Foreclosures are big money
(Re: “Foreclosures hit home in Colorado,” news, Nov. 18.) Yes, we in California are facing the same types of things by all banks. I’m filing a complaint on Monday against four different institutions and individuals. I have MERS [Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems] in my contract, and we have a lot of good case history already on our side. All I can say to you is keep up the fight because none of the banks have any legal standing or interest to foreclose.
Steven Lucore Sr./via Internet
I’m writing about the thoughtful column by Paul Danish, “Who killed Proposition 19?” (Danish Plan, Nov. 18). Probably parents and grandparents mistakenly think that there is a gateway between cannabis use and hard drugs. There is not. The possible gateway is caused by cannabis prohibition.
Have the readers ever been offered a free bottle of whiskey, rum or vodka when legally buying beer or wine? Probably not. Have their adult children ever been offered a free sample of meth or cocaine when illegally buying cannabis? Probably yes.
In a regulated and controlled market this would not happen. Re-legalize cannabis, and we close the gateway.
For the sake of your children and grandchildren — re-legalize cannabis.
Kirk Muse/Mesa, Ariz.
(Re: “Politics, like rust, never sleeps,” Danish Plan, Nov. 4.) I saw your article on Palin through a friend’s blog. I wanted to write and say I think you are 100 percent correct. Palin ’08 and Palin now are totally different people. She is working out the kinks to make sure she won’t have the same “gotcha” media moments she had with McCain. Great article.
Tim Adams/Missoula, Mont.
Save the Arctic
As the new Congress begins action in January, we will once again deal with the desire by some forces to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling for oil. Time and time again this issue has come before us.
Time and time again enough members of the public have insisted that no such drilling be allowed. And each time the question has arisen, the drilling has been blocked by this public demand.
There is a possibility of a permanent rejection of drilling in this refuge. President Obama could establish the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as our newest national monument. This would keep all the natural resources of the area maintained permanently in their natural state, thus protecting all the animal life and indigenous human cultures that depend upon the refuge.
The Alaska Wilderness League says this about the refuge: “Big mammals, such as the iconic polar bear, still roam freely in America’s Arctic, and millions of the world’s birds feed and nest on its plains. They come here each year, seeking refuge from a world of encroaching hazards to receive their most sacred needs: sustenance and safe harbor for bearing their young. The Arctic Refuge remains wild, so the cycle of life continues.”
I agree with those who see it to be our moral and civic duty to preserve this cycle. So, I call upon President Obama to declare the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge a national monument and hope that many of you who see this letter will do the same.
LaRoy Seaver/Estes Park
Learn to save a life
More than 3 million Americans have epilepsy or a seizure disorder. November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month, and I am one of thousands of volunteers working to raise awareness of this terrible condition.
Epilepsy is common, but many people know little about it or what to do when someone is having a seizure. That’s why the Epilepsy Foundation is asking everyone to take the Get Seizure Smart! quiz in November.
A copy of the quiz is available at www.GetSeizureSmart.org. As someone affected by epilepsy, I strongly encourage everyone to take the quiz. My life, or that of a loved one, may depend upon it.
Kristieann Dischler/via Internet
Israel, not Palestine
Time and time again, I hear the nation of Israel being called Palestine. Check your history folks, and you’ll see that this is a made-up name. Nowhere in the Bible is it called this, so why do we insist on renaming Israel? Is it people’s hate for the Jews? Hmmm … Imagine calling the United States of America “the Republic of Europe.” Get real.
God knows the heart of every man, so quit trying to please those who wish to destroy Israel. You’re on the losing side if you think God will just stand by and let Israel be eliminated. Genesis 12:3.
Equal pay for equal work
Lame ducks and lame beliefs allow prejudice to hold back the country!
On Nov. 17, the Senate failed to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. Sixty votes were needed to pass the bill, but the vote fell two votes short at 58-41. This bill would have taken a giant step in the right direction to level the compensatory playing field in the workplace. According to an article published by The Hill titled “Democrats criticize Republicans for voting against pay-fairness bill” and written by Vicki Needham, “as it stands right now, women who do the same jobs as men earn $.78 for every $1.00 earned by men.” The article further states that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., called the failure of the Senate to end debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act on a 58-41 vote “outrageous” and “egregious.” Sen. Gillibrand noted that the bill was defeated almost 100 percent along party lines with one Democrat voting against it.
To think that our legislators had the opportunity to right a wrong that has existed in our country for so long and turned their backs on that opportunity is demoralizing at best. What lack of common sense and logic brings people to think that the same job, done equally well by women, is only worth 78 percent of the pay given to men? How is it that the Republicans in the Senate fail to remember the statement, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”? Can it be that just over 40 percent of the men and women of the Senate really believe that this statement refers to gender rather than species? Good heavens, people, I was taught that this referral in the Declaration of Independence specified species, not gender, in grade school. How can it be that so many of our elected officials have reached such rarified heights while remaining so ignorant?
Some believe the defeat of this bill was due to the fact that this vote was handed down by a lame-duck Congress. In my opinion, that belief is lame. This decision is the result of prejudice and nothing else! The stance that males should be either the sole or the primary provider is antiquated, chauvinistic and foolish. Ever-increasing prices and taxes have seen to the demise of that belief.
The fact that this bill was defeated along party lines tells another story. It implies that the General Election of Nov. 2 simply replaced one foolish party agenda with another foolish party agenda. The Republican Party has developed a reputation of being extremely pro big business at the expense of the average citizen. To me, the defeat of this bill does not just hint of that reputation being true ... it screams it! It appears that the Republican Party believes the results of the recent General Election vilify the Democratic Party rather than an untimely agenda, excessive spending and poor decisions. If that is truly the case, the Republican Party will learn that replacing an untimely agenda, excessive spending and one set of poor decisions with more poor decisions based on prejudice (sexual or otherwise) will likely bring them defeat in 2012. They will learn that the majority of U.S. citizens believe the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. We believe that compensation should be given equally based on performance ... not gender, race, religion or country of national origin. We the people are making a list, ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, and you can bet that we will be checking it twice just before the 2012 election. It is not about political party, folks ...it is about what we stand for as a people.
Robert M. Collinsworth/Harrisville, N.H.
We need a fair tax
I want to introduce to the public a new concept for funding the federal government. A new efficient tax system that is completely voluntary. The FairTax.
Imagine keeping every dime of your paycheck. No federal income tax taken out, no Social Security or Medicare tax taken out, no taxes on business and no taxes on investment income.
In addition, you would get a monthly payment to cover taxes on necessities, up to the poverty level. All of this replaced with a consumption tax of 23 percent on new purchases only. No, the cost of everything you buy will not necessarily go up 23 percent under this plan. While the cost of new products would go up, many of the costs to produce products would be eliminated, reducing retail prices.
How could this be? All taxes and tax compliance costs, like tax preparation and accounting fees on production of a product, are passed on through each process and then eventually passed on to you, the consumer. These are called embedded costs. Economists estimate that there is roughly a 22 percent increase in the cost of merchandise due to embedded costs. The FairTax would remove these costs.
Now imagine how businesses based overseas would react to a country that does not punish them for creating jobs. A country that says, “Hey, if you come here and open a business, we will not tax you.” Business from all countries would flood into the U.S. to base their operations. One would literally have to hide under a rock in order to avoid getting a job.
The underground economy will be taxed at last. Illegal businesses such as drug dealing, prostitution, as well as legitimate cash-only businesses that are evading taxes will finally be contributing to the federal government when they make purchases.
See the tax code in black and white with this new inclusive tax. When you see a product at the store for $100, it would be marked at $100 and your receipt will read $77 retailer, $23 tax. No more accountants, special-interest groups and politicians helping some become exempt from paying their fair share.
The FairTax would change the way we fund Social Security and Medicare. Instead of taxing only 158 million workers, over 300 million citizens plus 50 million tourists who come from abroad will be funding our entitlement costs.
No more IRS. No more tax forms, no more tax filing. April 15th will be just an ordinary day. No fumbling around finding all your tax documents, then paying to have them prepared, and then hoping that everything is done right so as to avoid the dreaded audit. A consumption tax is a less burdensome tax since it is paid by individuals both willing and able to pay it. It is not a penalty for productivity like the current income tax.
The FairTax would encourage citizenship for illegal aliens since citizenship is required to qualify for the tax prebate included in this tax plan.
Our current tax code is like throwing sand into the engine of the economy. It’s time for a tax code that’s fair, transparent and understandable. We need to end the increasingly complex tax code that is dividing our great nation and start a tax system that promotes innovation and inspires new hope for a more thriving and prosperous America for all. Let’s eliminate the special-interest groups in Washington and return the power of government back to its people. You can help be part of a movement that will forever change the direction of our country.
Please check out more at fairtax.org, or read The FairTax Book by Neal Boortz. If this sounds like a good idea to you, tell your representatives that you want the FairTax.
Ken Becker/St. Louis, Mo.