published: Friday, November 02, 2012
Vote! It's the least you can do for your country
Five decades ago, John F. Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
Today, you have the opportunity to do something for your country. Vote! Vote for the people and the future of America!
If you think your vote does not count, ask yourself why the Republicans are making such a strong and expensive effort to suppress your vote? Your vote does count.
This crucial election will determine whether our country becomes an oligarchy (rule by a small group of very rich people), a plutocracy, rule by corporations (which we have already become), or a democracy (rule by, for and of the people).
The Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court is destroying the middle class of America. Vote to save our democracy.
Mary O'Hanlon | Clermont
5 criteria to use to judge presidential candidates
On Nov. 6 we will choose our next president. Some will vote on a single issue, such as abortion or education. Others will vote on the basis of race, and some may simply flip a coin.
I believe that this will be the most important presidential election in recent memory. Let's hope that all voters will give serious consideration before voting and make an objective, informed choice.
To this end I would like to suggest five criteria.
First, what knowledge and experience does each candidate have regarding foreign affairs? Should the USA continue in its role as a world leader, or should it become just an equal among all other nations?
Secondly, what philosophy does each candidate have regarding our economic system? Does he believe in a more socialistic European system, or does he believe more in capitalism? And what kind of experience in this area does he bring to the office?
Thirdly, how successful has each candidate been in the field of politics? What kind of leadership has he shown in being able to achieve objectives by working with both political parties?
Fourthly, what is each candidates philosophy of government? Does he see government as the solution to all our problems, or does he believe in more individual freedom and in a smaller less intrusive government?
And lastly, what about each candidate's character? Can he be trusted to have the strength and courage to be honest with the people regarding his own agenda and various political happenings, or will he duck and weave and spin his way through?
In short which candidate would you want your child to choose as a role model?
Food for thought, and don't forget to vote on Nov. 6.
Roger Ball | Leesburg
By definition, a liberal is someone open minded
Sonny Heninger (Oct. 14, Daily Commercial) made the claim that in the war on terror, "under Bush there were 625 killed and 2,638 wounded between 2003 through 2008" and "there were 1,374 killed and 17,485 wounded from 2009 to today."
I don't know what war on terror he is referring to but in Iraq alone from 2003 to 2008, American causalities were 4,221, and since 2009, 260 Americans have been killed.
Heninger also makes the claim that "except for FOX News and Glen Beck's news channel, The Blaze, Americans will not hear two sides of an issue." The statement is laughable to all but the extreme right.
He also wrote that the 47 percent will vote for the incumbent president no matter what. He fails to mention that the top six states with the highest percentage of tax filers who pay no federal income tax are solid red states, and the top four states that have the lowest percentage of tax filers not paying the federal income tax are all blue states.
He also claims that liberal progressives can "spin" an issue like no one else. Here again knowledgeable people recognize that news outlets like Fox News, Glen Beck and right-wing radio have perfected the greatest propaganda machine ever assembled, and their followers like Heninger are the least-informed people on issues in the U.S.
His claim that liberals only want to hear one side of an issue is betrayed by the first definition of a liberal -- someone that is open minded.
Marvin Jacobson | Clermont
The president proposes, the Congress disposes
For all those thoughtful letters concerning failures, faults and fancies of our current federal government, I offer the following facts:
1) The president proposes, while the Congress disposes.
2) If Congress fails in its duty to dispose, the president can expand (and has) the powers of the executive far beyond the limits envisioned by the brilliant men who wrote our Constitution.
3) The true problem lies squarely in two places.
First, in Congress' inability to manage fiscal, social and other necessary policies this country must have to prosper, and second, in a Supreme Court that rewrites legislation that hasn't been passed by Congress and is proactive in the destruction of the above mentioned Constitution.
Mike Endres | Tavares
Renew commitments to clean water
On Oct. 18, the Clean Water Act, our nation's most critical law for safeguarding our waters for swimming, fishing and drinking, turns 40 years old.
Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972 with the goal of ending the use of our nation's water for discharge of pollutants by 1985.
Clearly, we have missed that goal by a long shot, though we have made great progress.
Still, industrial pollution, toxic dumping, sewage overflows, extreme energy extraction and many more problems continue to threaten the waters on which our families and communities rely. And today, many of our crucial waters are being denied the act's protections against pollution.
We must call upon our elected officials to renew our nation's commitment to the goal of ending the use of our nation's waters for the discharge of pollutants, to ensure that all waters of the United States are protected, and to work to make all waters swimmable, fishable and drinkable.
These fundamental goals of the Clean Water Act should have overwhelming bipartisan support, as the act's initial passage had, because they are crucial to public health, well-being, and local economies all across the nation.
Let's celebrate this anniversary by telling our government, federal and local, the importance of protecting clean water and defending the Clean Water Act.
Ana Alvarez | Clermont