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Letters to the Editor

June 03, 2010

Stop electing the game-players



To the editor:

I watched the interaction between President Obama and the Republican group meeting in Baltimore and saw the same political posturing I have seen many times before - from both Republicans and Democrats, when they are the minority party.

Here's the game: If I am an elected official to the minority party (Democratic or Republican), I concoct a bill called "The Apple Pie, Motherhood and American Flag" legislation. I go on the Sunday morning talk shows and claim that my bill will cure cancer, reduce the national debt and feet the hungry in the world. I submit the bill and upon examination of the bill, analysts agree that the bill achieves none of its stated goals and it is rejected. I then go back on the Sunday circuit and wail that the majority party (Democratic or Republican) is against curing cancer, reducing the national debt and feeding the hungry. I also go back to my constituents and tell them my opponent supports the majority party's opposition to curing cancer, reducing the national debt and feeding the hungry.

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I have seen both parties play this political posturing game, and I saw it again in the interaction between President Obama and the Republican group. Obama says he wants to stop this.

I don't think he can until the American people stop rewarding those politicians who play this game by not electing them.

If every politician in my lifetime who claimed they would "eliminate waste," "get rid of fraud in government or "cut government spending" actually did, our government would be half the size it is now. But they don't, and never will. That is the nature of government - not only ours, but everyone else's government.

I am even more disgusted with the third party in America. They call themselves "independent," but they are our third party. They are without a political philosophy beyond their own personal gain.

They are the party of "what have you done for me?" They blow with the wind and take no responsibility for governing, but influence elections based upon personal greed. We see them in the polls blowing back and forth based upon the issue du jour, motivated by their personal self-interest and not the good of our nation. Rather than standing for something bigger than self, they sit on the sidelines and try to game the American political system for their own welfare.

The old adage, "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything" applies to the so-called independent voter. Promise them apple pie, motherhood and the flag, and they will elect you if they think it will line their pockets.

However, they are the ones being gamed by the posturing politicians of both parties. It is a sad commentary.

Bob Ayrer
Falling Waters, W.Va.




Fossil record not carved in stone



To the editor:

In his effort to give another boost to Charles Darwin's theory, Allan Powell's column in the April 23 Herald-Mail is a good example of circular reasoning.

Darwin had already decided that man must have evolved from some simian ancestor such as the great apes, therefore it is hardly a great feat of "prediction" to say that man appeared in Africa. Where else? Africa has the most apes. In relation to these new fossils (Australopithecus sediba), the discoverers, Berger and his co-workers, agreed that "the Malapa fossils themselves cannot be Homo Ancestors," but suggest that, "A. sediba could have arisen somewhat earlier, with the Malapa hominins being late-surviving members of the species." Let's see, how do the words "suggest" and "could have" prove anything?

Then there is the question of the age of 2 million years. Another paper on the subject noted that studies on the sediments involved, suggest that the dating may be in doubt because the bones may have been originally from a higher strata, " sediments imply that subsequent high volume water inflow, perhaps the result of a large storm, caused a debris flow that carried the still partially articulated bodies deeper into the cave, to deposit them along a subterranean stream."

And in another paper we read, "This new Australopithecus sediba species might eventually clear up that debate, and help to reveal our direct human ancestors."

All we have, scientifically speaking, is a nice set of some fossils of unproven age from some species of ape-like creature.

Likewise, when it comes to the rest of Darwin's version of mutation and selection, Powell needs to realize that his own community of evolution stalwarts know that it does not work as expected.

From ardent evolutionists like A.P. Hendry we hear, "Adaptation by natural selection is the centerpiece of biology. Yet evolutionary biologists may be deluding themselves if they think they have a good handle on the typical strength of selection in nature. Typical studies of selection do not have the statistical power necessary to detect selection "

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