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It should be easy for government to cut

To the editor:

I read with disgust that various state agency heads are reluctant to trim budgets by a proposed 5 percent in order to achieve solvency in the next fiscal year, beginning July 2010.

The goal should be simple to comprehend: Solvency means you spend less than you bring in. You don’t spend like spoiled children who have never had to worry about finding real work and bringing money into the house.

As a professional financial adviser, I find myself lately counseling some clients to consider hard choices, like selling a second or third car; removing kids from private school; moving to more modest quarters; cutting entertainment spending to the bone; finding extra work; or selling stuff.

Handing over the keys to the house is the last thing people with integrity want to do.

Problem is, to whom do we appeal when the government leaders are the reckless spenders?

Don’t tell me they can’t find 5 or 10 percent of fat to trim. Everyone outside of government knows it should be more like 20 percent.

The truth is, they’re afraid they won’t get their customary budget increase on the next go-round if they submit to budget cuts.

No one wants to be first to admit they really must live on less. But this is ridiculous. State government "earned" less, so they should spend less — not extort more.

Joe Pantozzi



Smart kids

To the editor:

In response to Vin Suprynowicz’s Sunday column, and the responses he received from "Patrick," who defended the smarts of our modern-day graduates:

Both of those gentlemen were absolutely correct. For instance, today’s graduates from our indoctrination camps (i.e. the public schools) know all there is to know about how grievously we have treated the minorities; how important it is to throttle back our successful citizens and share both their wealth and income with the poor minorities; how global warming is man-made; and how important is it to promote self-esteem, even at the expense of learning. Yes, the modern graduates have it all over those of past years, and I hope this letter will encourage Mr. Suprynowicz to learn the truth!

I enjoyed reading "Democracy in America" by Alex de Tocqueville, as Mr. Suprynowicz recommends. The reason I read it was to find out exactly how he expressed the truism that when the masses find out they can vote themselves "free" handouts from the taxpayers, it will be the beginning of the end for democracy. Not finding such a passage in his book, further research revealed that truism was written by another "Alex."

But I found de Tocqueville’s book fascinating throughout, and it was a great learning experience.




Not PC

To the editor:

A recent editorial and some commentaries in the Review-Journal have emphasized "political correctness" as a major problem, resulting in the Fort Hood massacre. While it is clear that Muslim extreme fundamentalism is a threat, that fact should not create stereotypes in our minds that blind us to other problems.

"Political correctness" is in itself a semantic spin on an objective attitude intended to avoid stereotypes in order to get at truth and to find reasonable solutions to problems. Was the failure of the Army to remove Maj. Nidal Hasan from the service and instead deploy him a result of political correctness? What if that is just an excuse for inaction and it is the policy of the Army to ignore a doctor’s reports of physical and mental unfitness for duty?

As a psychiatrist, Maj. Hasan’s secondary post-traumatic stress disorder added to his treatment by the troops as a Muslim, and his pending deployment to a war he opposed probably sent him over the edge. Yet this is blurred by the focus on his Muslim, terrorist-like attack and the political correctness excuse.

According to a Denver Post article published last year, 43,000 troops were classified as non-deployable three months before they were deployed. More than one-third of all our troops have had at least two deployments. Suicides and domestic violence by returning soldiers are rampant.

It seems to me that we can expect more troop violence turning inward. The United States has created a warrior class of disposable troops, and Maj. Hasan is just one fruit off that vine.

Jerry Bitts



Pirate wars

To the editor:

The logic, or lack thereof, of our European "friends" regarding armed security detail onboard ships in the pirate-infested waters off Somalia, is akin to saying that casinos and banks do not need armed security people because, after all, the city provides a police force.

Our European "friends" insist that the navies of different countries will provide security. Any ship in those waters is, using casino lingo, a jackpot waiting to happen. I am happy that our government does not see it that way and will let the shipping companies decide what security measures to take. Sheesh.

Don Mendez


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