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Letters, July 21, 2016 

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Cover story: "Money To Burn," July 7
Not only is Jensen and Scott taking advantage of taxpayers, what about all of the other Chief Officers who are Double Dipping. They retire, then get rehired at a large salary, all the while collecting their retirement pay from the department. This sounds just as wrong.
Missy Lue Howard Newton
via CityWeekly.net

"What a maroon"
Bugs Bunny quote, check it out on YouTube. The wise-cracking hare was so far ahead of the witless and relentless hunter, Elmer Fudd, that he would consistently turn the tables on his adversary and beat him at his own game.

"What a maroon," he would say as he outsmarted the dim-witted Fudd.

The 2016 presidential election season, as well as the overall endless political season, has been compared to the "wabbit" hunting season in that famous cartoon series. The politicians are like the crafty rabbit, and we, "The American People," are the like the slow-witted hunter. They are always getting the best of us. Duping us with their double talk, abuse of power and shameless antics.

"The American People," hopefully, might not be as dumb as politicians think. In fact, it is the politicians and their own cartoon culture of privilege and power that is in decline.

This election is an unprecedented example of how confused we have become in our culture of freedoms. Abraham Lincoln said that America would destroy itself from within before any outside force took us out. He saw this coming.

Take your pick of any of them, down the list of political job seekers, congressmen, senators, government officials, administrators, media stars and pundits, and all the other wannabes. How many times have you listened to their blather on any given issue, tried to understand the motivation and basis of their position and thought, "what a maroon."

They couldn't tell you what time it is without hiring a consultant or without bias, and even then you wouldn't get a straight answer.

I hate to be cynical, but you have to ask yourself, just what good are any of these folks doing for our country as opposed to what good they are doing for their own careers and special interests? How many of them have we seen self destruct before our eyes? It's an endless series of job interviews, career moves, winner and losers.

America's political system and its relentless media coverage has become a cartoonish force of nature in itself. If we're not careful, we will lose our human instincts to survive in a real world environment, not to mention our independence in the cartoonish environment being created around us by these ... maroons.
John Kushma
North Logan

Debt trap
There has been recent concern across the nation about the problem of high interest rates charged on loans to the working poor. The problem became acute around 1980, when Congress deregulated credit card interest rates and effectively overrode state usury limits. It worsened when the pay day loan industry emerged in the early 1990s.

History condemns what is going on today. Interest rates were regulated by Hammurabi's Code nearly two millennia before Christ, and evidence of a hard-nose approach can be found in Western and Eastern cultures throughout time. So, why not here? Why not now? Here, after keeping interest rates largely in the single digit range for 370 years during our colonial and national periods, we now allow annualized pay-day interest rates in the range of 390-520 percent, according to the Center for Responsible Lending. And that repayment burden does not include the wild variety of fees the industry and consumer bank accounts manage to add on as well.

Early republican Rome outlawed interest altogether. As disparity between the rich and poor grew in the later republican period, interest came into play. Even in the period of autocratic government, emperors felt a need to regulate greedy bankers. During the early emperorship, a ceiling was set at 12 percent.

In between the periods of legal prohibition or strict regulation, personal loan rates charged by pawn brokers and other last-ditch lenders could skyrocket up into the range of 40-120 percent. This fueled sharp responses, particular from the church and from nonprofit agencies.

Today, when we continue to remain silent in the face of this virulent, long-term debt-trap set for our sons and daughters and grandchildren, we play the part of inhumane secularists, religious hypocrites and disingenuous lovers of freedom. We place iron shackles of a new kind of slavery on all skin colors, our newly created caste of the untouchable working poor.
Robert Kimball Shinkoskey
Woods Cross

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