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Sarasota Thursday, Sep. 3, 2009 11 years ago

Letters to the Editor


+ Consider the source

Dear Editor:
In response to your Our View, “Nine fallacies of Obamacare,” you reprinted and therefore endorsed the work of the author of the article, Sheldon Richman, editor of The Freeman magazine and a contributor to “The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics.”

In the interest of full disclosure to your readers, you should have let them know that Richman is associated with the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), based in Irvington-on-Hudson, N.Y.

FEE was founded after World War II. Its stated philosophy is to support the principles of free markets, limited government, private property and the rule of law.

In my opinion, FEE’s actions and efforts have been deceptive and counterproductive for the majority of American people. It opposed virtually all government programs under Roosevelt’s New Deal and the initiatives taken by John F. Kennedy, while being passed under Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.

Had FEE been successful in influencing public opinion, this country would not have Social Security, Medicare, voting rights for minorities, civil rights legislation and countless other programs that make this country the moral compass for the entire world.

So the message here is quite clear: Always consider the source, in this case, not only Mr. Richman and The Freeman magazine, but, unfortunately, your local newspaper.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a registered Independent voter, who has voted Republican more than Democratic. I am a fiscal conservative, yet a social progressive.

Bill Elias

FEE “deceptive”? How can publishing its views in a magazine and online for everyone to see be deceptive? As for its views on Social Security and Medicare, we would all be better off without these two social welfare programs that are bankrupt and threaten to bankrupt future generations. It’s inaccurate to say FEE opposed voting rights for minorities or that it opposed civil rights legislation. Surely there are those who will say Social Security and Medicare have been great programs, but consider the “unseen” — what Americans would have done in the absence of forced taxation for two welfare, redistribution programs. Free markets always perform more efficiently and more compassionately than government coercion. History has yet to rebut that. — Ed.

+ Statue: a pathetic model

Dear Editor:
Since 2005, numerous strategies have been concocted in an attempt to achieve placement of “Unconditional Surrender” in Sarasota.

Recently, two state political figures declared that veterans want this statue installed on public land at the bayfront to honor their heroes.

We all now know that the subject of this debate is a poorly made, roadside-attraction-size statue of a drunken man subjecting a total stranger to a protracted assault and that it has been transformed into a romantic pseudo-nuptial image in a piece of kitsch.

Many citizens of Sarasota are not inclined to have this statue forced upon them. Most who discuss it with me express disbelief that their elected officials would ever bow to all of this outside pressure. Some even suggested a referendum — whether existing bayfront art policies should be abandoned. After all, they would have to bear associated expenses.

Some ask what has happened to the limitation to a six-month display followed by 18 months of an unobstructed view of our cherished bayfront. Others stated that sculptures displayed on the bayfront should be put back into the city review process that was abandoned to allow things such as the tooth, the car crash and this monstrosity to appear.

This statue would be a pathetic model to hold up as representing a hero. It certainly should not represent Sarasota to the fine-arts community — nor to the world.

Kafi Benz

+ Meters should be placed everywhere, if anywhere

Dear Editor:
If the City Commission is going to put any parking meters in, then it should put meters everywhere. No parking space in the city limits should be without a meter.

If the meters are good for one section of the city, then it follows that they should be good for all parking. If this train of thought is followed to its logical conclusion, even our deranged city commissioners should be able to understand how idiotic parking meters would be during these economic conditions.

As far as the city manager’s idea to buy the meters now and save money, think how much he could save if they were never purchased.

Kenny Barr



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