Let's see if I get this. Mark Felt is considered a hero for leaking sensitive, classified information he gleaned from FBI investigations and creating the fall of Richard Nixon ("Key role of whistleblowers," editorial, Tuesday). Linda Tripp was vilified for almost creating the fall of Bill Clinton. Do we now pick and choose our whistleblowers based on the popularity of the person sitting in the Oval Office?
Felt did what he did for all the wrong reasons, mostly personal, to get even with Nixon for passing him over as director of the FBI. Felt was not a good guy. He hurt a lot of good agents and ruined their careers for minor infractions, yet he thought he was above the rules. As the bureau's "hatchet man," Felt would have crucified me and pushed for my indictment had I done what he did during my FBI career. FBI agents don't leak information; they take an oath to uphold the law and report what evidence they uncover.
Charles B. Warner
I don't often agree with Charles Krauthammer, but in faulting Caroline Kennedy for "trading entirely on pedigree" he raises a valid point ("No aristocrats need apply," Monday). Trouble is, it comes about nine years too late. Had Mr. Krauthammer and his fellow conservatives been half as eager to decry "aristo-creep" when a certain son of Bush was trading on his pedigree back in 2000, the holiday season and the coming year might have been looking a lot brighter. Of course, that would have meant applying the same standards to the children of Republican presidents as to those of Democrats - and we can't have that, can we?
It should be illegal for employers to simply strip retirees of their earned heath-care benefits. That's why the 111th Congress needs to pass the bipartisan Emergency Retiree Health Benefits Protection Act.
Share the pain
There's a world of hurt in the current economic downturn, but some companies are avoiding layoffs by spreading the pain with salary freezes or salary/wage cuts, reduced hours, temporary adjustments in benefits, and the forgoing of a variety of expenditures. They have it right because 80 percent of a job is better than 80 percent of the workers with a job and 20 percent without. Pulling together beats coming apart.
Why not raise the gas tax by 0.1 cent, and eliminate the 0.9 cent figure now on every gallon of gasoline? Then when we say we got gas for $1.57 a gallon, when it is actually $1.57.9 a gallon, we would be stating a fact!
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I am petrified by the prospect of a strike by the Screen Actors Guild, which threatens to bring the entertainment industry to a halt. How could we exist without films and television shows that demean and coarsen us and make us a more disrespectful, undignified, unrefined people? Where would we be without the violence, profanity and sexual content that is splashed before us on the small and big screens? Would we be relegated to reading a newspaper or a book; going to a library, museum, art gallery or symphony performance; spending time with and talking with our families and getting to know them better? Good gosh! All of these alternatives would be horrible!
Oren M. Spiegler
Upper Saint Clair
No secret vote
In his commentary Monday ("Give workers a chance to unionize"), William M. George, president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, neglects to mention a core provision of the so-called Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). This bill takes away an employee's right to a secret ballot when voting to unionize. At present, workers must first sign union authorization cards that indicate a desire to consider representation, and then the National Labor Relations Board supervises a secret ballot vote verifying the request. The EFCA would waive the secret vote if more than 50 percent of the workforce signs union cards.
American Trucking Associations
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