Voter Apathy: Readers Respond to Rall
Re Ted Rall's column "Why We're Apathetic" (July 26, 2012): At the bottom of the second column, Mr. Rall states, "Romney could shore up his party's nativist base . . . "
Excuse me. I wasn't aware that Mr. Romney or Mr. Obama had an AmerInd base. I'm not sure what term is more appropriate (the party's patriotic base? Its exclusivist base? Its anti-illegal-immigrant base?), but nativist is clearly wrong. None of us who aren't AmerInd (and I am not) can claim to be nativist. We're all immigrants (in my case, all the way back to the Mayflower).
I've been surprised that no one has compared Mr. Romney to Herbert Hoover, our last businessman president, whose business-friendly policies after the crash of 1929 (which happened about six months after he took office, so he was not responsible for the crash) seemed to drive America further into depression—from a serious depression into the Great Depression (not that FDR did much better at first). If the Republicans had fielded a strong opponent in 1936, there's a good chance he would have been defeated. Sound familiar?
In any case, I wish someone would compare the few suggestions Romney has made to what Hoover did in 1929-1931. I don't much care for Mr. Obama, but I think Mr. Romney is probably a worse choice.
Just once in my life, I'd like to vote for someone instead of against someone. Was George Washington the lesser of two evils? (A tip of the hat to Ed Sanders [counterculture leader and co-founder of satirical rock group The Fugs] for that last question.)
The first problem is that Ted Rall is thinking inside the box, limiting his choice of discussion to the duopoly of major parties, which have both favored free trade agreements, which in turn have caused massive unemployment.
Rall also talks about voting, not putting someone on the ballot. The duopoly will never run a candidate to solve the economic problems that they themselves helped to create. He is also limiting his discussion to the office of president, the most expensive office to attempt to change via a campaign.
Where was Rall in March when the petitioning period started in which people would collect signatures to get themselves or others on the ballot for the Legislature? Where was he two months ago, when candidates for Congress needed to collect signatures?
Apathy is waiting for someone else to hand you a candidate that you like rather than helping a candidate that you like get on the ballot.
NCAA Piling On Penn State
I am upset about the child abuse committed by Sandusky and the coverup by Paterno, Curley, Schulz and Spanier. The lives of many young children have been adversely impacted by these men.
And that is my point. The five individuals were involved with these tragic events, not the assistant football coaches, not the football players, not the faculty and not the student body [of Penn State].
I believe the NCAA president and executive board overstepped their authority by imposing very harsh penalties on the Penn State football program and by extension on the entire university.
The penalties will needlessly decimate one of the premier athletic programs in the country and could debilitate the entire university.
If the leaders of a corporation, e.g. president and vice president, commit a crime, are the junior level managers and hourly workers punished? If a parent commits a crime, are his/her children punished for the crime?
The NCAA decided to use Penn State as a scapegoat example to deter other university leaders from going astray. I think the NCAA should have stayed out of it and let the criminal and civil proceedings run their courses. The NCAA is persecuting innocent people.
Donald A. Moskowitz
Pennsylvania State University
Class of 1963
Salmonella Outbreak Calls Attention to Meat Industry
Most people have heard about the salmonella outbreak that's sickened at least 33 people and forced Cargill to recall more than 29,000 pounds of ground beef. Relatively few people, however, have thought about the hundreds of cows who were killed to make this meat, which is now just being tossed out.
When cows are very young, they're branded with hot irons, their horns are cut or burned off, and males are castrated—all without painkillers. They're confined to filthy feedlots and fattened for slaughter.
Then they're crowded onto transport trucks and shipped hundreds of miles, often without food and water. At the slaughterhouse, they're hung upside down, their throats are slit, and they are skinned and gutted. Some remain conscious through the entire process. You can help stop their suffering by choosing healthy and humane vegan foods.
The PETA Foundation