Letters to the Editor for Oct. 2

Published: Wednesday, October 1, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 12:15 a.m.

The stench of hypocrisy in Sun's bailout editorial

I'm afraid your Oct. 1 editorial, "The Stench of Fear," exudes a rather different smell, that of hypocrisy.

You castigate the opponents of the bailout bill as acting out of "rank fear" that they might suffer defeat at the polls if they supported a bill unpopular with their constituents. Excuse me, but isn't that what democracy is about, making our "representatives" responsive to our views and even fearful of the consequences to themselves if they ignore those views?

But here comes the hypocrisy part: I too detected that stench of fear as I watched the House debates on Monday, but most of the fear-mongering I saw was coming from the lips of the bill's supporters, who were doing a Chicken Little impression of the fear that the sky would fall if the bill weren't passed. You might lose your house in foreclosure, lose your retirement income, find no money in your bank account the next time you visited an ATM, etc. etc.

The sky didn't fall, the stock market just took a 777 point plunge, over half of which was recouped the following day. Your editorial, and the companion piece in the same edition, David Brook's castigation of the bill's opposers as "nihilists," displayed the same attitude as that of your parent company, The New York Times.

A Tuesday "political analysis" described the vote result as a "failure of leadership" and indeed it was that, as the White House, leaders of both parties in Congress and both presidential candidates lined up behind the bill. When I read this, my reaction is that the "analysis" was correct and that the failure of leadership was actually one of the few recorded successes of democracy in forcing that "leadership" to do what most Americans wanted it to do.

Jerry D. Rose,


The Sun doesn't shine very much these days

I recently returned to the Gainesville area after an eight month hiatus. Many things have changed since I was last here, but perhaps nothing more so than The Sun itself.

A front section down to six pages; a local section down to three pages; the business section amended to the end of the sports section; the replacement of local editorials with ones from Philadelphia, New York and Washington DC; the loss of a number of comics; the loss of staff writers; and the loss of local editorial cartoonist Jake Fuller.

Editorial page editor Ron Cunningham has a long history of editorializing in favor of higher gas taxes. He has argued that, in theory, $4 per gallon gasoline would force motorists out of their cars and onto bikes or buses. The reality however has been that motorists have kept their cars running and instead given up $4 coffees, $5 ice creams, and their subscriptions to The Sun. I only hope Cunningham understands the fallacy of his tax argument before his own position is eliminated.

I also learned that while I was on holiday, the Alachua County Commission chose not to give its sheriff's officers a pay raise. However, they had sufficient funds to pay an out of court settlement for county spokesman Mark Sexton, who struck a pedestrian while cruising through a Miami neighborhood in his county car. It's nice to know that some things never change.

Simon B. Cantley,


The free ride is over for the rich, foolish

The days of champagne and caviar are over for the super-rich, ultra-greedy, fat cats on Wall Street.

The "Little People" (i.e. the American public) have spoken loud and clear that they are not willing to bail out the billionaires while they watch friends and family lose their homes, jobs, and retirement security.

Not one Wall Street executive should receive a dime from the taxpayers for the gross mismanagement (stealing/corruption) of the failed investment banks. The crooks have hailed "free markets and no regulation," now they must pay the price.

Our elected officials must act to protect the American people first, not only financially, but from the insanity that has led us to this very dark day in our history. Our country has been beaten and robbed over the last 7 and a half years, not by "terrorist thugs," but by our own government. It's past time to make tough decisions. The American people must come first!

Steff Woodworth,


Learn about water crisis At Santa Fe on Friday

It is encouraging to read several recent "Speaking Out" essays about the need for educating the public and making our public officials and legislators aware of the declining quality of our springs, lakes and rivers.

Decades of careless and unsound practices have resulted in reductions of fish populations, increased nitrogen concentrations and a general decline in ecosystem health. Yet these issues, important as they are, are only one part of a much larger problem: the impending world water crisis and what we must do about it.

The fresh-water supply crisis hits home when we read of plans to allow Georgia to divert more water from the Apalachicola River, or that water levels are falling in our aquifers, or that the St. Johns River one of only 14 rivers nationwide to be named an "American Heritage River" is so overloaded with chemicals and nitrogen that cleaning it up would cost a billion dollars.

To escape disaster, we have to act now. In an effort to bring concerned citizens together to explore these issues, Santa Fe College is hosting a Community Water Forum and Water Expo on Friday, October 3, from 9 am to 6 p.m. in Auditorium E on the Northwest Campus. Funded by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council through the City of Gainesville Department of Parks, Recreations and Cultural Affairs, the forum and expo is free and open to the public. You don't have to register to attend. Just show up at 9 a.m. at Santa Fe.

"The Art and Science of Water: Framing the Issues and Finding Solution" will look at how scientists, journalists, community activists, artists, business people and policy makers can collaborate to preserve, protect and sustain this essential resource. Please join us and part of the solution!

Mallory O'Connor,


Disparate and desperate on Wall and Main streets

Much has been made of the disparate (desperate?) interests of Wall Street vs. Main Street.

Yet there is no dichotomy. They are as inextricably linked as Siamese twins.

Indeed, they are the sides of the same tarnished, imperfect coin.

Robert Lambert,


Solutions needed for the taxpayers

We need a real solution that is going to address this crisis and look after the interests of the taxpayers who are going pay for this bailout, and not the finical interests of those who lead us into this fiasco.

Suzanne Roulston-Doty,


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