Editorial on auto bailout left out important details
In lauding the auto bailouts, your Nov. 2 editorial glossed over some basic questions. Forget that General Motors is rapidly becoming China Motors and that we gave Chrysler to Fiat so it can expand to China. The taxpayers are underwater by over $30 billion when you consider stock losses and tax breaks. When will we get our money back, how much did we spend per job "saved," and have the companies been properly restructured for the long term in America? The answers? Probably never, too much, and doubtful.
Contrary to President Barack Obama's statements, the auto companies did go through bankruptcy. But the process was political, not legal, with the government picking winners and losers. The bond holders and non-UAW workers, like those at Delphi, got shafted, and the UAW surrendered little.
The greatest costs of the bailouts are inestimable. Because the bankruptcy occurred outside of bankruptcy court, it signaled to the markets that we are living under the rule of men rather than the rule of law. Because the priority investors were not properly and legally protected, companies issuing future bonds will have to offer a risk premium to attract buyers. This will raise consumer prices, erode profits and damage job creation.
Politicians are masters at harming the many to help the few. They can always count on the support of the few, who see paychecks, because the many cannot see how they have been hurt through higher prices and exported jobs. Our kids get the debt, and kids don't vote.
Cameron S. Schaeffer
Our rights, bestowed
Election seasons bring a clamor about rights. In this country all rights must be founded upon this: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty ..."
Truth is, rights are always granted or bestowed by the greater to the lesser. The creator, God, grants to the created, us, certain rights that we may claim. Because he made us he is the greater and we are the lesser.
The landowner may, if he chooses, grant me the right to hunt on his land. Because he is the owner he is the greater and I am the lesser.
So what happens when we claim a right that has not been granted? The claim is bogus or fraudulent.
Take abortion. God never has given anyone the right to take an innocent life. Can there be a more innocent life than a child in the womb? Only if the life of the child threatens the life of the mother would she have a legitimate claim on the life of the child. Sometimes women have willingly given up this right to see their child born and lost their own lives. Greater love has no one.
Next time you hear a right claimed, ask the simple question, "Has God granted us this right?" If he has not it is doomed to failure (slavery), no matter how many of us want it, or how loud we yell.
Sometimes a well-meaning life story turns sickly or soggy. So Paul Prather's shift in priorities was not inspiring ("If I've settled, it's for more, not less," Oct. 27). He early sought to become a best-selling author, earn a fortune in business, appear on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and grow a megachurch. This obviously was a man without a clear single goal.
His idea that books are successful if the writer perseveres also is off target. A writer must have something to say — not just write. Even tap dancing needs to send a message.
This litany of failures, he writes, was painful. Yes, kicks in the rear usually are. And these improbable goals lacked basic soundness. Who, for example, would found a megachurch in thinly populated Kentucky? Try India or the Philippines.
What a flippant series of life goals. What a sorry outcome. Let's hope no one else falls into this trap.
Faith, science both
Those who claim the theory of evolution is inconsistent with the Bible do not know the Bible or the process of evolution. The theory states that random incremental changes in the genotype lead to changes in the attunement of individuals to their environment, and changes in their fruitfulness. A species thereby evolves, and may eventually form a new species. Random incremental changes.
In Genesis it states that, at first, creation obeyed exactly God's words. "'Let there be light,' and there was light." "'Let there be a firmament.' And it was so."
But, when God ordered plants to come forth, they came forth differing slightly from his exact wording (Genesis 1:11-12). A medieval commentator, Rashi, points out these minor changes. Even before animals appeared, plants showed random incremental changes.
The Bible could not express fully the evolutionary theory, since it had to be expressed in the language of its time. But it left a clear hint that God created the world in a way that allowed it to evolve.
However, as long as the theory is expressed purely materialistically, it cannot explain the rise of qualitative experience.
As the philosopher David Chalmers expressed it, "The hard problem of consciousness is the problem of experience." Materialistic evolution cannot explain why we are people, and not just zombies. It cannot explain why we have love, and not just lust.
Nevertheless, its ability to explain lust validates the theory of evolution. It is true science. And it is compatible with the Bible.
Rabbi H.D. Uriel Smith
Hurrah for Warren
Americans need to give a shout-out to Massachusetts voters for electing Elizabeth Warren one of our newest U.S. senators.
The nation was introduced to Warren as we watched her take on Wall Street and the "too big to fail" banks on behalf of average Americans.
Sen. Warren will have to work with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Boehner's intellectual wattage could barely keep a night-light burning. McConnell's irritable bowel obstructionism must now vow to make Barack Obama a two-term president.
Lucky for us Warren has a work ethic of steely will, guts, reason and fortitude, which she will exert to get this country working again.
Perhaps Warren can finally answer the 4-year-old question voters keep asking: "How come those guys aren't in jail?"