Rules vs. results
A letter Saturday, "Misguided praise," said Mark Felt, the recently deceased Watergate whistle-blower, was not a good guy. But the letter writer was silent on whether Felt's action resulted in more justice rendered, or less.
The only concern seemed to be that Felt broke the "rules," an act for which he is to be condemned. But if citizens of this country ever get to the point of slavishly following somebody else's "rules," irrespective of their outcomes, we are all on the road to totalitarianism.
Presley R. Brown
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Unworthy of praise
Re: "Key role of whistle-blowers," Tuesday.
Your praise of Mark Felt, who secretly passed privileged information to the press, is amazing. You completely ignore the fact that it was a criminal act for an FBI agent to do so. One must wonder if you would be so forgiving of the crime had it been a liberal president he was ratting on, rather than the unpopular, conservative Republican Nixon.
An honest, law-abiding whistle-blower would have gone to the special prosecutor, rather than to a couple of newspaper guys. You even said we need more like Felt. I say we need more honorable government employees who follow the law.
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A study in futility
None of the brilliant Nobel laureate economists predicted the recession, although its onset started a year back. This shows the futility of the subject of economics. Is the study of this subject in its present state worth our precious time? Why is there a Nobel Prize in this discipline?
How come there is a cycle of recession every seven years or so? How come prices always soar and the currency value declines? There is definitely an inherent flaw in the present monetary system.
Exorbitant interest rates, buying everything on loans, options, derivatives, extreme inequalities in the price of work - ranging from $10 per hour to executive salaries in the millions, plus bonuses - are a great scourge. Money is a medium and not a commodity. One must be allowed to earn profit on commodity but not on medium. It is time to ponder.
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Golf and Girard
It is interesting that so many voices have been raised in support of the court decision blocking the proposed expansion by Fox Chase Cancer Center. One wonders how many of these individuals are aware that a significant portion of the land in question is used by a "for-profit" enterprise that includes batting cages, a golf driving range, a retail golf shop, and a miniature golf course.
More important, one wonders how many of these same voices were conspicuously silent when the courts ignored the wishes expressed in the will of Stephen Girard. Trust can be fleeting when breaking a will benefits a certain segment of society. Let's pray that these voices never need any of the services offered by Fox Chase.
David W. Campbell
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Quick on the draw
Re: "Cheney is unapologetic on his tenure," Dec. 22:
Vice President Cheney's trigger-happy suggestion that the Bush administration would have gone to war even without erroneous intelligence reminds me of his earlier bird-shooting adventure - another shoot-first-ask-questions-later tendency. It has inspired for me a new title for him: "Bush's Only Besotten Gun."
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It all adds up
A letter Friday, "Tax break needed?," missed a few points:
These new, high-priced homes produced a 4 percent transfer tax when sold (2 percent, seller, and 2 percent, buyer). This amounts to $20,000 on a $500,000 purchase. These homes will probably be sold before the expiration of the abatements, resulting in more transfer taxes. Many of these homeowners were new to the city, and the owners became subject to the city wage tax. Also consider the 6 percent fee paid to real estate agents. And there's the city income taxes paid by the developers.
Real estate taxes are a primary factor in deciding where to live. Just look at the level of sustainable development in the Center City area since enactment of the abatements.
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