Letters to the editor
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The recent survey results published in the Feb. 7 article "Pa. Voters Abandon GOP for Dems in Droves," found that, indeed, more and more moderates are defecting to the Democratic Party. One of their major reasons for leaving the GOP is its divisive stance on personal freedoms, such as reproductive rights.
While we are traditionally the party of limited government intrusion and personal responsibility, the social extremist wing of the Republican Party has taken over and made abolishing choice a focus for the party.
The Republican Majority for Choice, an organization of which I am a member, found that 78 percent of self-identified Republicans believe that the woman, not the government, should make the decision to have an abortion. Furthermore, 66 percent of self-described "pro-life" Republicans agree with this statement.
It is true that the war in Iraq and other policies of the Bush administration caused some major rifts with more moderate voters. However, as shown in the Muhlenberg College survey, the use of divisive social wedge issues to attract voters not only failed but drove many voters in this key swing state away from the GOP.
The GOP must get back to its roots as champion of limited government and individual freedom if it is ever to gain back the trust of moderate voters.
The letter writer is a national board member of the Republican Majority for Choice.
Stimulus won't work
Except for the Internet bubble years of 1999-2000, the federal government has run budget deficits (not including Social Security) every single year since President Richard Nixon proclaimed "We are all Keynesians now."
During almost all the boom years, we ignored Keynes' advice to run surpluses, but now when facing a depression we expect Keynesian deficit spending to save us. It won't work, and don't blame it on Keynes. He never said "borrow megabucks from China during expansions and then just print money during recessions."
Printing dollars to pay for stimulus will eventually lead to runaway inflation and completely undermine international faith in the dollar. Hyperinflation can cause depressions as easily as deflation.
If we want tax cuts, let's close our overseas military bases and give that money, dollar for dollar, back to the taxpayers. If we want solar power, let's stop corporate welfare programs like corn ethanol. Rather than printing money, let's change our priorities.
I find it interesting that opponents of any stimulus package argue that it is doomed to failure because the Great Depression was not ended by President Roosevelt's New Deal programs but by the vastly increased government spending required of the Second World War.
By their own logic, the naysayers should be demanding that President Barack Obama and the Congress work to increase the amount of government spending in the stimulus package. Interesting, indeed.
Our public officials are acting like Wells Fargo executives contemplating that junket to Vegas! They are totally clueless -- so far removed from reality that they dare to try to fund the completion of the tunnel to the other side of the Allegheny River.
Recall that this tunnel has been a farce from the start -- nobody could justify the need. I was told by my elected representative that "if we don't spend the money, we will lose it." Is that the best reason to pick up the shovel?
To use a penny of bailout (aka: our) money to complete this unnecessary tunnel while our bridges and sewers decay is totally irresponsible. You would only behave this way if it were not your own money.
I know, you will say, "But what will we do with that big hole we've excavated under the river?"
A few ideas:
1) Turn it into cutting-edge housing or a Downtown hotel -- the location is great and it should be very energy-efficient and green.
2) Use it as a community cold storage for all the food we harvest from our backyard gardens.
3) Turn it into a monument dedicated to the old, outdated way of thinking about public service.
I will be as likely to re-elect any politician who promotes completion of this tunnel as I would be to support the high compensation of our Wall Street banking executives.
I would like to commend Ann Rodgers for her balanced coverage of the divisions in which the Anglican Communion, the Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh are embroiled. One comment in her article "Factions Encouraged by Anglican Leaders' Statement" (Feb. 7) bears further scrutiny.
The Rev. James Simons makes a curious statement concerning the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Anglican) and the latest communiquÃ© from the Anglican primates regarding proselytizing. Rev. Simons is quoted, "I would take that to mean that the [other] diocese would stop actively recruiting parishes and individuals to join the realignment."
If by the other diocese he is referring to the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Anglican) then he is mistaken.
The facts are that on Oct. 4, by an overwhelming majority, the Diocese of Pittsburgh, meeting in convention, voted to re-align as a whole diocese to the Province of the Southern Cone. This action was taken in accordance with the diocesan constitution and canons. Furthermore, a 2005 stipulation was agreed upon by Calvary Church and the diocese under the authority of an Allegheny County court for any parish wishing to leave the diocese to do so in an orderly fashion.
Rev. Simons and his allies chose, however, to ignore both the convention action and the stipulation to form a new diocese and recruit existing parishes to this new entity. In a recent issue of his parish newsletter, he writes, "One of the encouraging notes from the day [sic, their organizing convention] is that 28 different congregations were represented up from the original 18 in October."
Since Oct. 4, the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Anglican) has not recruited any parish to "join the realignment"; it is the new diocese that is conducting a recruitment campaign.
REV. DAVID D. WILSON
What people want
How many times have we heard our president and our politicians say the "American people" want this or want that. I don't know what the "American people" want but I want these bureaucrats to stop grandstanding and do what is right for this country and not vote on issues just to get re-elected.
Does anyone (American people) really believe this Congress can solve any problems without first deciding "Is this going to help me get re-elected?"
It is truly sad!
Less fortunate should not be forgotten by Steelers Nation
According to the Feb. 5 story "Costs of Super Bowl Security, Parade Didn't Break the Bank," $579,500 was spent for security and the parade after the Steelers' Super Bowl victory.
With local food pantries like the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank struggling to keep their shelves stocked in these tough economic times, I find it inexcusable that over a half-million dollars, regardless of sources of funding, were able to be found for the Steelers' celebration while many members of the Steelers Nation don't have enough to eat or struggle to pay for heating expenses.
Funny how priorities get mixed up or turned around when you aren't the one struggling.
I would suggest if organizers of these celebrations can't or won't pare down the costs and reallocate funding to where it can really do some good, then at least make arrangements with social service agencies like the food bank or the Salvation Army to accept donations and canned goods for those less fortunate at next year's Steelers Super Bowl celebration.
First Published February 19, 2009 12:00 am