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Letters to the Editor

February 04, 2009

We are not 'clowns'



To the editor:

I must reply to Leonard Pitts' column of Jan. 28. He calls me a clown and says that I am like the circus folks with brooms that trail behind the elephants in the circus parade, all because I am a Rush Limbaugh devotee, a working, tax-paying, married woman.

Pitts' column is a diatribe against Rush for saying he hopes Obama fails. Rush actually said he hopes Obama's policies fail and Pitts knows exactly what Rush said and means. Rush - and his "clowns" - do not want this country turned into a socialist country with the government controlling every element of our lives. Obama and his leftist Democratic friends want to control the banks, the businesses and, in turn, our lives.

Obama's foolish policies include giving tax cuts to those who don't even pay taxes, thus increasing the tax burdens on the working class. Instead, our government should make the business climate environment friendly so corporations - i.e., the rich - can do business and provide jobs for the rest of us. That is the only way our country can get out of the hole it is in - from the top down, not the bottom-up Obama way.

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The poor don't pay taxes or provide jobs. We need tax cuts for businesses and the workers, and the return to the free-enterprise system that worked so well under Reagan.

Marie Showalter
Hagerstown




No easy answers



To the editor:

Question: What do you call a sour loser with a pathetic, pouting attitude? Answer: A Rush Limbaugh.

But seriously, Obama was quite right when he told his supporters to ignore Rush Limbaugh, because Limbaugh has nothing to say. Nothing substantial anyway; all he has to offer is hateful rhetoric - the kind of hateful rhetoric that has left many citizens haunted with irrational fear about what Obama might do to this country.

And why doesn't Limbaugh have anything to say? Because he, like all radical conservatives, is suffering from two nave illusions: That there are simple solutions to complex problems, and that the world is black and white with no shades of gray.

No, common sense tells us that the world is not black and white. There isn't just a path to heaven and a path to hell and nothing in between. Claims are never just true or false; there are always innumerable, ifs, and buts, and whens. And every medal, no matter how shiny, has a dark flip side.

Similarly, complex problems never have simple solutions. Take for example the economy. Legions of wannabe experts - especially among conservatives - are trying to sell us the "obvious" solution to the economic crisis. But if there was an obvious solution, why did we ever get into the current predicament to begin with?

No, nothing about our economy has ever been obvious. I trust that Obama, smart as he is, understands that. So don't expect him to find a silver bullet. But do expect him to find a winding path out of the current mess by listening to everybody: Liberals, conservatives, Democrats, and Republicans alike.

Hans K. Buhrer
Smithsburg




Support local businesses



To the editor:

In a time when businesses are closing, people are losing their jobs and individuals and families are trying to stretch each dollar to the limit, I am surprised to see how many restaurants are still packed.

The other night, on my first visit to the new Friendly's across from the Long Meadow Shopping Center, the place was packed with a waiting list - impressive for a Thursday night. This, only weeks after the unfortunate closing of two local restaurant icons, Richardson's Restaurant, owned by the Resh family for 60 years, and The Grille at Park Circle, which has been operated by Dick Roulette and Bobby Ginsberg for the last 13-plus years, but was a local staple for crabs long before that.

My meal at Friendly's was good - exactly what we've come to expect from chain restaurants. And these chains certainly employ local people, which in this economy is a great thing.

But as a lifelong citizen of the Tri-State area, it saddens me to see local businesses crumbling under the foot of corporate America. I shop at anchor stores sometimes. It's handy and cheap, even if it is overcrowded and generic. We're all guilty as charged. The recent "awakening" to the fact that just about everything you buy comes from China or some other country is encouraging, although, with stretched budgets, what's a person to do?

Think. That's all. Give a thought to where your money is going. Are you going to feed the bottomless pit that has become corporate America? Are you going to charge something when you don't have to?

We all need to take a responsibility for trying to keep our money in our area.

"But I didn't get good service/food the last time," you say? I'm as at fault as the next person for not speaking up, but that's exactly what one needs to do if you find the quality or service to be subpar.

Business owners are struggling, and they want to keep your business. But realize that they can't sample every meal, or monitor every server or transaction. They need your help. We have a lot of great locally owned businesses and restaurants in the area that are on the verge of going out of business, and I guarantee that the owners want to know about your experience so that they can continue improving to stay competitive.

If you can at all afford to support your local businesses, try to do so. Otherwise, our towns will become the cookie cutter strip malls that lack heart, imagination and real variety. Bring "Made in the USA" back to the USA.

Support your local farmers that have, in recent years, been forced to sell their picturesque pastures to developers because they couldn't make ends meet. Conserve. Re-use. Recycle. If everyone does their part, we will prevail; and we will be all the stronger and wiser for it.

Courtney Lancaster
Hagerstown

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