Letters to the editor (09/22/12)


President Obama has had his ups and downs
In reference to Antonio A. Flores’ letter to the editor printed on Aug. 25, I have a concern as to why this letter was ever published.
As per the News-Bulletin’s guidelines, “Political candidate endorsements…will not be published.” Although not blatant, his letter is clearly an endorsement of Barack Obama. I also find the use of the derogatory term “tea baggers” and the references to racism and hatred appalling.
The author states, “You have turned your back on this nation out of pure hatred for one man. You do not like his skin color. You do not like the sound of his name. You demonize him to make yourselves feel superior.”
This accusatory and assumptive tone is entirely offensive. Although I am not a member of the tea party or the far right, I can certainly tell you why I can’t support Obama.
At exorbitant taxpayer cost, how beneficial will CHIP really be? Obama has (so far) failed to follow through on his promise to require labeling of genetically modified foods. Lack of proper labeling of these so-called foods is a major health concern to our children and frankly, our entire nation.
Nutritional misinformation (i.e., corporate marketing, lobbying, etc.) and lack of physical education in schools is also an issue. Additionally, there has been some congressional discussion that pizza, or at least tomato sauce, is a vegetable. Rhetoric is all that addresses childhood obesity.
Although I am elated with the appointments of Justices Sotomayor and Kagan, it was suggested prior to the 2008 election that the next president would be under pressure to nominate women due to the 2006 retirement of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and the rapidly changing demographics in the legal field — at the time, women accounted for nearly half of all law school graduates.
Suggesting that Obama’s stimulus “saved the country” is misguided at best. To the tune of how many billion dollars?
Funded primarily by quantitative easing (money printing) on the part of the Federal Reserve with the debt saddled securely to the backs of our future generations. The U.S. money supply has increased around 300 percent since early 2009, that means our dollar is worth significantly less and inflation is already beginning.
Unemployment has increased and the middle class is worse off that it was 10 years ago. Roosevelt’s original New Deal was the beginning of our current welfare state, we don’t need a redux.
Egypt? Revolutionaries are already protesting against the Morsi presidency and the Muslim Brotherhood partially due to the lack of interest in Egyptian domestic issues.
Of the billions of dollars in aid the United States is providing to Egypt in 2012, only a few hundred million is going toward economic assistance to the country and more than $1 billion is for military and security purposes, largely allocated to Egyptian weapons purchases from corporate American defense contractors.
Libya? The country that Obama unconstitutionally bombed? Perhaps not a single American life was sacrificed, but there were scores of Libyan civilian casualties (including women and children), dozens wounded and countless others displaced.
Are the lives of Libyans and Egyptians any less valuable than Americans?
In addition to (supposedly) killing Osama Bin Laden, Obama has also killed American citizens and others overseas with drone strikes. These are the actions of a Nobel Peace Prize winning president? There is a human cost that affects all seven billion of us on this planet.
Obama saved the auto industry from bankruptcy. Again, at what cost to taxpayers and our future generations?  $60-$80 billion for GM and Chrysler, let’s print some more money!
The U.S. government is still underwater on this deal and GM has a long way to go to turn itself around. In a truly free market, those under-performing corporations would be allowed to collapse and replaced with innovative new technologies or at least a CEO that could revitalize the company. Too big to fail is a dangerous illusion.
Like Mr. Flores, I applaud Obama for repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  Getting rid of No Child Left Behind is no doubt a great first step to improvement, but the biggest educational travesty in the history of this country began in 1852 when compulsory schooling was instituted.
I have mixed feelings on Obamacare; it provides (albeit forced) health coverage for those who need it, although making no concessions for alternative health care options (i.e., acupuncture, naturopathy, preventative medicine, etc.).
It is, however, essentially another tax for our children to bear. I will not hand my country to any statist Republicrats or Demicans this November.

Brenna Aschbacher

Asking questions about beliefs
In his letter, Mr. TD Hollingsworth has a conventional take on the philosophy of science, and refers to the work of Christopher Hitchens who is reported as saying “Our belief (in science) is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors …”
So, Mr. Hitchens, what’s missing that is needed to complete the sufficient factors you refer to?
Mr. Hollingsworth concludes that we use logic, probability, etc., because they make rational sense and because they work. I agree.
However, the argument that they work, the pragmatic argument, is a classic circular argument which begs the question I asked: What are the grounds for belief?
When one asks a scientific question and receives an answer it is perfectly rational to ask why I should believe the answer, and the respondent always answers using the laws of logic, etc.
So, Mr. Hollingsworth, why isn’t it rational to ask what are the grounds for belief in the methods used in justifying science?
My uncertainty continues.

Robert Sanders
Rio Communities