Letters to the editor 2-3-2012

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What have we become?
We have become a mass of snarling, angry, uncivil people with little tolerance for or inclination to listen to opposing political views. Far too many of us feign disinterest or the hopelessness of expecting a meaningful response from our government. Name calling (used by those of empty minds) and mud slinging have become normal as the presidential campaign muddles along.
Our vast media, far too large with too much capacity, keep fanning the fires of discontent with a constant output of rhetoric. The necessity of filling air time has led to too much garbage being thrown out on the airways all in quest of profit.
Consider the vast sums of money “that we at least hear about” to sway our thinking and harvest our votes.
What do these donors expect as a return on their “investments?” Bribes for favorable legislative actions, tips that can produce great returns that may or all too often harm our citizens more than help? It has been asked, if one can help a “friend” get rich, doesn’t the donor have a right to expect a piece of the action?
Flagrant use of insider information of laws about to be passed or stricken to get rich is commonplace. The recent book “Throw Them All Out” by Peter Schweizer details how many of our congressmen entered Congress with modest means and acquired very sizable fortunes during their terms in office and after retirement.
Efforts of the Congress’ ethical committee to police their membership has not been productive. Occasionally a slap on the wrist of the miscreant is deemed sufficient as an embarrassment to a bad boy.
I wasn’t even aware you could embarrass a congressman!
Don Pixley

Both parties lose support
Reducing taxes does not automatically increase revenue for government at any level. This should not be a political issue between the two major parties but rather an economic issue that crosses party lines. Both major parties are losing the support of the people by attacking each other with lies and innuendoes that are harmful to America.
We should go back a few years to a time when we were successful as a country with people from both parties working together to pay down the national debt. We only have to go back a dozen years to see the possibility of what could have been a reality with a debt free country able to take care of its own.
We could solve our present national problem without raising or lowering anyone’s taxes to pay down our increasing responsibilities to ourselves and to the rest of the world. Why can’t politicians see that when we were most successful as a country and just restore the complete tax structure and rates to the days of the late 1990s to bring our country back to greatness and once again a leader of the free world.
It is not to late too save America if we start right now and take politics out of the national picture and just have our leaders use some good common sense.  
Jerry Segovis

Paterno’s whole story
In your “Our View” column about Joe Paterno, it said a lot but not the whole story.
Yes! the icon was an enabler in his mid seventies and those young victims should never be forgotten.
That said, he was also a man who gave a lot to the University over 61 years, on and off the field.
He and his wife Sue contributed millions to the school and it might be noted making a sizeable contribution after he was fired. He also cared about the education of his players and student body as well, which isn’t the case at a lot of other football powerhouses. Former Penn State star and NFL player Jimmy Cefalo pointed that out quite well speaking at his memorial. When his playing time was over in his senior year he decided to take some cupcake courses to finish up. Joe Pa called him into his office and questioned his decision.
The old coach wasn’t a saint (who is?) but I think like with Harry Truman history will treat him kindly.
Bob Cronin
Oak Run