government with handouts and express class warfare hatred. There was a sign on Wall Street that said: “Eat the Rich.”

Unfortunately, our current president has fed the fires of class warfare. We need a new leader who will inspire, not divide, Americans. I believe that the tea party patriots will help elect such a leader in 2012.
Julie Brady

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