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Wednesday, March 26, 2008 09:01 pm

Letters to the Editor

Untitled Document We welcome letters. Please include your full name, address, and telephone number. We edit all letters. Send them to Letters, Illinois Times, P.O. Box 5256, Springfield, IL 62705; fax 217-753-3958; e-mail editor@illinoistimes.com.
ILLINOIS GOP: NO WORRIES When I read Rich Miller’s column, I thought it was a humor piece or that he had lost his mind [“Obammered,” March 20]. The polls that were quoted were taken before Obama’s campaign imploded and he dropped about 15 points. It seems most people with a brain did not like to see Obama throw his white granny under the bus. You know who I mean — the woman who left her home in Kansas and moved with her husband to Hawaii to raise little Barack when his mother was still in Jakarta with his stepfather. I thought it was a joke when Obama compared his white granny to his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, in an attempt to demonstrate that anyone, even his granny, could be racist because she had once said she was “afraid of black men approaching her on the sidewalk.” Then Obama, the quick thinker he is, went on to say that white people are just “that way.” This sure sounds like the uniter everyone was hoping for. John McCain has now pulled ahead of Hillary Clinton and Obama in the most recent polls, and I do not think anyone is afraid of Obama’s candidacy now, not even the Illinois GOP. But I hope Clinton still offers him the vice presidential slot: Obama has turned out to be baggage that she really does not need if she has any chance of defeating McCain. Obama might be needing a job after the next Illinois Senate election and the Tony Rezko trial. If he loses perhaps, he can look under the bus and ask his white granny if he can move back in. As for Illinois Republicans, I think after the Rezko trial the GOP might be OK for this fall’s elections no matter who the Democrats decide to run against McCain. Even stupid white people from Illinois take objection to corrupt politicians. In any event it will be fun to watch and I am looking forward to Rich Miller’s next attempt at political humor.
Jerald Jacobs

IRAQ’S COST NOT TOO HIGH You stated that we have spent $3 trillion since the war began, and you went on to say that we have paid a huge penalty in the number of casualties and respect around the world [“Editor’s note,” March 20]. I would agree that the loss of one soldier is one to many, but those losses are not in vain, and I believe you are misleading your readers. The facts are we spend more annually on illegal immigration than we have in five years on the war on terror. Illegal immigration is costing this country nearly $400 billion a year. In addition, we have lost nearly 15,000 citizens to homicide or involuntary manslaughter during the past five years at the hands of illegal immigrants. Yet I never see the liberal media or the Democratic Party address this issue. As for global respect, we have never had any, and if we cave on this war on terror that trend will only continue. Paul Edwards Chatham HERE COMES THE TRAIN WRECK Those of us lucky enough to have missed the Great Depression and to have been born into the post-World War II expansion, the greatest period of prosperity the world has ever known, may now experience something even more frightening — a global economic collapse. How did this happen? Part of it has to do with the dismantling of government regulations and protections put into place during the Great Depression to prevent another Great Depression from happening. 1973 was a pivotal year. That was the year that the corporate classes decided to privatize everything and to begin to roll back all the concessions that the wealthy had grudgingly given to ordinary Americans to stave off a possible revolt during the Great Depression. The wealthy had feared that the country might become fascist or, even worse, communist. But in 1973 there was a clarion call to “save capitalism.” Ironically, in doing so, it led us straight to where we are today — in danger of an even greater economic meltdown than the Great Depression — and of a magnitude never seen in American history. Does the Federal Reserve have the tools to prevent this train wreck from happening? Monetary policy (lowering interest rates) and fiscal policy (the modest stimulus package recently passed by Congress) will not do the trick. Much more is needed. The Glass-Steagall Act, which was passed in 1933 to prevent commercial banks from dealing in securities, was repealed in 1999. This has become part of the problem, along with the creation of exotic financial instruments like derivatives and hedge funds, which are less subject to regulation. Another key problem is the lack of transparency or disclosure in the financial markets. This could be corrected if Congress were to pass laws to better regulate securities. Both the present administration and Wall Street are against regulation. Nor were they willing, until recently, to consider using federal agencies like the FHA to help bail out victims of the subprime-mortgage crisis — the catalyst for the current situation. The pain is spreading. And, unfortunately, the great unraveling will continue. Finally, why could this mean a global economic collapse? Because financial markets are now globally intertwined. And because U.S. consumption is the engine that drives the global economy. If we go down, we will pull others down with us. Beni Kitching Springfield
STOP ELECTING THE SAME PEOPLE In response to “Term limits for Congress” by Bob Ruble [“Letters,” March 13], there already is a term limit established in the U.S. Constitution, right smack dab at the beginning. It is called “We the People.”
We the People do not have to continue electing the same old people with the same old rhetoric. Let’s start holding them accountable before they step foot into the halls of Congress. And if they do not want to work for us, then let them go out and get real jobs. We the People need to truly set aside our petty differences and come to an agreement on what is best for our country, children, and future. If we honestly examine the issues at hand, then and only then will we begin to realize what it is that we must do. And that, what we thought was our thoughts, are not, but something embedded in us by someone else’s mean-spirited ignorance and fear. We the People need to come to an understanding, that if our fellow Americans knew better, we would do better. We need to stop letting outside entities dictate to us what is right and wrong. Ninety-five percent of us learned that by the first grade. We need to stop letting them prey on our fears, pitting us against our neighbors. We need to stop letting them steal our natural birthright, which is to be free. Where would we be if our founding fathers had waited on jolly olde England to make changes? They were intelligent enough to leave it up to We the People. Ronnie Booth Springfield
THE RAP ON WAL-MART Two days ago I called one of our two Wal-Marts and had to be transferred to another department. While I was waiting, the music I was listening to was so loud, and it was rap. Most of it, of course, was unintelligible, but what I could understand, the chorus or refrain was about “gettin’ high.” Another set of lyrics mentioned “da baby’s daddy.” I called the head office, in Bentonville, Ark., and complained about it. The manager for that Wal-Mart also called me. We had a little chat and I told him how this is unacceptable and not the kind of image that Wal-Mart should project, and should the home office want to call me and talk to me themselves, feel free to give them my name and phone number. He was very nice and agreed with me and thanked me. If you’re not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. Change begins one phone call, one letter, one e-mail at a time. If we are to take back our country and culture from the various forms of decay that are rotting away at our and our future descendants’ lives, then we must open up our mouths in the right and proper way, and keep it up and never give up.
Jean Stables Decatur
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