Observer forum: Letters to editor

To raise Forum quality

ban presidential promos

It was recently revealed that the John McCain campaign distributes prepared letters to the editor, to which supporters attach their own names and forward to their local newspaper.

I'd be surprised if Democrats don't do something similar with templates or talking points for Barack Obama.

Given the intrusion of such deceptive, partisan spin on the normal process, I suggest the Observer place a moratorium on Forum letters supporting either presidential candidate.

In their place, provide space for both parties to offer a daily campaign pitch. This would not only avoid misleading readers about the opinion's origin, but also promote more substantive contributions than all the unthinking “gotchas” typical of current Forum letters.

John Keller


Fear of terrorism won't

swing election to GOP

Fox News and John McCain don't get it.

The old “fear of terrorism” card won't play. The deciding issues in this election are the economy, the infrastructure and our future direction as a country.

It isn't enough for McCain to make changes on the 8 percent of issues on which he disagrees with President Bush.

Loren A. Raymond


McCain-Palin ticket

has too-familiar ring

The McCain-Palin administration: a pre-emptive-war president and an autocratic vice president. The Bush militancy and the Cheney cronyism.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Ralph P. Bohn

Whispering Pines

In response to “Gorman gets bonus, pay raise, extension” (Sept. 24):

CMS board too generous

in compensating Gorman

The town's in an uproar over the United Way CEO's compensation, the financial industry is imploding and the county didn't approve CMS's requested budget.

But we still give Peter Gorman a raise, a bonus and additional security protection for himself and his family! How much does the board love Gorman? How about some objectivity?

Darryl Mingo


In response to “Europe's ‘free' health care doesn't come cheap”(Sept. 22 Forum):

German workers choose

from private health insurers

For German workers earning below a prescribed ceiling, health insurance is mandatory. They may choose to buy coverage from one of half a dozen private insurance companies. Employers pay 50 percent of the monthly premium.

At termination of employment workers have the option to continue the insurance at a much lower premium. There is no government subsidy.

Dieter Speer


Taxes pay off for Germans,

but what about us?

In Germany nobody loses his home, goes to the poorhouse or is refused health care because he can't afford it. And doctors still make house calls.

Yes, we pay only 7.5 percent sales tax in Mecklenburg County, but what do we get for it?

Donald L. Dodd


Honor Festival in Park founder

with Grant Whitney Drive

Festival in the Park, brainchild of the late A. Grant Whitney, is one of Charlotte's most fun-filled cultural events.

A nice tribute during the festival's 45th anniversary would be for the city to name the entrance road off East Boulevard in his honor – perhaps Grant Whitney Drive?

Bob Wansker


Now's time for Big Oil

to splurge on refineries

Now that the Democrats are allowing the offshore drilling ban to expire, it's time Big Oil steps up to the plate and spends some of its billions to build new state-of-the-art refineries in this country.

Frank Amorosano

Clover, S.C.

One way or another, cars stick

owners with energy bill

Which is more economical, huge gas prices for regular cars or huge electrical bills for hybrids?

Peggy Carter


In response to “Freedom of speech hard for Muslims to accept?” (Sept. 23 Forum):

Free speech allows rebuttal

to what others are saying

In this country, free speech doesn't mean you have to keep quiet when you object to what is being said about you. Muslims have every right to speak out against the “Obsession” DVD. What's allowed in “countries under Muslim rule” is irrelevant here.

If M. M. Way's religion were besmirched the way Muslims' was by “Obsession,” would Way just sit by and not speak up?

Carl Edgren


In response to “New ideals for a 21st-century leader” (Sept. 23 Viewpoint):

‘Important – but not urgent'

shortchanges abortion issue

Mike Whitehead trivializes abortion by calling the issue “important – but not urgent.”

All political candidates should be asked to state their position on abortion, just as on such Whitehead-approved issues as bailouts and wars.

Bob Schellenberg


In response to “Outrage over bailout growing in Congress” (Sept. 24):

GOP uninterested in aid

to anybody but big business

When the big business buddies of the president get in trouble, the GOP rushes to bail them out with billions of our tax dollars.

Yet these same Republicans have again and again cut the budgets of Social Security disability and other domestic programs and agencies that actually help ordinary people.

George C. Piemonte


Capitalism? Government

has long since smothered it

Barack Obama blames the current economy on excesses of capitalism, but in reality this is no longer a capitalistic country.

Government has spent billions and written thousands of pages of incomprehensible regulations, yet no one asks why this hasn't prevented the economic fallout.

Regardless of who wins in November, government will continue to grow and liberty will yield.

Pete Pappas


There's nothing surprising

about outcome of greed

Contrary to pundits, this is no “financial tsunami.”

A tsunami is an unpredictable natural disaster, while the current crisis is the all too predictable result of willful corruption, greed, deregulation and lack of oversight!

Roy Courtney

Denver, N.C.

For taxpayers, there's

big money to be made

Whoever buys those securities for as little as 22 cents on the dollar and holds them until the underlying mortgages stabilize will have made a great deal of money.

Congratulations to Secretary Paulson.

Roy Brown


Government throwing

rope in wrong direction

Why bail out the mortgage lenders instead of the homeowners?

Why is our government always protecting the rich corporations and forgetting about the struggling American family?

William D. Moffatt


In response to “New pennies in 2009” (Sept. 23):

Pennies from heaven?

Not exactly

I can't believe the U.S. Mint is wasting our tax dollars on not just one but four new designs for a coin that has virtually no value.

Kathryn Levick