Letters for September 20, 2012

Dream on

Re “The man who would be prez” (Feature story, Sept. 13):

Obama and Romney have forsaken the American Dream. A declaration is an affirmation. Independence means self-government. They could have called the Declaration of Independence, the Affirmation of Self-Government! Gary Johnson and Judge Jim Gray are the only choice to Save the American Dream.

Colleen McCool
Stephenville, Texas

Value voters

Re “The man who would be prez” (Feature story, Sept. 13):

The big picture for the November elections is one about the economy and social values. Under Obama’s economic agenda, we have a growing implementation of socialism where the state is more important than the individual. This is encapsulated in his “spread the wealth” and “you didn’t” comments. He believes the government should control wealth and not individuals, hence his repeated “you didn’t do that” comments contrasted to government planning (internet, roads and bridges). Obama also has implemented a more secular agenda in government with more liberal values. Romney stands for a return to free markets or capitalism, where the individual has more control of his wealth and the government is more limited. Romney also stands for the preservation of traditional Christian-Judeo values. So, we have an economic and cultural war going on that affects all of us, and people are really voting about that, whether they realize it or not.

Ernest Serano

Kill Nevada gambling

Re “Poker faceoff” (Upfront, Sept. 13):

Regarding Party-Bwin and Jim Ryan and the Ultimate Bet scandal: Ask Russ Hamilton about Jim Ryan—the book will be out soon. He and Full Tilt/PokerStars were not investigated. Who do you think got them started with thousands of bots and organized crime? Billions of government-backed student loans lost at online poker, and Nevada is looking the other way. This will be a killer for Nevada gaming. Remember when the late Terry Lanni told you it could not be regulated? Remember when Steve Wynn said, “No way”? Now Sheldon Adelson says, “No way, Jose.” These are very smart men with lots of input. What has changed is they can bring big brother technology so that your gambling is on a chart or graph and that’s the so-called protection. Money now is speaking, not wise gaming. This will not stop collusion, just make them smarter. Why did Nevada not seek to create its own software with the likes of Google, Bill Gates and Apple to create jobs, real jobs? Why not partner with clean corporations for a better Nevada? Please explain how online poker will create jobs. All the software is outsourced to Europe. Truth is it will cost thousands of jobs. Who is going to police the rest of the world when they market to the United States? How come the word “collusion” is not the main topic? Does the gaming control board really understand the word and how it works on a higher level?

Robert Turner
Downey, Calif.

Here’s to old friends

It’s about to happen again. Nationwide, Congress has only a 10 percent approval rating, yet we are about to re-elect 90 percent of the incumbents! How can this be? The only explanation: 90 percent of us approve of our own representative but want everyone else to elect someone different.

If this continues there will never be meaningful change in Washington. Things will always be the same, right up until our country collapses.

Fellow Americans, we must do something different now. You can only vote for/against, and possibly replace, one of the 435 members of the House. Is your representative really worthy of being sent back to Washington? If he/she has been there for 8 or more years it’s very likely he/she is part of the problem. If one of your choices in November is an eight-plus-year incumbent, seriously consider voting for the challenger. But you say, “The other candidate is a member of the other party, and he’s pro this or that.” A freshman representative of either party will do less harm than an entrenched incumbent. In two years, it will be easier to elect someone different and the country gets a new Congress now!

Glen Terrell
Arlington, Texas

Editor’s note: I wonder about this, too. I think people generally tend to stay with the horse they know in unsettled times. If this is true at all, one of the best ways for incumbents to get re-elected is for them to perform poorly.

Yes. I don’t know. Probably. Nope. Nope, again. Recycle it. Yes.

It’s rumored that a couple of executives from health insurance corporations make near a billion bucks a year, including bennies and platinum parachutes. Here’s what the handy dandy trusty solar-powered pocket calculator says about all that:

$3,846,153.85 a day.

$480,769.23 an hour.

$8,012.82 per minute.

$133.55 per second.

So if a health insurance CEO can make as much in four hours as I have earned in my entire lifetime, my questions are:

1. Is he really that much smarter, and work that much harder in half a day than I did in a whole 40-plus years on the job?

2. Why does my health insurance cost so much?

3. Did I get into the wrong profession?

4. Can he lend me 10 minutes of his time?

5. Do you wonder why I hate unbridled/unregulated capitalism?

6. Should I throw my calculator away?

7. Did he just earn $5,000 taking a piss?


Craig Bergland

Conspiracy in Libya

Remember back to the Koran burning that caused Muslim riots and the killing of American soldiers. We know that the Afghan advisors warned U.S. officials against it. But, who ordered the burning? The inflammatory video was circulating Cairo University, but, so was word that the Obama raid was a “kill mission” and that “Obama killed Osama” was an American election slogan. The demonstrators at the embassy in Egypt chanted, “Obama, Obama we’re all Osamas, now!”

It was the ambassador there who made the connection to and apology for the inflammatory video. On a 9/11 anniversary, our Libya embassy had no Marine guards and relied upon Libyans for security, and the Marine guards at the Egyptian embassy had no bullets in their guns. Terrorists used sophisticated weapons to capture the embassy not just to take and kill our ambassador but to seize documents identifying our collaborators there. It was after the ambassador made a standard apology that demonstrators turned into rioters, breached the Egyptian embassy walls and hoisted the terrorist flag.

It took President Obama 15 hours to make a public statement, and that was just after Gov. Romney spoke. Where Romney condemned the terrorist acts and criticized the diplomatic apologies, President Obama condemned the video and criticized Romney’s “shooting from the hip.” No one remembers back five years ago when candidate Obama called President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, “Bush’s Pet.” Rash words in that case led to Musharraf’s downfall and political turmoil. In the current situation, we see how timid words, in the face of terror, condone violence and provoke contempt. The State Department continues to condemn the video and, of course, the media follows the president’s lead in criticizing Romney. Do you see a pattern here? This pejorative video is blamed for causing demonstrations at our embassies just as American soldiers were blamed for burning the Korans. No one asks why the embassies were not prepared just as no one asked who ordered the Korans burned. We do know the result of these mistakes—the loss of support for the war effort among Americans and Afghanis and, now, loss of support for American presence in the Mideast and the Muslim world.

Our foreign policy sets us up for failure and the terrorist for success.

Michael McCarthy
Hayward, Calif.