Letters to the Editor (11/21/2012)

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Where does Brown live?
Editor:
In his most recent opinion column, Mr. Gene Brown attributes Mitt Romney’s defeat to a majority of Americans’ wanting to receive “free stuff” and handouts from the government, in contrast to his own proclaimed economic independence.
I would be interested to see exactly how independent Mr. Brown really is. For example, did he grab an alphabet and teach himself the ABCs, then pick up the Encyclopedia Britannica and complete his education entirely on his own, or did public school teachers and university professors have something to do with it?
Does he travel entirely by horseback so that he can be independent of automobiles with safety features mandated by government regulation?
Does his business do without email and the Internet, both invented and fostered by the government? Does his business benefit from specific tax breaks or incentives? Does he grow all of his own food so that he can avoid improved crops that were developed through government-funded research?
Does he and his family rely solely on herbal remedies, so as to avoid modern medicines and procedures that are available only because of NIH research and FDA testing?
Does he pay all of his family’s medical expenses out of pocket, since the collectivization of risk in insurance is the antithesis of independence? When he retires, will he repudiate Social Security and Medicare?
Does he write his columns by the light of a flickering tallow candle (to protect himself from hydroelectricity produced by government-funded dams) using a quill pen (computers are based on technology derived from government research) and transport it to the newspaper in the saddlebag of a mule traveling entirely cross country (to keep off of roads and highways, which are almost entirely government constructed and maintained)?
If Mr. Brown really lives his life this way, then he is entitled to criticize the rest of us for our dependence on the government. But I very sincerely doubt that he does. The fact of the matter is that we all contribute to the infrastructure of society, and that this infrastructure is an essential foundation for whatever prosperity any individual has been able to achieve.
Individuals with great wealth, such as Mitt Romney, also reap many more dollars in benefits from this societal investment than does the average citizen. Extensive use of these common resources is undoubtedly a major factor in Mr. Brown’s prosperity and well-being.
I fail to see why his use of them to become prosperous entitles him to congratulate himself on his “independence,” whereas if a poor citizen does essentially the same thing, say to obtain an education or make sure his child has health care, he sneers at that person for demanding a “handout.”
Mr. Brown may attempt to pretty it up as a political philosophy, but let’s call this attitude by its proper name: self-righteous hypocrisy.
Fred Phillips
Socorro

Wheelock voice offends reader
Editor,
Congratulations! Apparently through the commentary you have been publishing, it has been a goal of your paper to alienate as many people in the community as possible.
With your Nov. 14 publication of Mr. Wheelock’s column “Were 2012 elections irrevelent” you have succeeded. Maybe you assumed that Mr. Wheelock’s intellect would speak so far above most of our heads that we just wouldn’t notice, or perhaps maybe people like myself who worship God just wouldn’t take our nose out of the Bible long enough to read Mr. Wheelock’s article.
Whatever your reasoning, I just want you to know I’ve had enough.
Chris Sichler
San Antonio

SEC postcard suggestion
Editors Note: This is the corrected version of a letter originally run in the Nov. 10 edition of El Defensor Chieftain.
Many of you are calling or emailing the Socorro Electric Cooperative Reform Group to ask what to do about the postcard from the SEC.  We advise that you ignore it and save the postage for your Christmas cards.
This postcard has no meaning except as proof that the SEC does not mind wasting the members’ money.  Add up the fee to Survey and Polling, the printing cost, the mailing cost for something that is covered by a New Mexico State Law and New Mexico Supreme Court decision and cry shame to the SEC Board of Trustees, management and their lawyers.
Charlene F. Wagner
Magdalena