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On Wednesday, a letter to the editor made disturbing claims about an unnamed bill recently passed by Congress, and its effects on personal privacy and property. Since the writer failed to give the name of the bill, I presume he was referring to the Waxman-Markey Climate and Energy Bill which recently passed the US House of Representatives.
Anyone can read an executive summary of the bill at energycommerce.house.gov. Contrary to the writers claims, the bill has no provisions for hordes of federal inspectors to invade peoples homes, strongarming them into meeting some nefarious set of rules with threats of dire penalties. Such fantastic assertions can be easily disproven by a simple reading of the legislation.
The bill does rely on state standards for new industrial and commercial energy use, and encourages more energy efficient options for consumers to purchase, if they wish to do so. We need to pass legislation that will free America from our dependency on foreign energy, if for no other reason than to stop sending our money to countries that support terrorism.
Unfortunately, there are large corporate and business concerns that do not want to see this happen, so we get the scare campaigns that we are now seeing.
The real problem here is that The Times printed this letter apparently without any sort of fact-checking as to the truth of its wild allegations. This is a serious disservice to the readers of The Times and inhibits effective debate in the public arena of the bills provisions by playing on unfounded fear.
It is obvious that either the writer or whoever tells him what to think is not interested in real public discourse, but rather in clouding the issue as much as possible for political purposes.
It is not surprising that The Times should receive a large number of conspiracy-theory letters in a time when so many conservatives rely on the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck for their information. But as the responsible party in the situation, the Times bears a responsibility to its readers to fact-check and debunk wild accusations and outright untruths.
Georgia doesn't need a new session, just new leaders
Last summer, many warned about Georgia's revenue crisis. Now, only a few days into fiscal year 2010, those same warnings are going off again. With the latest revenue figures reported, Georgia could be facing a deficit of almost a billion dollars.
The question is, will our leaders drag their feet like last summer? The governor seems to be hinting at a special session to solve this crisis, but these same people just spent 40 days on this same problem with nothing to show for it. If a special session is called, what will our leaders do?
A popular Republican candidate for governor recently commented that the only place left to cut is education. I said to him, "What about ‘Go Fish' or the other pet projects that have gotten us into this mess." In my opinion, it is not a special session that we need but a special election to throw out the bums.