Observer forum: Letters to editor

In response to “Appraisal system ‘broken' ” (Aug. 19):

View from broker: Inflated

appraisals? Not on my watch

The writer is a broker with Countryside Properties.

Looks like the Observer is prowling for a new whipping boy. Appraiser Ray Haynes is quoted as alleging lenders “threaten you… if you don't play ball… They're all doing it. It's hard to stay honest.”

This all-inclusive statement is obviously unsupportable. I've been a practicing real estate broker for the past 46 years and can't recall any of my buyer clients seriously complaining about inflated appraisals, either before or after closing. I wouldn't encourage them to buy a property in the first place if I thought it was overpriced.

Ray Kluth


In response to “New hope of solving '90 killing” (Aug. 20):

Kim Thomas murder: Are

you in or out, Mr. DA?

If Peter Gilchrist is so sure who murdered Kim Thomas, he should present his evidence and get on with the legal process.

It's not the DA's place to make innuendos and accusations in the news media. Innocent until proven guilty, Mr. Gilchrist.

Pernette Wells


Unethical N.C. legislators

likely to be Democrats

Nowhere does “Backsliding on ethics – or only fine tuning?” (Aug. 17 editorial) mention party affiliation.

Of the six N.C. legislators indicted for corruption in the past decade, five were Democrats.

Democrats have controlled the General Assembly for 104 of the past 110 years. Their scandals should give North Carolinians serious pause in 2008. But first voters need to have the information.

Charlotte Wuerzig


Special interest spending

no more than vote buying

According to “Outsiders trying to cash in on elections” (Aug. 17), special interests might spend nearly $10 million in North Carolina alone to persuade voters to back their candidates and causes. Wouldn't “buying votes” be a better description of the process? Do you suppose our Founding Fathers had in mind putting elections up for sale?

Richard Lynch


In response to “Good urban design is a political choice” (Aug. 20 Viewpoint):

Walters' ‘open-mindedness'

extends only so far

David Walters says his main task as a college professor is to “nurture open-minded inquiry and a refusal to accept… political dogmas.” Yet he has no problem categorizing pedestrian-friendly urban designs as somehow inherently superior and labeling those who disagree as small-minded ideologues “who care for nothing but their own short-term gain.”

I wonder how open-minded he is with students who may think otherwise?

Greg Fields


In response to “Help middle class: Drill in ANWR now” (Aug. 18 Viewpoint):

‘Help middle class'? We

won't do it by drilling

David W. Kreutzer of the Heritage Foundation leaves us with the impression that drilling in ANWR could immediately reduce gas prices.

In reality, the U.S. Geological Service estimates oil couldn't flow from ANWR for at least seven years. It would reach its peak for 15 to 20 years, and even then it would lower the price less than 5 cents per gallon.

Lee Brinson


Less preachiness, Sen. Obama,

and more willingness to listen

Sen. Obama can be spell-binding, but I tire of his sermon-like oratory suggesting we all have sinned too long and only his thoughts are worthy.

He needs to listen more to others.

Further, it is a wise person who can admit that he was wrong – or in the case of the surge that the situation has changed.

While gains in Iraq may fade in the long term, Obama's blind refusal to acknowledge reality is disappointing and even slightly juvenile.

Kent Allen

Rock Hill

In response to “Unlike Putin, Bush invaded out of good intentions” (Aug. 21 Forum):

Bush rewrites history,

and not everyone notices

It amazes me how well Bush continues to fool people.

Speeches from that time were all about stopping weapons of mass destruction, not altruistically liberating the Iraqi people. We can only speculate about their true motives.

Only after the Bush administration's deceit came to light did the message suddenly change.

Charles Fortanbary


In response to “U.S., Poland formalize missile-defense treaty” (Aug. 21):

Polish missiles irrelevant

with Israel on the case

The explanation that the U.S. is deploying anti-missile interceptors in Poland to protect it from Iranian missiles was orchestrated for the truly gullible.

Even the dullest among us knows this: When Iran develops a nuclear missile that can strike Poland, the Israelis will turn Tehran in a glowing blue cinder.

Frank Long


In response to “U.S. forced to rethink Russia” (Aug. 21):

Russia shows its true self,

and U.S. should pay heed

Russia's brutal invasion of the sovereign country of Georgia once again proves you can neither take the spots off a leopard nor change a bear into a lamb.

I hope our next president is observing.

Barry Marshall


In response to “Dollars earned by illegals are exported, not spent here” (Aug 21 Forum):

Why not give ‘foreign aid'

to those who earn it?

The U.S. government gives aid to Third World countries all over the globe. Israel and Palestine get billions so they can endlessly kill each other.

By contrast, Hispanics from Mexico and South America – our very own neighbors – come here on their own and work for their foreign aid. Why not let them?

Maggie Nelson


In response to “Perdue takes short-sighted stand on illegals enrolling” (Aug. 19 editorial):

Observer, it's you who

‘condones breaking law'

“Nobody condones breaking the law”? Not only has the Observer supported immigrants living here illegally, but also you want to let them work here illegally. You're right, that isn't condoning – it's aiding and abetting.

Buzz Scheuhing


Taylor knows there's more

to issue than tighter borders

Immigration has multiple causes. Businesses want low-cost labor. Immigrants want a better life for their families. America offers opportunities and rewards for valued service.

Realistic solutions address business needs, citizenship process, border security and children from illegal entry. While Rep. Myrick beats the drum for border security, challenger Harry Taylor supports comprehensive reform with a conditional path to legal citizenship.

Tom E. Bowers


In response to “7 poultry supervisors plead guilty” (Aug. 20):

‘Undocumented' minimizes

what illegals have done

“Undocumented workers”? Perhaps next time you can refer to these illegal immigrants as “poor, downtrodden, enslaved, victims of our cruel unjust society".

Wouldn't that fit more closely with your agenda?

William A. Livert